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NBA playoff stars’ Chicago connections

May 13, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Chicago Bulls, Sports & Entertainment, Sports & Entertainment (Non Front Menu)

League MVP and Chicago native Derrick Rose wasn’t the only hometown hero Chicagoans could have rooted for at the start of the NBA playoffs this year.  Check out the playoff stats of four stars with a Chicago connection below.  Roll over and click on each image to learn more about the players who made heroic efforts to claim this year’s championship.

Photos by Keith Allison licensed under Creative Commons
Wade photo
Rose photo
Brown photo
Garnett photo


Who’s playing this week? Your guide to the games

The Bulls are heating up as they move on to next round of the playoffs against the Heat, and the Chicago Fire are cooling down as they head north to Toronto this week. Take a peek at who’s playing who, how teams fared against each other the last time they faced off and predictions from fans about the outcomes for this week’s series.

Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants (Home)
May 13, 2011 1:20 PM

“I’m assessing the season already, overall, and I have to say, they usually tend to do better with the difficult opponents, so I’m going to say that they’re going to do fairly well against the Cardinals and the Giants, and then they’re going to go back to their usual ways.” Rebecca Parrilla, 40, Cubs fan from Andersonville

Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics (Away)
May 13, 2011 9:05 PM

The Chicago White Sox only pulled off 1 of 3 wins during their April series against the Oakland Athletics.  Here’s a recap of the last game and tune in for another three-game series this weekend.

Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics (Away)
May 14, 2011 3:05 PM

According to, Gavin Floyd has been confirmed to pitch Saturday’s game.

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC (Away)
May 14, 2011 6 PM

Watch the Chicago Fire as they play Toronto FC at BMO Field.

Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Game 1 (Home)
May 14, 2011 7 PM

The Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night and will now move on to the Eastern Conference finals, where they will take on the Miami Heat Sunday at 7 p.m.

Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants (Home)
May 14, 2011 6:10 PM

Mike Harber, 30, a Little Italy resident, on who will take the series: “I think the Giants will probably win. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Cubs at this point, just to be honest. People get mad at me, but I guess I’m too much of a realist.”

Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants (Home)
May 15, 2011 1:20 PM

Jeremy English, 26, a Fox Lake resident, on his prediction for the three-game series against the Giants: “Two out of 3 against the Giants.  Depending on our pitching matchups, I think we can do it.”

Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics (Away)
May 15, 2011 3:05 PM

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds (Away)
May 16, 2011 6:10 PM

Matt Garza may be pitching Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, according to

Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers (Home)
May 16, 2011 7:10 PM

Check out Bloomberg Sports’ season predictions for the White Sox.  Are they living up to their potential?

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds (Away)
May 17, 2011 6:10 PM

Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers (Home)
May 17, 2011 7:10 PM

The White Sox couldn’t pull off a win in their last spring training game against the Rangers on March 12. Which team do you think will take home more runs this week?

Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins (Away)
May 18, 2011 6:10 PM

Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians (Home)
May 18, 2011 7:10 PM

Jake Peavy has been listed as the probable pitcher for Wednesday night’s game against the Indians, according to Check out how he’s been playing on

Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Game 2 (Home)
May 18, 2011 7:30 PM

How will the Bulls fare against the Heat with a home-court advantage? Check out this NBA Intelligence recap from the last time both teams played in sweet home Chicago.

Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians (Home)
May 19, 2011 7:10 PM

Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins (Away)
May 19, 2011 6:10 PM

“Well, you know, 2003, that’s like a rivalry now. We always have to… win those games, but the Marlins have a decent team. I would rank them just a tad bit better than the Cubs at this point.  That should actually be a good series. We’ll see what happens.” -Mike Harber, 30, Little Italy resident

Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox (Away)
May 20, 2011 6:10 PM

Andersonville resident Rebecca Parrilla, 40, on how the Cubs are faring this season: “It’s such a toss-up this year. They’re so inconsistent, and they’re not producing any runs either. That’s the big problem they have, is that they’re not getting RBIs. They’re not getting the hits when they have the base runners. Hopefully, that’s going to turn around.”

Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Home)
May 20, 2011 7:10 PM


Our favorite places to watch our favorite teams

May 13, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Beer, Chicago Bulls, Sports & Entertainment, Sports & Entertainment (Non Front Menu)

Some are winning and some are losing, but at least they’re playing.

Chicago has three major teams currently in the hunt for greatness, and with spring finally blooming, there are plenty of places to watch the Bulls battle for Eastern Conference supremacy (and the White Sox and Cubs battle for .500 records).

Check out this edition of the Chicago Loopster for a comprehensive list of some of the best places in the city to watch your teams get their win on. And if you’re in the mood to do a little bit of celebrity-watching at halftime, take a look at our list of Chicago’s top celebrity hangouts.

Additional information courtesy of



Victory Liquors – 2610 N. Halsted St.,

With an 84-by-164-inch TV plastered to the wall and three separate rooms for those who prefer to watch in a calmer atmosphere, this Lincoln Park/DePaul bar is a perfect place to cheer on D-Rose and the Bulls in the company of plenty of your fellow enthusiasts.

Four Shadows – 2758 N. Ashland Ave., (Menu)

For those who would rather watch the game with hardcore fans instead of the casual passerby, this is the place for you. This Lakeview spot features 22-ounce Miller Lite stadium cups for four bucks, tons of TVs and some of the best wings and tater tots in town.



Cork and Kerry at the Park – 3258 S. Princeton Ave.,

Can’t get in to the game? Head over to Cork and Kerry at the Park. Forget about the fact that it’s located on the outskirts of U.S. Cellular Field, or that you’ll be surrounded by fellow ChiSox fanatics: The food is the big draw here. In addition to featuring traditional game-day food, Cork and Kerry also masterminds specialty items inspired by whatever team the Sox are playing. (And don’t worry – they’ll be happy to make vegetarian accommodations.)

Shoeless Joe’s – 10290 W. Higgins Rd., (Menu)

How can you ignore a White Sox bar with a name like that? calls it, “The next best thing to actually being at U.S. Cellular Field,” and not only because it’s named after the infamous Black Sox orchestrator. The menu leaves little to be desired, offering steaks, ribs and burgers, and it features 30 TVs and – big news – a clean bathroom.



Murphy's Bleachers

Murphy’s Bleachers – 3655 N. Sheffield Ave.,

This is the go-to spot for Cubs fans before, during and after games. Located right across the street from Wrigley’s bleacher section, Murphy’s boasts plenty of daily specials ($1 mini burgers on Mondays!), an extensive and moderately-priced beer list and it was named Chicago’s best sports bar by AOL CityGuide in 2004.

Sluggers – 3540 N. Clark St., (Menu)

This Wrigleyville spot loves all of its Chicago sports equally, but with the Blackhawks currently out of season, Cubs fans dominate. With over 30 TVs (including six 10-foot big screens), batting cages, skee ball and dueling pianos after every Cubs home game, you’ll never be bored (even if there’s a rain delay).



Rockit Bar & Grill – 22 W. Hubbard,

Blackhawks phenoms and BFFs Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane enjoy this River North spot, which is definitely known better for its burgers than its plasma TVs. Slightly more upscale, this is a place where you can get the best burger in the nation, according to “Good Morning America,” but you can still enjoy the game.

Hub 51 – 51 W. Hubbard,

Whether it’s Jessica Simpson, the White Sox’ Gordon Beckham or the Bulls’ Kyle Korver, Hub 51 – though deemed by some to be a bit hoity-toity – is the place to see and be seen while seeing the game. If there’s a game happening sometime from 3 – 6 p.m., definitely stop by for half-price sushi, but outside of those hours, the tacos, crab nachos and ahi tuna burger are must-haves while celeb-watching.

The Fifty/50 – 2047 Division St.,

No matter what day of the week it is or what game is on, anyone from the Blackhawks’ Jordan Hendry to the Dodgers’ Marcus Thames to Jake Peavy of the White Sox flocks to The Fifty/50 for some of the best burgers, sweet potato fries and milkshakes in the city, not to mention the beer selection. Warning: Among the three levels of seating, the temptation to people-watch could interfere with your game-watching.

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First round playoff preview: Chicago Bulls v. Indiana Pacers, or There Won’t Be Blood

Apr 15, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Chicago Bulls

Photo by Marissa Oberlander

Looking back at the regular season, Chicago won three of its four games against Indiana, a team that hasn’t made the “contender” list on many power polls.  Indiana only came out on top after head coach Jim O’Brien was fired and replaced by the more capable assistant coach Frank Vogel for the remainder of the season.  Also, the Pacers victory was eked out in overtime while the Bulls won their games by 13, 19 and 21 points. Let’s look at the starting lineup match-ups:

Point Guard: Derrick Rose v. Darren Collison

Though stat geeks have built a strong case opposing the “Derrick Rose for MVP” freight train, those favoring the eye test over analytics don’t think his candidacy is worth much debate.  Collison did have a solid sophomore season, but don’t look for him to slow Rose down more than anyone else.

Shooting Guard: Keith Bogans v. Paul George

Though coach Thibs has been defending his decision for Keith Bogans to be part of the Bulls starting lineup since last year, the maligned shooting guard plays fewer minutes than any Bulls rotation player besides Omer Asik and CJ Watson.  The Pacers’ Paul George has been a pleasant surprise as a rookie, but this match-up is likely to have the least impact on the outcome of the series.

Small Forward: Luol Deng v. Danny Granger

Luol Deng has been revitalized by Coach Thibs and his improved three-point shooting has been a critical part of the Bulls offense.  But his defense has been even more impressive, gaining individual recognition on a defensive powerhouse that is typically credited only as a unit.  Much of Indiana’s success hinges on Granger, whose decrease in scoring was offset by an increase in health this season, appearing in more than 67 games for the first time in three years.  Deng has won their head to head battles this season however and that should continue here.

Power Forward: Carlos Boozer v. Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough may have benefited the most from the Pacers in-season coaching change, as he more than doubled his scoring average under Frank Vogel.  Carlos Boozer has significant playoff experience and will look to take some of the scoring load off Derrick Rose in the first round with the anticipation of more difficult series to come.

Center: Joakim Noah v. Roy Hibbert

Joakim Noah looked unhindered by his right ankle sprain in the season finale, and should be able to use his athleticism and often grating enthusiasm to contain the much improved, but still inconsistent, Roy Hibbert.

The Bench

The Bulls don’t have a specific bench player who will be in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year, but a discussion of the award identified the Bulls second unit (aka The Bench Mob) as one of the league’s strongest, specifically on the defensive side.  Look for this group to completely shut down Indiana’s reserves and even their starters as they often see time early in fourth quarter against opposing starting units.

Coach:  Tom Thibodeau v. Frank Vogel

Both rookies, Thibodeau is a favorite for Coach of the Year, tying Paul Westphal and Bill Russell for the most victories by a rookie head coach.  Vogel is an “interim” coach who is unlikely to lose the interim tag.  Dunzo.

The Pacers 37 win record would put them 12th in the West and is one of the poorest playoff records in recent NBA history.  Also, they don’t have the The White Mamba.

Prediction:  Bulls in five.

Playoff Game Schedule



Video: Highlights from the Bulls regular season

Apr 15, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Chicago Bulls

There isn’t much the Chicago Bulls didn’t accomplish this year. After an offseason where a few of the NBA’s best players took their talents elsewhere, the Bulls added a new head coach and 10 players to their roster, and entered the 2010-2011 season with soaring expectations.

The results were the league’s best record at 62-20, the overall No. 1 seed in the playoffs and leading candidates for Coach of the Year and Most Valuable Player. And all of this despite losing key players to injury for nearly 60 games. In short, it’s been a remarkable season.

But the Bulls aren’t done. As the team opens the playoffs Saturday against the Indiana Pacers at the United Center, expectations are even higher than at the start of the season. Led by All-Star point guard Derrick Rose and tireless coach Tom Thibodeau, who some credit as the key to the Bulls success this year, the team is primed for a deep post-season run.

Chicago Loopster takes a look back at some of the top plays from this season and reasons why the city of Chicago is looking forward to the running of the Bulls.

Derrick Rose: from child to potential MVP

Apr 15, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Chicago Bulls

On the eve of the NBA Playoffs, we take a look back at the rise of Derrick Rose from South Side youth to potential MVP.

Front page photo by Keith Allison
Keith Allison on Flickr

Bullseye: A map of popular Chicago Bulls hangouts

Apr 15, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Chicago Bulls

The Bulls players can usually be found on the basketball court, but when they’re not taking shots there, they can sometimes be found taking shots — albeit of a slightly different kind — at a number of Chicago hotspots. Click on the locations below to see where you should go for post-game drinks if you want to have a run-in with the Bulls.


Anatomy of a winning season

Apr 15, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Chicago Bulls

The Bulls ended the 2010-2011 season with the best record in the league and fans are angling for an MVP trophy for star Derrick Rose. Here’s a look from start to finish, in the words of bloggers, fans and reporters who cover the team.