Boozer keying Bulls' hot streak


Boozer keying Bulls' hot streak

Its hard not to notice Carlos Boozers play over the last couple of weeks.

Over the last five games, the 10-year veteran is averaging 23.2 points and 12 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the field.

Hes playing very well, coach Tom Thibodeau said. Were feeding off him. Him getting established in the post is very important for us. Hes making a lot of good plays and his teammates are doing a good job of searching him out.

His 27-point, 12-rebound performance in last Fridays win over Miami might be one of his best performances on the season, considering the opponent.

Never one to take personal credit, Boozer was quick to deflect the attention away from himself onto the overall improved play of the team.

Im just playing off my teammates, Boozer said. Were trying to step it up a little bit and get some more wins. We had a tough couple of weeks in 2012 and new year, we have a couple of resolutions and the biggest one is to get more wins.

While the team has responded well after a disappointing loss to Charlotte on New Years Eve, everyone has been impressed with Boozers play, even if its with a little light ribbing.

I be teasing Booze a lot, Nate Robinson jokingly said, speaking on Boozers jumpshot, which hes a fan of. I tell him youre the only big two-guard Ive seen. He needs to be in the three-point contest during All-Star weekend.

Booze has been doing a hell of a job. As of late, hes been doing a lot more hustling, getting on the ground, getting dirty and thats what we need him to do; continue to play, be aggressive on offense. Hes been doing a way better job on defense, getting loose balls and hustling. Its been great and thats the player that we need him to be.

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut


Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.

It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.

The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.

James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.

Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.

It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.

That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.