In unknown territory, Jimmy Butler confident in Bulls: 'I like our chances'

In unknown territory, Jimmy Butler confident in Bulls: 'I like our chances'

Unknown territory, these Chicago Bulls are in, hours away from taking on a Boston Celtics team in Game 2 of their playoff series.

They didn't have to look further than the stands of TD Garden to realize it as they entered for the morning shootaround, seeing every seat in the building covered in green T-shirts.

Even the Bulls do it themselves with the "red-out" campaigns they've done during the playoffs in years' past, and now facing a desperate team that can't afford to fall behind 0-2, the leaders are as curious as anyone to see how this team responds.

"As a young team, that's what we have to figure out," said Dwyane Wade, who scored 11 in Game 1 Sunday. "They're going to come out with more energy, hungrier and better than they were in Game 1. And we have to be able to withstand all of it."

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Wade has been part of emotional atmospheres in the Garden, but he knows he can only tell some of his teammates about it as opposed to them being able to truly feel what he means.

And with the Bulls coming with a surprising win in Game 1, the natural tendency is to let the guard down knowing you've got the split. There could come a point where the Celtics are making an emotional run and the Bulls have to make a decision to compete or concede.

"I don't know. All this is new territory for this team," Wade said. "We're not going to know how we respond until we get on the floor. But you try to prepare the same way as you did. The hardest thing as humans, and especially is athletes, is trying to keep the edge."

Jimmy Butler nodded when asked if a win or even a similar performance to Game 1 can turn some heads, but even he hates the narrative about the Bulls making believers of a fan base and skeptical media.

"You're asking me, I don't care what anybody thinks. I know what we're capable of," Butler said.

But when prodded that some of the doubts came from within the locker room during some rough stretches, he said the tone has changed.

"Like I said, that was back then. Early months, early days. Now we're in this thing. We're like this," Butler said, making a fist. "We're fine. We go out there and play hard, guard, make everything tough for everybody, we'll be fine. We get away from that, that's when things get out of hand. We don't plan for that to happen. Everybody's locked in, ready to go. I like our chances."

Derrick Rose to sign with Cavaliers

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USA TODAY

Derrick Rose to sign with Cavaliers

Derrick Rose is headed to Cleveland. 

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the former Bulls point guard committed to sign with the Cavaliers on Monday, joining a team on the heels of three straight NBA Finals appearances. 

Although the numbers haven't been made official, the contract will likely be a one-year deal worth about $2.1 million. It's a low-risk move for the Cavs, who are signing a point guard with quite a history of injuries. 

Rose, 28, had a bit of a resurgence on the offensive end last year. He posted 18 points per game, which was his highest average since 2011-2012, and he shot 47 percent from the field. While his defense continues to be lackluster, the 2011 MVP gives the Cavs' second unit a scoring boost. 

The signing also raises more Kyrie Irving questions. Irving requested a trade late last week, indicating Rose may be pushed into a more prominent role. 

Rose battled LeBron James in several playoffs. Now, the Chicago kid will try to win alongside The King. 

Report: Derrick Rose leaning toward Cavaliers over Lakers

Report: Derrick Rose leaning toward Cavaliers over Lakers

The latest Derrick Rose report says the 28-year-old guard will end up teaming up with LeBron James.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Rose is leaning toward signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Los Angeles Lakers. Discussions have been for a one-year, $2.1 million deal.

The free agent guard is meeting with Cavs officials in Ohio on Monday, according to Woj.

Rose's decision to sign with the Cavs makes more sense than the Lakers, especially after last week's report that Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland. A minimum deal for Rose would also be a steal for the Cavs, who are seeking some solid production at a low cost.

In 64 games last season with the New York Knicks, Rose averaged 18 points, his best since the 2011-12 season with the Bulls.