Bulls

Road Ahead: Bulls return home to close out first half of season

Road Ahead: Bulls return home to close out first half of season

Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue preview the Bulls' upcoming home games against the Raptors and Celtics on this edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

After ending their six-game road trip with a thud in Minnesota, the Bulls return home to close out the first half of the season this week. 

Ending their current three-game losing streak won't be an easy task, though, as a pair of Eastern Conference contenders hit the United Center floor. First up, the Toronto Raptors, who currently sit at No. 4 in the playoff standings, head to town for a Valentine's Day matchup. The Bulls have shown little love for the Raptors recently, beating them nine straight times. 

The Bulls then get set to face Isaiah Thomas and the red-hot Celtics Thursday night before getting a much needed All-Star break. Unfortunately for the injury-riddled Bulls, their chances of picking up two crucial wins before All-Star weekend may be directly tied to the health of Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. The top scoring threats both sat out Sunday afternoon's game against the Timberwolves, resulting in a 117-89 blowout.

Watch Schanowski, Gill and Perdue break down the upcoming games in the video above.

 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Fred Hoiberg the coach of the future?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Fred Hoiberg the coach of the future?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly) and Nick Friedell (ESPN.com) join Kap on the panel.  The Bears coordinators meet the media.  So how much will a new coaching staff improve the team?

Fred Hoiberg has the young Bulls playing hard.  So is he the coach of the future?

The Blackhawks are struggling to get their messaging right regarding Corey Crawford’s injury, John McDonough stands by Coach Q and Stan Bowman and Nick gives an impassioned defense of Sammy Sosa after Tom Ricketts says he needs to put everything on the table to be welcomed back to the Cubs.

11 Bulls - including Cameron Payne - received a player vote to start in the All-Star Game

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USA TODAY

11 Bulls - including Cameron Payne - received a player vote to start in the All-Star Game

Maybe the rest of the NBA has really taken notice of the Bulls' recent play. After all, they're 13-8 since a putrid 3-20 start and are within shouting distance (if you yell really loudly) of the No. 8 spot in the East.

So maybe that's why 11 different Bulls - including the infamous Cameron Payne - received at least one vote to start in the NBA All-Star Game in February. That, or the players could not care less about the voting process and made a mockery of it for a second straight year.

This could become a get-off-my-lawn story, and we could go on for hours about why the NBA should really reconsider giving players 25 percent of the vote on starters. Then again, as a whole they seemed to get it right in the East, with Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan in the backcourt, and LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid in the frontcourt. 

But instead of complaining, let's just get to the hilarious results and show you how the Bulls fared in both the player and fan voting (no Bulls received any media votes, because they shouldn't have).

Fun fact: The Bulls combined received 170,669 fan votes. That's about 5,000 less than Rockets center Clint Capela received. Their 31 combined player votes were two more than Carmelo Anthony received, so yeah.