Word on the Street: Rose makes SI cover

Word on the Street: Rose makes SI cover

Thursday, April 14, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Rose makes his first SI cover

Bulls fans will see something they haven't seen in over a decade this week; one of their players on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Derrick Rose is on the cover of this week's magazine, the first Bull to do so since Michael Jordan. And if he keeps playing the way he has been, it's unlikely that this will be his last time on the cover of the magazine. However, it will be a while before he catches up to Jordan's record 57 cover appearances. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

MLB instant replay on the way?

HardBall Talk is reporting that Major League Baseball may be expanding the use of instant replay starting with the 2012 season. The expansion would include fairfoul calls down the lines and trap calls - as when an outfielder dives and traps the ball under his glove instead of catching it. (HardBall Talk)

Bear (jersey sales) down

Bears jerseys are not selling. At least, not in comparison to the sales enjoyed by certain Bears in the past. Over the last decade Brian Urlacher has sold more jerseys than almost any other player in the NFL. However, this year, not a single Bear cracked the top 15 in jersey sales.

The league leader in jersey sales was Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, followed by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Despite not having a top-selling jersey, though, the Bears still came in fourth in total merchandise sales behind the Packers, Steelers, and Cowboys. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Ex-Bears QB arrested

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass, who was behind center for the bears from 1969-1975, was arrested in Lake Forest on Wednesday night and charged with criminal trespassing and criminal damage to property.

Officials said that the charges against Douglass, 63, stemmed from an incident involving his on-again, off-again girlfriend. (Chicago Tribune)

Bulls favored to win East
According to DonBest.com, a sports betting website, the Bulls are a plus-130 favorite to win the Eastern Conference title. They are followed closely by the Miami Heat and then, slightly more distantly, the Boston Celtics. Apparently, now that the Bulls have clinched the NBA's best record, people are starting to take notice. (www.donbest.com)

Sox getting some respect

Capperspicks.com, an online betting website, lists the Chicago White Sox as number six on their MLB power rankings. The Sox sit behind the Rangers, Indians, Rockies, Reds and Phillies in the rankings. In case were wondering...the Cubs were number 25. (CappersPicks)

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

No matter the metric or the occasion, the only thing definitive about the Bulls over the last two seasons has been their mystifying dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers in head-to-head matchups.

That, and their fascinating streak of consecutive wins while playing at home on TNT, a streak that could end at 19 games Thursday night when the two teams with varying objectives clash at the United Center.

The Cavaliers are searching to find themselves, along with a light switch that will perhaps alert them to a lost defense over the past several weeks that has been worst in the league since the All-Star break.

The Bulls are searching for consistency, but since it's probably a little too late in the season for that, they'll settle for a playoff spot with eight games left.

They'll take two straight wins for the first time in a month, if they can get it.

They'll extend a goofy streak, if that’s what things will come down to.

"The big thing is obviously you have to execute very well against this Cleveland team," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "You have to go out there with great urgency, great energy. I anticipate them coming in and playing with a ton of energy tomorrow. We're going to have to match that. We're going to have to come out and play physical basketball."

Having a big break between games this late in the season is a rarity, as the Bulls have been off since Sunday evening, but it's just another weird detail in this weird Bulls experience.

An experience that the mild-mannered Hoiberg has to experience from his couch some nights, such as watching the Miami Heat furiously steal a game in Detroit at the buzzer with a Hasaan Whiteside tip-in to extend a lead over his team to a game, followed by another win Wednesday to put more distance between the two teams.

"I did, actually," said Hoiberg with a smirk when asked if he's scoreboard watching and paying attention to the teams ahead of the Bulls in the playoff race.

After being prompted to give his raw emotions when Whiteside's tip-in occurred, he slipped right back to Robo-Hoiberg — although one can imagine how animated he must've been while looking to catch a break from a previous contender for the eighth spot in the Pistons.

"It is what it is," Hoiberg said. "You have to go out and worry about yourselves at this time of year. It was a great finish for Miami, obviously, the way that game ended. But there's nothing you can do about that. You've got to worry about yourselves and hopefully go out and execute."

Going 6-1 against the Cavaliers in his two seasons as Bulls coach is probably the biggest feather in his cap, including three wins in all three meetings this go round.

The rhyme or reason doesn't seem explainable, but Nikola Mirotic seemed to give a few keys to the Bulls' success over LeBron James' Cavaliers: Sharing the ball, controlling the glass and getting back on defense.

"Against big teams, we play much better," Mirotic said. "I don't know why is the reason for that. We need to find a way to play against everybody like that. It's on us. We just have to prove it."

Usually, those tenets seem to work against most teams, not just the supremely talented champions who've just lost a grip on first place in the conference.

But their inconsistencies have left the Bulls here with a handful of games left before the April 12th finale.

A win over Cleveland could mean everything, or nothing at all, or something in between.

"Sure, we understand," Mirotic said. "We've been in a very similar situation last year. We didn’t make the playoffs so this year we want to try to make that push. I think we have a good schedule for the last. Very important game tomorrow, huge one. I think we have played very well against Cleveland until now. We have a chance. We need to get out there and play with energy."