Chicago Sports: Chicago Bulls

Carlos Boozer. Kirk Hinrich. Joakim Noah. Derrick Rose. These names are seen around campus on the backs of local Wheaton students’ jerseys supporting their hometown basketball team. All symbolize an era of the past for the Chicago Bulls. But now, we are all witnessing a new batch of Windy City players that have had their ups and downs throughout the 2016-17 NBA season.   
With chaos ensuing in the front office and a host of new faces on the roster, many thought the Chicago Bulls’ season would turn out to be another mediocre season, filled with injury, disappointing losses to below average teams and a longing for the bygone days of Jordan and Pippen.
Amidst the pickups for the Bulls were veteran players Rajon Rondo, former Boston Celtics point guard and Chicago native, and three-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade. With these two joining the ranks alongside Jimmy Butler, Fred Hoiberg’s Bulls trudged their way through the regular season en route to a 41-41 record and squeaked into the playoffs in the eighth spot in the East.
In years past, playoff basketball was second nature to the Chicago Bulls and their fans, but considering the recent rocky team chemistry and inconsistent success, how would they fare verses Brad Stevens’s top-seeded Boston Celtics lead by MVP candidate, Isaiah Thomas? As Sunday rolled around, the Chicago Bulls brought their heart, hustle and muscle to TD Garden where all in attendance witnessed, as Wheaton College senior Zach Naylor put it, “A Bobby Portis Masterclass.” The Bulls, largely carried by star Jimmy Butler’s 30 points, were ecstatic with the performance of forward Bobby Portis’ 19 points in their 106-102 victory.
To the surprise of the sports world, the Bulls dug deep once again and pulled out a 111-97 win on the road on Tuesday night led by six players with double-digits points. As the series moves to Chicago for the next two games, fans on Wheaton’s campus and the greater Chicago area are gearing up to clinch a potential second round playoff with two wins at home. The Bulls also have the potential to be the sixth #8 seed in NBA history to eliminate a #1 seed since the league expanded to a 16-team playoff format in 1984.
No one is promising an NBA finals appearance, but keep your eye on the Chicago Bulls, recently coined the “TNT Bulls”, as they look to keep their 20 game home win streak on TNT alive. It will be hard to find a more exciting place to be in Chicago this weekend than the Madhouse on Madison.

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