Chicago Bulls

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."

How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

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How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

For all the Bulls fans who wanted to see the organization pull off a Carmelo Anthony trade over the years, they just got their wish.

Well, sort of.

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks have agreed to a blockbuster trade which will send Anthony to the Thunder for Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter and the Bulls' 2018 second-round pick.

Coincidentally, the Bulls traded a comparable package to what the Thunder just surrendered for the 10-time NBA All-Star.

Just before the NBA's trade deadline last February, the Bulls sent McDermott, Taj Gibson and a 2018 second-round draft choice to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow.

As the Thunder load up for a postseason run in the Western Conference, the Bulls are in the midst of rebuilding year after trading Jimmy Butler earlier this offseason and not having much to show from their previous trade with the Thunder.

The Bulls let Lauvergne and Morrow depart via free agency this offseason, while Payne will start the season on the shelf after undergoing foot surgery.

After the deal becomes official via a league call on Monday, Anthony will join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star Paul George in Oklahoma City.

The 33-year-old Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Knicks last season.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Shepkowski (670 The Score) and Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times) join Kap on the panel. Jake Arrieta will return to the rotation to face the Brewers. Can he recapture his pre-injury form? Mike Glennon gets another start Sunday but should he get the hook if he struggles again?

Plus, the guys discuss the one metric that says the Bulls are the worst team in the NBA.