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Bulls Bracket 2018: The best memes and moments of the season

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Finding the best and the worst of Bulls basketball this season.

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I’m bringing back the Bulls bracket. I last did this in 2014. Go back and read that one if you want to remember what it’s like to be happy as a Bulls fan. I also did a proto-version in 2013, which was won by the immortal Cuppy Coffee.

Please include your Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4 and title game winner in the comments.

Bulls Bracket 2018

The Corey Benjamin region

1. Zach LaVine gives a girl a puppy vs. 16. Antonio Blakeney G League explosions

Blakeney’s G-League scoring outbursts are cute, but ....

Not this cute.

Winner: LaVine’s puppy.

8. Lauri’s Borat impression vs. 9 Lauri’s thumbs up Borat avi

Very few things more delightful than Lauri Markkanen being a “Borat” superfan. The Ringer had him read some lines:

Still, I prefer the more subtle tribute in his Twitter avatar:

Lauri Markkanen voice: very nice!

Winner: Thumbs up avi

5. Mom trip vs. 12. See Red Fred

Hot takes or moms?

Answer: always moms.

Winner: Mom trip

4. Markkanen Knicks dunk vs. 13 Luka Doncic liking Markkanen’s IG photo

It’s not gonna happen:

I think we’ll look back at Markkanen’s 33 points in Madison Square Garden as his true coming out party. There is no doubt this was the defining moment:

Winner: Markkanen dunk

6. Nate Scott’s “Bulls in Six” tribute vs 11. My hate mail

SB Nation’s Nate Scott picked out his favorite stories of 2017 and I don’t know if I should feel honored or owned.

Bulls in 6

I don’t know if this is an essay, a rant, an argument, a devastating work of a broken man or a masterstroke of genius, but nothing made me laugh harder this year than Ricky O’Donnell’s “Bulls in 6”, a piece that manages to rip down an organization and show an undying love for it all in a few hundred words.

Meanwhile, this is the shit See Red Nation likes to tweet at me:

My uncle Lou is the only person to retweet that.

Winner: Nate on “Bulls in Six”

3. Bobby Portis flexes vs. 14. Lauri Markkanen flexes

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery ....

This is literally the only thing Portis beats Lauri in.

(also maybe fighting)

Winner: Portis flexing

7. Thibs gets a T for yelling at his own player vs. 10. LaVine out-dueling Jimmy

That Feb. 9 Bulls win over the Wolves was iconic:

Not as iconic as Thibs getting a technical for yelling at Karl-Antony Towns, though.

Winner: Thibs T

2. RoLo’s t-shirts vs. 15 P.J. Rose Jurassic Park themed bday party

Robin Lopez’s t-shirt collection is elite:

I only have one question about the P.J. Rose party: Is that Derrick in the dino suit????

A post shared by Pj Mommy (@miekajoi_) on

I’m choosing to believe yes, yes it is.

Winner: P.J.’s party

Round of 32

1. Zach LaVine’s puppy vs. 9. Lauri’s twitter avi

Winner: LaVine puppy

5. Mom trip vs. 4. Markkanen’s Knicks dunk

Winner: Markkanen’s Knicks dunk

6. Nate on “Bulls in Six” vs. 3. Portis flexes

Winner: Portis flexes

7. Thibs gets a T for yelling at his own player vs. 15. P.J.’s party

Winner: Thibs T

Sweet 16

1. Zach LaVine’s puppy vs. 4. Markkanen’s Knicks dunk

Winner: LaVine puppy

3. Portis flexes vs. 7. Thibs gets a T for yelling at his own player

Winner: Thibs T

Elite Eight

1. Zach LaVine’s puppy vs. 7. Thibs gets a T for yelling at his own player

Winner: LaVine puppy

Puppy to the Final Four.

Dragan Tarlać region

1. The Punch vs. Thibs’ smile

The Punch is the most embarrassing Bulls moment of all-time. There was nothing cool or funny about it. It was dangerous and stupid. I would take 500 Rondo Instagram rants over one more punch.

On the other hand:

Winner: Thibs’ smile

8. Felicio’s plus-minus vs. 9 Felicio jetboat time

How bad has Felicio been this season?

This season with Felicio on the court, the Bulls have a net rating of -24.8. With Felicio as a starter, the Bulls are an unfathomable -38.7.

Pretty bad.

Conversely:

When she doesn’t text back

Winner: Jetboat time

5. Portis-Niko two man combo vs. 12. This D. Rose tweet

One of the underrated joys of the Bulls’ jarring improvement upon the return of Nikola Mirotic was how well he paired with Bobby Portis.

Chicago is scoring 126.2 points per 100 possessions with Portis and Mirotic on the floor, while allowing just 92.5 points per 100 possessions, according to data from NBA.com. That net rating of 33.7 is better than any other lineup the Bulls have deployed this season, though you have to account for the small sample size of just 44 minutes played together over just four games this season.

It was pretty neat the way they were able to produce on the court even while not talking off of it!

But.

Winner: This D. Rose tweet

4. Jimmy and Taj tribute vs. 13. Thrusting Ref

It’s a good thing I didn’t go to this game because I would have been crying.

Guess what: Thrusting Ref doesn’t give a fuck about your feelings.

Winner: Thrusting Ref

6. Bulls can’t score against four guys on the floor vs. 11. GRANDSON JOEY

Nothing is more 2017-18 Chicago Bulls than this:

This is exactly why we need Grandson Joey so bad.

Reinsdorf was against having the All-Star Game in Chicago for forever. Grandson Joey changed that overnight.

Get this kid into analytics. He’s our only hope.

Winner: Grandson Joey

3. RoLo ejection vs. 14. RoLo chair throw

The ejection was good:

And the chair throw was even better:

7. Mighty Mateo’s halftime dunk contest vs 10. Nwaba jerseys

This is my dude:

But Mighty Mateo in a halftime dunk contest was just the sickest thing I’ve ever seen. I was blessed to be there in person:

Mighty Mateo > Hinrich.

Winner: Mighty Mateo

2. Cam Payne’s scooter vs. 15. Justin Holiday, Rock Star

Pretty good:

Better:

The real rock star.

Winner: Cam Payne’s scooter

Round of 32

16. Thibs’ smile vs. 9. Jetboat time

Winner: Jetboat time

12. This D. Rose tweet vs. 13. Thrusting ref

Winner: Thrusting ref

11. Grandson Joey vs. 14. RoLo chair throw

Winner: Grandson Joey

2. Cam Payne’s scooter vs. 7. Kid dunk contest

Winner: Kid dunk contest

Sweet 16

9. Jetboat time vs. 13. Thrusting ref

Winner: Thrusting ref

11. Grandson Joey vs. 7. Kid dunk contest

Winner: Kid dunk contest

Elite Eight

13. Thrusting ref vs. 7. Kid dunk contest

Winner: Kid dunk cotest

MIGHTY MATEO TO THE FINAL FOUR AS A SEVEN SEED

Norm Van Lier region

1. Markkanen blocks a shot off Steph’s face vs. 16. Lauri does the same dunk as LeBron

“Same dunk” was pretty dope, but c’mon: nothing beats Lauri spiking this shot right off Steph’s dumb face and bad goatee.

8. Denzel Valentine’s Express ads vs. 9. Thibs vs. Nick Friedell

“HE MAY HAVE.”

Apologies to the bad ads. Team Thibs, always.

Winner: Thibs vs. Friedell

5. Boozer/Nate Rob podcast vs. 12 This Bulls/Bucks sequence

I NEED THIS T-SHIRT

Winner: Boozer/Nate podcast

4. TimberBulls vs. 13. “Locomotive Package”

I don’t know why this is so fucking funny to me, but it is.

Winner: TimberBulls

6. Trading for Omer Asik vs. 11. Kirk Hinrich’s rookie photo

I still haven’t forgiven Asik for missing those free throws against Philadelphia in 2012.

Meanwhile, on “The OC”:

Winner: Rookie Kirk

3. 7-game winning streak vs. 14. Kris Dunn yelling “Fuck him” to Alec Burks

Hey, I loved that winning streak while it was happening. Do I regret it now? Um. Obviously.

Anyway. “FUCK HIM”

Kris Dunn screams “F—k him” after hitting the dagger on Alec Burks.

A post shared by House of Highlights (@houseofhighlights) on

Winner: “Fuck him”

7. Trading Jimmy Butler vs. 10. Paying D Wade $39 million for 66 games

Life is meaningless. Eat at Arby’s.

Winner: lmao giving Wade all that bread

2. LaVine poster on JaKarr Sampson vs. 15. This dude literally eating his words

To make it even more ruthless: JaKarr Sampson got his ass sent to the G-League immediately after this.

Don’t eat paper, kids. That’s weird.

Winner: LaVine poster

Round of 32

1. Markkanen block off Steph’s face vs. 9. Thibs vs. Friedell

Winner: Markkanen block off Steph’s face

5. HolDat podcast vs. 4. TimberBulls

Winner: TimberBulls

14. “Fuck him” vs. 11. Rookie Kirk

Winner: Rookie Kirk

2. LaVine poster vs. 10. Paying D-Wade $39 million

Winner: LaVine poster

Sweet 16

1. Markkanen block off Steph’s face vs. 4. TimberBulls

Winner: Markkanen block

2. LaVine poster vs. 11. Rookie Kirk

Winner: LaVine poster

Elite Eight

1. Markkanen block off Steph’s face vs. 2. LaVine poster

Winner: Markkanen block off Steph’s face

Steph’s bruised head and ego to the Final Four.

Rusty LaRue region

1. Jordan Bell’s cash considerations taunt vs. 16. Including the No. 16 pick in the Butler trade

Imagine John Paxson’s face when he saw this lmaooooo

Winner: Jordan Bell’s Cash Considerations taunt

8. Kris Dunn’s faceplant vs. 9. Kris Dunn’s Mighty Ducks jersey

That faceplant was scary, man. Adam Banks over head trauma all day.

Winner: Mighty Ducks jersey.

5. Jimmy falls out of the boat vs. 12. Markkanen pregame dunks

I watched a lot of Lauri Markkanen at Arizona and never did I think he’d be pulling this shit off:

I’m still loyal to Jimmy, though. Personally, I prefer the Taylor Swift version:

4. Henry the Kid Reporter vs. 13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

We love Henry the Reporter:

But not as much as we love Harold’s.

Winner: Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

6. D-Rose pay me double vs. 11. Tony Allen’s Bulls career

Hit me, Wilmes:

Very good. But I remain 0% over this D. Rose quote:

Derrick wants that Ron Baker money!

Great, now I’m incredibly sad.

Winner: D. Rose “Pay me double”

3. Tanking vs. 14. Tank shaming

You idiots.

You big, dumb idiots.

Winner: Tank shaming

7. Markkanen permission vs. 10. “The Bullchelor”

The Bulls are officially trying harder at making viral videos than they are at, like, winning basketball games.

Anyway. This owns.

Winner: Markkanen permission

2. That Noah Instagram with Deng and Gordon vs. 15. Jimmy’s Taj tribute

Did both make me weep? Yes. But only one reduced me to rubble.

Winner: Noah’s IG with Lu and Ben

Round of 32

1. Cash considerations taunt vs. 9. Kris Dunn’s Mighty Ducks jersey

Winner: Cash considerations taunt

5. Jimmy falls out of a boat vs. 13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

Winner: Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

6. D. Rose “Pay me double” vs. 14. Tank shaming

Winner: Tank shaming

7. Markkanen asks Scalabrine to wear No. 24 vs. 2. Noah’s IG with Lu and Ben Gordon

Winner: Noah’s IG with Lu and Ben Gordon

Sweet 16

1. Jordan Bell’s cash considerations taunt vs. 13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

Winner: Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

14. Tank shaming vs. 2. Noah’s IG with Lu and Ben Gordon

Winner: Noah’s IG with Lu and Ben Gordon

Elite Eight

13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie vs. 2. Noah’s IG with Lu and Ben Gordon

Winner: 13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

A Cinderella run for Bill’s selfie.

Final Four

1. Zach LaVine gives a girl a puppy vs. 7. Mighty Mateo’s dunk contest

Do you know what Mighty Mateo’s dunk contest didn’t have? A PUPPY.

Another good point here:

Winner: Zach LaVine gives a girl a puppy

1. Markkanen blocks a shot off Steph’s face vs. 13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s Selfie

On one hand: Lauri Markkanen sticks with Steph on the perimeter and then humiliates him by blocking a shot off his nose. Extremely good shit.

On the other hand: Bill Wennington proudly eating chicken.

Winner: Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

National championship

1. Zach LaVine gifts a girl a puppy vs. 13. Bill Wennington’s Harold’s selfie

Our chicken Cinderella ends here. The face when you win the Bulls bracket:

Winner: Zach LaVine gives a girl a puppy