The Bulls and the ‘Cats – are they compara-bull?
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    It might seem like the only similarity between the Bulls and the Wildcats is that they’re both strong basketball teams in Chicago that have yet to reach their full potential. However, the players themselves have a lot more in common than you would think. Read on to find out how both teams’ lineups stack up.

    Derrick Rose and Michael Thompson, courtesy of Keith Allison on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons, and Northwestern Athletics, respectively.

    Derrick Rose and Michael “Juice” Thompson

    Similarities: The two guards have quite a lot in common, including the fact that they’re both Windy City natives. D-Rose and Juice are dynamic scorers who have proven themselves as team leaders. They even have similar facial hair – both rock a thin moustache and beard.

    Differences: D-Rose is an explosive scoring threat and has single-handedly powered the Bulls to victories over and over again, and there are very few players in either the NBA or NCAA who can compare. The two Chicagoans also rack up their points in different ways: Juice is shooting over 40% from behind the arc, while D-Rose rarely shoots threes.

    Kirk Hinrich and Drew Crawford, courtesy of Keith Allison on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons, and Northwestern Athletics, respectively.

    Kirk Hinrich and Drew Crawford

    Similarities: Crawford and Hinrich are both consistent players who average around 10.5 points per game. Both have the ability to light it up, and their teams are significantly better when they’re playing well.

    Differences: As Crawford matures and improves as a player, his role on the team will also grow, and he’ll be unstoppable by his senior year. Hinrich, who has already played in the NBA for six years, likely won’t improve much more.

    Luol Deng and John Shurna, courtesy of Keith Allison on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons, and Northwestern Athletics, respectively.

    Luol Deng and John Shurna

    Similarities: Deng and Shurna have been two of the most consistent players on their teams this season. They have both have made up for the absences of teammates – Shurna has stepped up in the absence of Kevin Coble, while Deng has filled the scoring void that Ben Gordon left after signing with the Pistons.

    Differences: Shurna is absolutely essential to his team and leads the ‘Cats in scoring and rebounding. Deng ranks 3rd in importance behind Rose and Noah – he’s a solid scorer and rebounder, but he doesn’t lead the team in either category.

    Taj Gibson and Jeremy Nash, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons, and Northwestern Athletics, respectively.

    Taj Gibson and Jeremy Nash

    Similarities: These bald-headed ballers both play with a lot of heart and always hustle between plays. Their up-tempo style of play is infectious, and their teammates often feed off their energy.

    Differences: Nash is a streaky shooting guard who is hard to stop when he’s on a roll and hard to endure when he goes cold. Gibson, on the other hand, is a forward and consistently plays well every game.

    Joakim Noah and Luka Mirkovic, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons, and Northwestern Athletics, respectively.


    Joakim Noah and Luka Mirkovic

    Similarities: These two center-forwards stand tall at 6’11. They have both improved tremendously over the past season and are crucial components of their teams.

    Differences: The big men play very different emotional roles on their squads. Noah is undoubtedly the emotional leader of the Bulls, while Mirkovic is a quiet player who leads by example.

    Alex Marcotullio, courtesy of Northwestern Athletics.

    Jannero Pargo and Alex Marcotullio

    Similarities: Both are streaky shooters who usually come off the bench. Neither has really made it into the regular lineup, and they’re both only averaging around 4.7 ppg this season.

    Differences: Marcotullio comes off the bench as a 6th man with regularity, while Pargo has rarely been able to crack Vinny Del Negro’s seven-man rotation. As a freshman, Marcotullio still has a lot of time to improve, while Jannero has never thrived as a starter.

    Unless NU pulls of a miracle and wins the Big Ten Tournament, ‘Cats fans will likely have to wait another year before seeing their team make it to March Madness. For anyone suffering ‘Cats withdrawal, the Bulls can help make the offseason a little more beara-bull.

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