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  1. #1
    Retired Bandwagon Mod clonetrooper264's Avatar
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    Default The Return: NBA 2k15 Association

    I figured I'd start one of these up again to give me more motivation to play the game. I've only played maybe 5-6 games since I've gotten it which is hardly worth the money I put into it. I will try to be somewhat regular with this and not fall off the face of the earth like many of these tend to do. If you read my 2k13 association things, you know what to expect. I'll try to keep the commentary fresh.

    The deets:

    Team: Chicago Bulls

    Difficulty: Superstar (still haven't gotten used to these mechanics over 2k13's yet so this will go up as I get used to the game...should be HOF by the All Star Break). I'll give notice when the difficulty goes up.

    6 minute quarters (for both user and CPU)...don't have as much time as I did in college to play the full 48 minute games. Plus, I can plow through more games in a day when I do have the time. The stats will be lower as a result, obviously.

    Simulation sliders...I might fiddle with these later, but this is what I'll roll with as default

    82 game season (full 7 game playoffs). I will sim the season up through tonight's game (Pacers game) and start the "story" from there. For whatever reason, I don't see the setting to start the season at its current point. I will be going at my own pace though. Also, I'll be simming games here and there because 82 games is a lot of games.

    I am using the latest roster update as of today (11/15) and the CPU teams are allowed to make whatever moves they feel like.

    Naturally, the goal is the championship, but I make no guarantees.



    If anyone does end up reading through these, hope you are entertained. I try to have fun with these, so I hope you do too.
    Bulls season be like
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  3. #2
    Retired Bandwagon Mod clonetrooper264's Avatar
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    Note: Record after simming through Pacers game: 7-3. Coincidence? lol

    Also, all the injuries in the roster update did not carry into the mode, so all injured players came in healthy (Paul George, KD, Westbrook, etc). Any injuries reported are the random simulated ones.

    Bulls fall short against Clippers

    The Bulls couldn't quite get it together as they fell to the Chris Paul and the Clippers on the opening game of their annual Circus Trip. Derrick Rose had 13 points and 6 assists in 18 minutes, but it wasn't enough to counter the Clippers' hot shooting. The Clippers shot a blistering 64% on the night, using a late 2nd quarter run and unnaturally hot shooting to down the now 7-4 Bulls. Chris Paul had 13 points and 7 assists and Spencer Hawes had 8 points and 8 rebounds for the Clippers, who were without Deandre Jordan who was out with a sprained ankle.

    Derrick Rose was able to play in his 11th straight game without any injury complications, but struggled with his shot, shooting just 4-10 from the field and 1-4 from distance.

    "I'm just taking it one game at a time, seeing how my body feels," said Rose. "I'm feeling good so far, I'm able to play the way I want to play."

    The Bulls' starters outside of Rose and Butler struggled to score the ball, combining for just 8 points. The bench unit was able to pick up some of the slack, scoring 24 points, but with the Clippers firing on all cylinders, the Bulls quickly found themselves in a double digit hole they could not quite climb out of.

    "It's disappointing for sure," said Taj Gibson, who was held to just 3 points and 1 rebound. "We're a better team than that. I'm not sure what happened...I guess they were just making shots tonight, hats off to them. We'll just have to look at the film and see what we can adjust for the next game."

    Rookie watch: Bulls rookies Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic received nearly 10 minutes off the bench. Mirotic scored 6 points on 2-4 shooting while McDermott had 3 points on just 1-5 shooting. It appears coach Tom Thibodeau was more willing to let them play through mistakes in this game, even though it may have played a factor in the Clippers' big runs in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

    The Bulls will have two days rest before playing the first half of a back to back against the Sacramento Kings.
    Bulls season be like
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    Bulls cruise past Kings while Rose sits

    Panic set into the hearts of Chicago fans when it was reported that Derrick Rose would sit out the game against the Sacramento Kings with a strained calf injury sustained in practice. Detractors immediately came forth questioning Rose's ability to stay healthy and his mental toughness to play through pain. The Bulls, however, were unfazed as they calmly walked over the Kings to earn their first win of their annual West coast road trip. Kirk Hinrich started in Rose's place and had a game high 7 assists while playing stout defense on Kings guard Darren Collison (6 points, 4 assists, 2-5 FG). Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 12 points while Mike Dunleavy added 10 points for the Bulls, who were able to find their offense in this game, shooting 62% from the field.

    "We had good looks to start the game and that got our confidence going," said Butler. "Once we got that hot start, it was like it spread through the whole team and we couldn't miss. Even the bench guys came out firing."

    The Bulls bench once again had a good showing, scoring 21 points as a whole, led by Doug McDermott's 9 points. Aaron Brooks added 5 points and 2 assists for the Bulls' bench effort.

    "I thought the bench guys did a great job of providing us with a spark," said Tom Thibodeau. "They were not only able to keep the lead, but extend it while they were in the game. It allowed me the opportunity to give some of our starters a rest."

    Pau Gasol played just 13 minutes in the game, scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.

    "It was nice to get to rest a little in this game with the back to back situation," said Gasol, who was a perfect 3-3 form the field and held Carl Landry to 2 points. "It's a long season so it's always nice to get a little rest here and there when you can. Hopefully it'll allow me to come out strong next game with fresher legs."

    Demarcus Cousins led the Kings with 10 points and Ramon Sessions added 8 points off the bench. The Kings fall to 6-6 with the loss.

    The Bulls will play the Portland Trailblazers as the second part of their back to back.
    Bulls season be like
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    Lopez scores 15 as Blazers defeat Bulls

    The Bulls were pleased to have Derrick Rose back in the lineup after missing their previous game against the Kings, but his return was spoiled by Robin Lopez and the Blazers' hot shooting. The Blazers came out guns blazing in the first half to rocket to a 33-20 halftime lead. The Bulls were helpless in the paint where Lopez and Lamarcus Aldridge combined for 12-13 shooting and 30 points.

    "I really have no explanation," said Joakim Noah, who had a miserable game with 2 points and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes. "We just couldn't get stops. It didn't matter if we were in their face or not, they made everything they threw up in the first half. It was frustrating for sure."

    The Bulls did put forth a valiant comeback effort in the second half, even tying the game behind the efforts of Rose, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half. However, the rest of the team had a hard time finding the basket and they could not complete the comeback, eventually falling short 68-63.

    "We definitely did a poor job in the first half executing and that's ultimately what cost us the game," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "We did a good job in the second half getting where wanted to on the court and getting more stops, but ultimately we dug ourselves in too big a hole for us to get out of this time. There's a lot of things we'll need to work on after this game."

    Rose led the Bulls with 20 points, but no other Bull scored more than 9 points. Rose was seen after the game limping towards the locker room which immediately set off red flags among the Bulls' fan base.

    "I'm just a little tight," said Rose. "They told me it was an injury that could take a week or two to heal fully. I felt ok tonight, but we'll just have to keep checking it to see where it's at. If I'm able to play, I'll play."

    The Bulls will get a couple days rest before facing the Utah Jazz.
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    Rose sits again while Bulls crush Jazz

    No Derrick Rose? No problem. The Bulls were once again without Derrick Rose, who sat out after aggravating a calf strain in their last game, but received a huge game from Jimmy Butler as they cruised to victory over the now 3-12 Jazz. Butler led the Bulls with 18 points, taking charge of the game in the second half to put the Jazz on their backs. Taj Gibson added 10 points on a perfect 5-5 from the field to lead a 31 point bench effort in the win.

    Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 11 points, but received little help from the rest of his team which was shut down by the Bulls' suffocating defense. Trey Burke was held to a woeful 1-15 from the field and Derrick Favors was held to just 1-3 shooting as the Jazz shot under 40% for the game.

    "Kirk played great defense tonight," said Pau Gasol, who had 6 points and 4 rebounds. "He locked down Trey and Dante when he was in the game and I think he really got in their heads. He had a solid game offensively too. I think he and Jimmy were the real leaders of the game tonight, causing havoc on both ends of the court."

    Hinrich had 5 points and 5 assists starting for Rose.

    Rookie watch: Both Bulls rookies struggled in the game. Doug McDermott shot just 1-4 and Nikola Mirotic shot 1-7 in a disappointing performance for both rookies. Dante Exum also struggled in this game, shooting 1-6. The Jazz's other rookie, Rodney Hood, scored 4 points on 2-2 shooting.

    The Bulls will play the second half of another back to back in Denver.
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    Robinson scores 19 in loss to Bulls

    Everyone remembers Nate Robinson's magical season with the Bulls 2 years ago where he helped lead a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team to the second round of the playoffs in a season with no expectations. Robinson electrified crowds with his shot making and passionate energy and quickly became a fan favorite in Chicago. However, he ended up signing a two year deal with the Denver Nuggets. He got a chance to square off with the team that helped him reestablish his career as he started for the injured Ty Lawson. Robinson did what many remembered him doing in Chicago, dropping ridiculous 3s and slicing his way to the rim for seemingly impossible layups and floaters. He finished with 19 points and 7 assists against his former team, but was ultimately defeated soundly by an offensive onslaught by the Bulls.

    Pau Gasol led the way for the Bulls with 14 points while Kirk Hinrich added 12 and former Nugget Aaron Brooks scored 10 as the Bulls were able to blow by Denver for their 10th victory of the year.

    "It was crazy to see how far they've come," said Robinson. "They're a tough group of guys. I still consider them my brothers. I had a great time in Chicago and if the cards were dealt differently, maybe I could've stayed there. But I'm here in Denver and I'm just trying to help this team get wins. We fell short tonight, but we're looking forward to our next game."

    "It was a great effort all around," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "Obviously Nate had a great game, but we did a solid job overall of getting a hand in his face and making him take tough shots. He's a shot maker and he definitely made shots tonight. We did a good job of keying in on everyone else and forcing misses. We had 6 blocks on the night which shows how well we were contesting shots all night. If we can keep up this intensity on defense, we're a tough team to beat."

    Derrick Rose once again sat out with a calf injury and critics immediately began to question his value to the team given their 3-0 record with him out of the lineup and their disappointing loss to the Trailblazers with him playing.

    "I couldn't care less about what they say," said Rose. "If I can play, I'll play. I've been working closely with the training staff and we've come to the conclusion the past couple days that it would be best for me to rest it and get healthier before I step out on the court again."

    The Bulls will have two days off before they play the Celtics in their next game. Rose is a game time decision for that game currently.
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    Bulls shake up roster; trade Dunleavy, Hinrich, sign Allen

    The Bulls announced a surprise trade following their victory over the Denver Nuggets dealing Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy Jr, and E'Twaun Moore for 76ers star guard Michael Carter-Williams and JaKarr Sampson. Carter-Williams was last year's Rookie of the Year posting averages of 16.7ppg, 6.2rpg, 6.3apg, and 1.9spg shooting 40.5% from the field (26.8% from 3) and 70.3% from the free throw line. In 14 games this season with the 76ers he has averaged 8.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 4rpg, and 1.3spg in 17.9 minutes shooting 39.5% from the field (100% from 3) and 78.6% from the free throw line.

    "We're thrilled to welcome Michael to the Bulls organization," said Bulls GM Gar Forman. "We feel that Michael gives us a great option at either guard spot who can produce on both ends of the floor very well. Obviously he had a great rookie season and has been building upon that this year. We're hoping that together we can take his game and our team's game to the next level."

    The Bulls sent longtime Bull Kirk Hinrich and sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy Jr to the rebuilding 76ers, who presumably found the expiring contracts of Hinrich, Dunleavy, and Moore favorable in their rebuilding plan. Hinrich was averaging 4.4ppg, 1.1rpg, and 2.5apg for the Bulls in 15 games (3 starts) on 52.9% shooting (59.1% from 3) and 85% from the free throw line. Dunleavy was averaging 5.5ppg, 1.9rpg, and 1.5apg in 15 games (all starts) shooting 47.2% from the field (48.3% from 3) and 82.6% from the line.

    Moore played sparingly for the Bulls this season, appearing in just 3 games and averaging 1.7 minutes in those games.

    Additionally, the Bulls announced the signing of NBA's all time leader in three point field goals, Ray Allen, to a one year deal worth. The deal was reported to be an estimated 3.5 million with a player option for next year should Allen choose not to retire.

    "We're extremely fortunate to add Ray to our roster," said Forman. "His body of work is apparent. He's a championship player, a seasoned veteran, and a great leader. We feel he can not only be a leader to this team, but also contribute significantly on the floor. He keeps himself in great shape and he looks as good as ever."

    "I'm excited," said Bulls guard Derrick Rose on playing with his new teammates upon returning from his calf injury. "They're gonna add a whole new dynamic to the team and I'm glad to have them."

    "We'd like to thank Kirk for all he has done for the Chicago Bulls organization," said John Paxson, Bulls President of Basketball Operations. "He has been the embodiment of Chicago Bulls basketball for a good part of the past decade and we were hoping he could finish out the rest of his years in the league as a Bull, but with the deal we had on the table, we found it too good to pass up. We also thank Mike for his time here. He had a great season last year stepping up for us and he was a class act all the way. We wish them the best of luck in Philadelphia."

    Carter-Williams and Allen are both expected to be in uniform for the Bulls' next game against the Celtics on Friday. They will have a full 2 days of practice to get used to their new teammates before taking the court. It is unknown if either player will start or if they will come off the bench to start off.

    Carter-Williams will wear jersey number 2 and Allen will wear 34, the same number he wore as a Supersonic.
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    I should note that I do not have trade override on...any trade I make is CPU approved. Did I just scam the 76ers CPU? Maybe...but that was the actual offer that it made so...

    If you're actually following this, hopefully that makes you a little more interested.
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    Carter-Williams shines in Bulls debut as Bulls down Celtics 65-47

    Michael Carter-Williams showed Bulls fans who may not have had a chance to see him play much last season a glimpse of why he was voted Rookie of the Year. Carter-Williams scored 9 points on 4-6 shooting (1-1 from 3) while adding 4 rebounds and 4 assists, showing the all around game that made him the face of the 76ers last year. Carter-Williams and fellow new Bull Ray Allen both came off the bench for their debut games. Allen played 9 minutes and scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting. Carter-Williams played 13 minutes while Aaron Brooks, who started for the injured Derrick Rose, played 12 minutes, scoring 4 points and dishing 6 assists.

    "It's great to be part of this group of guys," said Carter-Williams. "They definitely know how to win and they all work their butts off each and every day. I can't wait to get to know them more and continue to gel with them. I think this is a special group right here."

    The Bulls also got a boost from rookie Doug McDermott, who made his first career start, taking the place of Mike Dunleavy, who was part of the trade that brought Carter-Williams to Chicago. McDermott scored 8 points in 15 minutes, including a pair of 3s, and looked very comfortable with the starting unit. He added 3 assists to round out his solid first start.

    "It's a privilege honestly," said McDermott of his first start. "Coach could've picked a number of guys over me to be the starter, but he picked me and I'm just grateful to have that opportunity, even if it's just for one game. I don't know how long I'll be starting or if it was just a one time thing, but it was definitely an experience I won't forget."

    The Celtics were plagued by poor shooting, or the Bulls' suffocating defense depending on how you looked at it. The Celtics were held to just 41% shooting and were outrebounded 22-17. They scored just 20 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to the Bulls' 15 as they fell to 4-9. They were led by Avery Bradley's 10 points. Rajon Rondo added 9 points and 4 assists.

    Allen, who won a championship in Boston, was mostly ignored by the crowd during his time on the court. Some Boston fans held bitterness towards Allen for signing with Miami two seasons ago, however it seemed that the Boston crowd was mostly indifferent to Allen.

    The Bulls will finish off their annual Circus Trip in Brooklyn on Sunday.
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    Carter-Williams trade signaling end of Derrick Rose's tenure in Chicago?

    The Bulls shocked everyone when they were able to acquire Michael Carter-Williams from Philadelphia for Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy Jr, and E'Twaun Moore. However, more than just the talent upgrade, was the trade foreshadowing more changes down the line?

    Carter-Williams' natural position is point guard, the same position that the recovering Derrick Rose plays. How does Chicago plan on integrating the two together? Do they even plan on integrating them? Will both start? Will one be forced to play off the bench? Carter-Williams played behind Aaron Brooks against the Celtics, but that was undoubtedly due to him still trying to learn how his new team plays.

    Tom Thibodeau has run two point guard lineups in the past, using Rose and Kirk Hinrich, Hinrich and Nate Robinson, and Hinrich and DJ Augustin in recent years. It is conceivable that Rose and Carter-Williams could start in the backcourt together. But is this the ultimate plan? With Rose coming off of two major knee surgeries, it may be more likely that Carter-Williams's presence on the roster is signaling the end of Derrick Rose's time on the roster. Rose has played well to start the season, only just recently missing time due to a calf injury. It's possible a team may be willing to take a chance on the former MVP.

    Regardless of the Bulls' plans with Rose, they have a very capable insurance policy in the 23 year old Carter-Williams, who could very well be the face of the franchise if Rose is somehow shipped off. Only time will tell what the Bulls' intentions with Rose are.
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    Simmed about a month's worth of games. Also made things very interesting.

    Record after simulation: 16-9 (1st in division, 2nd in conference behind Miami)
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    Bulls part ways with Rose in massive blockbuster

    The Chicago Bulls decided it was time to part with native star Derrick Rose in a massive blockbuster deal following their victory over the New York Knicks. In a 4 team, 11 player deal, the Bulls acquired Wizards guard John Wall, Golden State Warriors forwards Harrison Barnes and Brandon Rush, and Portland Trail Blazers guard Will Barton. The Wizards received Rose and Aaron Brooks from the Bulls and sent guard Andre Miller and forward Drew Gooden III to Golden State and Portland respectively. The Warriors received Bulls swingman Tony Snell to round out the deal.

    Rose played in 21 of 25 possible games for the Bulls so far this season, but comments made regarding his mentality with injuries as well as constant media coverage of whether or not he was healthy or not proved to be enough for the Bulls to decide to part ways with the former MVP. They acquire perhaps the closest thing to Rose, however, in John Wall, whose athletic ability and playstyle will likely remind Bulls fans much of Rose's play.

    "It was a very tough decision to trade Derrick," said Bulls GM Gar Forman. "He was playing very well this season amid all the questions about his health and his mental toughness and I think he proved many doubters wrong. However, as we looked to the future, we felt that this deal gave us a lot of flexibility, as well as depth throughout our roster that was not only talented, but young. We feel we have a great group of guys now in John, Michael, Jimmy, and Harrison who can grow together and be a very formidable group of guys for the next decade. Additionally, getting Brandon and Will, these are guys who will give us depth on the wing and provide a high level of play on both sides of the ball."

    "I don't really have any hard feelings," said Rose, who was averaging over 10 points per game on 50% shooting in his attempt to regain the MVP form that many felt was lost after his two knee injuries. "I'm definitely going to miss the city and everything...I mean, it's where I grew up, it's where my heart is you know? But right now I'm a Washington Wizard, so I just have to go out and show DC the same kind of effort and level of play that I was playing in Chicago. They have a solid group of guys...they beat us last year in the playoffs, so you know they're not just a team. We'll try to get them to the next level."

    This trade reunites former high school teammates Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott, who led their high school team to the state championship only a few years ago.

    "It's awesome that we get to play with each other again," said McDermott. "We've obviously found ways to fit together even though we technically play the same position. I think we definitely could go out there together and do some damage."

    Barnes was averaging just 5.8 minutes in Golden State playing behind Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. It's unclear how Barnes will fit in this Chicago lineup featuring Michael Carter-Williams, Jimmy Butler, and Ray Allen already taking up minutes on the wing in addition to his now reunited teammate McDermott.

    "Well I feel like I have a versatile game," said Barnes. "I can play the 2, 3, or 4....whatever the team needs me to do. I can play inside and outside depending on matchups, fast or slow, big or small, whatever the situation is I can adapt. I think it'll be a good situation."


    All of the new Bulls will be in uniform for their next game against the Grizzlies.
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    New Bulls shine as Bulls roll over Grizzlies 58-39

    The Bulls acquired 4 players between their last game and their game against the Grizzlies. It didn't seem like any of the new Bulls were lost as they steamrolled the Grizzlies on both ends of the court, shooting 54% while holding Memphis to 39% shooting.

    Perhaps the biggest acquisition, John Wall, led the way with 11 points and 2 assists in 17 minutes in a very promising debut. He started alongside Michael Carter-Williams, who is technically the only other point guard on the roster. Carter-Williams played 15 minutes and appeared to take the role of distributor to Wall's scorer as he took just 4 shots, making 1, and adding 5 assists. Both guards provided lockdown defense on Grizzlies guard Michael Conley, who was held to 3-13 shooting.

    Memphis was led by Zach Randolph's 10 points and 3 rebounds in a woeful performance for the Western Conference leaders.

    The Bulls received a big boost from Harrison Barnes, who came in off the bench to score 9 points in 11 minutes. Barnes was utilized mostly as a stretch forward by Tom Thibodeau and it paid dividends as Barnes was able to drain three open 3s during a stretch in the 3rd quarter to help blow the game wide open.

    "It wasn't all perfect," said Barnes. "I had to do a better job defensively on ZBo, but I was able to take advantage of a few situations and it helped us."

    This game also marked the first time that Bulls forward Pau Gasol faced off against his broth Marc as a Bull. Marc had just 3 points and 1 rebound on 1-4 shooting while Pau had 10 points on 4-6 shooting and 2 rebounds.

    "It's always fun going up against Marc," said Pau. "He's actually bigger than me so he's no pushover. Fortunately, I know all of his moves, so I'm able to lock him down."

    The last new Bull to get playing time this game was Brandon Rush, who did not attempt a shot, but did provide 2 assists and a block in 5 minutes.

    "I feel like our defensive intensity was very good this game," said Tom Thibodeau, whose team amassed 2 steals and 7 blocks on the night. "All of the guys we got are great one on one defenders and that really showed tonight. They don't know all of our schemes yet, but they're all good enough with their instincts to make the right plays and they did great tonight."

    Regarding rotations, Thibodeau appeared to be experimenting with several different rotations, at times using a small lineup with either Barnes or McDermott at power forward.

    "It'll be one of the challenges going forward," said Thibodeau regarding rotations. "I think we had the most success when we staggered John and Michael's minutes because that allowed us to have a true point on the floor at all times. I'm not sure if we'll make any changes yet, but it's something that I will be discussing with them and the rest of the coaching staff."
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    The current roster if you care

    1-Michael Carter-Williams
    2-John Wall
    3-Doug McDermott
    5-Will Barton
    6-Brandon Rush
    9-Jakarr Sampson
    13-Joakim Noah
    16-Pau Gasol
    21-Jimmy Butler
    22-Taj Gibson
    34-Ray Allen
    40-Harrison Barnes
    41-Cameron Bairstow
    44-Nikola Mirotic
    48-Nazr Mohammed
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    Lazy update

    Traded Will Barton and Jakarr Sampson for Beno Udrih because I wanted to have another PG and I figured I'd never use those guys anyway so...yeah. Played a couple games and simmed a couple games. Won the ones I played, lost the ones I simmed. Currently I am a little after Christmas in the calendar.

    Rolling with a starting group of Wall, Butler, Barnes, Gasol, and Noah. MCW doesn't really seem to be destroying bench players like I thought he would be. Maybe I just suck.

    Probably gonna up the difficulty soon.

    Roster after trade

    1-Michael Carter-Williams
    2-John Wall
    3-Doug McDermott
    6-Brandon Rush
    13-Joakim Noah
    16-Pau Gasol
    19-Beno Udrih
    21-Jimmy Butler
    22-Taj Gibson
    34-Ray Allen
    40-Harrison Barnes
    41-Cameron Bairstow
    44-Nikola Mirotic
    48-Nazr Mohammed
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    Upped difficulty one level

    Edited Jimmy Butler's midrange shooting stat to match his real life improvement. Upped stamina rating of big men so they can play more than 20 minutes without having no stamina

    Simmed until January. Record is now 23-12, good for 2nd in the East behind the Heat (26-9).

    Harden drops 18 as Rockets outlast Bulls

    It was an old fashioned shootout as the Bulls hosted the Houston Rockets at the United Center. It may have been a cold Monday in Chicago, but the teams were anything but as both teams shot over 50% from the field and 40% from three. While the game was close through three quarters, it was the Rockets who managed to pull away in the fourth as Chicago's starters faltered down the stretch.

    James Harden led all scorers with 18 points, but received a lot of help from rookie forward Kostas Papanikolaou, who started in his first NBA game for the injured Trevor Ariza. Papanikolaou scored 13 points on 6-7 shooting and added 4 assists and 3 blocks, including impressive blocks on the perimeter shots from Harrison Barnes down the stretch. Patrick Beverley added 14 points while Dwight Howard was held to just 5 points and 5 rebounds.

    Chicago was led by Michael Carter-Williams who scored 11 points off the bench, but despite seemingly scoring with ease all game, Chicago found itself struggling for baskets in the fourth quarter, where they shot just 38%. John Wall has held to just 2 points and did not hit a field goal in the game while being heavily pressured by Patrick Beverley.

    The Bulls bench scored 38 points, and it was them that Tom Thibodeau turned to in the waning moments of the game to try to mount a comeback after falling into a 7 point deficit with 2 minutes to go. Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic both contributed huge threes to pull the Bulls within striking distance, but the Houston defense proved to be too much for the Bulls as they could not connect on four straight possessions to end the game.

    "It was definitely a tough loss," said Jimmy Butler, who scored 5 points while also trying to contain Harden's offense. "We didn't play great defense and really, we let them control the pace of the game. We couldn't keep up because that's not really the way we play."

    "I think some guys were definitely more fatigued than usual," said Tom Thibodeau. "It's on me to make sure guys are able to play their best down the stretch of close games by managing their minutes. I think it was clear I did not do that well tonight."

    The Bulls will look to bounce back against the Jazz on Wednesday.
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    Bulls blow out Jazz behind Wall's 13

    The Bulls bounced back in a big way from their disappointing loss against the Houston Rockets by dismantling the Utah Jazz. The Bulls dominated from the start and never looked back as they were able to coast to a 69-49 win. John Wall led all scorers with 13 points, showing far more aggressiveness than he did against Houston. Doug McDermott added 11 points and Taj Gibson added 8 points off the bench.

    Dante Exum led the way for the Jazz with 10 points and 5 assists while Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward each added 9. However, the Jazz bench could not match Chicago's as they were outscored 19-39.

    "It definitely felt good to come out and get this win," said Wall. "We were definitely upset with how we played at the end of the last game and we came out with fire tonight. If we show this kind of effort every night, we're a very tough team to beat."

    "It was a total team effort," said Joakim Noah, who had 7 rebounds and 3 assists. "When we go out there and play as a unit, everything just clicks. I think we're really getting into a groove with each other and it's showing."

    The Bulls also outrebounded the Jazz 26-17 and were able to force 6 turnovers leading to 6 points.

    "I think getting out in transition is what gave us a spark," said McDermott, whose 11 points marked a new career high. "It really plays to the strengths of guys like John and Mike when we're able to force turnovers and get out in transition. We have great finishers in transition and a lot of guys who can make plays so we definitely need to do our best to make sure we give ourselves those opportunities."

    The Bulls will host Derrick Rose and the Washington Wizards in the first half of a back to back on Friday.
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