Next 14 games will tell the tale for the Bulls

In the next 14 games, the Bulls play only two games against teams below .500.   Both of those are on the road.   How the Bulls come out of those games will define whether we see them in May.   It will define whether this team is really improved or feasted on some weak competition. Portland Trailblazers
@ Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks
Utah Jazz
@ Orlando Magic
@ Miami Heat
@ Memphis Grizzlies
@ Dallas Mavericks
Cleveland Cavaliers
@ Philadelphia 76ers
Houston Rockets
Miami Heat

Now the Bulls aren't destined to lose all of these games.   Teams like the Grizzlies and Heat have similar records.   Still, it's a group of games where nine of the teams presently have better records than the Bulls, many significantly so.

What is the bar for this stretch?    I have to be honest.despite the good play recently, I'm not brimming with confidence.   If the Bulls managed a 7-7 over that stretch I'd be quite pleased and feel they were excellently positioned to close out the year.

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  • Considering how we were playing earlier in the year "feasting on some weak competition" IS a real improvement!!

  • The next 14 games are tougher, but Doug you just can't look at the Bulls' schedule.

    Toronto, Milwaukee, Miami and Charlotte all have TOUGH SCHEDULES in March, especially during the initial 2 weeks.

    The Bulls do play 10 home games as opposed to 5 road games in March, so that's an advantage for them. They also catch some of their tougher opponents on the second game of a back-to-back.

    That's going to help.

    Feel free to LOOK DEEPER, into the schedules!!!

  • TORONTO'S (#5) next 14 games:

    vs. Cleveland
    @ Oklahoma City
    @ Houston
    vs. New York
    vs. Philly
    @ LAL
    @ Sacramento (back to back)
    @ Golden State
    @ Portland (back to back)
    vs. Atlanta
    vs. Oklahoma City
    @ New Jersey (back to back)
    @ Minnesota
    vs. Utah

    MILWAUKEE'S (#7) next 14 games:

    @ Miami
    @ Atlanta (back to back)
    vs. Washington
    @ Washington
    vs. Cleveland (back to back)
    vs. Boston
    vs. Utah
    vs. Indiana
    @ LAC
    @ Sacramento
    @ Denver (back to back)
    vs. Atlanta
    vs. Philly
    vs. Miami

    MIAMI'S (#8) next 15 games:

    vs. Milwaukee
    @ Orlando (back to back)
    vs. Golden State
    vs. LAL
    vs. Atlanta
    @ Charlotte
    vs. LAC (back to back)
    vs. Chicago
    vs. Philly
    vs. San Antonio
    vs. Orlando
    vs. Charlotte
    @ New Jersey
    @ Chicago
    @ Milwaukee (back to back)

    CHARLOTTE'S (#9) next 14 games:

    @ Memphis
    vs. Dallas
    @ Boston
    vs. LAL
    vs. Golden State (back to back)
    vs. Miami
    @ Philly (back to back)
    vs. LAC
    @ Orlando
    @ Indiana
    vs. OKC (back to back)
    @ Atlanta
    @ Miami (back to back)
    @ Washington

    So, as you can see all the teams that the Bulls are competing with for a playoff spot have TOUGH SCHEDULES over the next few weeks. The Bulls need to take care of their business at home for sure.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Thanks for the list, I had wondered myself how tough the others have it, but hadn't taken the time yet to look it up.

  • Miami's is by far the worst of them all. They have to play us twice.

  • I would love to be 7 and 7 after this stretch.

    We need to beat Miami x2 and Memphis x2. That is where the bulk of our wins will come from.

  • In reply to cuillini:

    Let's have higher expectations than that, shall we.

  • In reply to cuillini:

    Or the Clippers.

  • In reply to cuillini:

    doug check out the heat's schedule for the rest of the year

    16 out of the their last 20 some games are against sub .5 teams. bad bad teams. Yeah they're without wade right now, but they really dont have to play exceptionally high level talent more than a handful of times for the next month or so.

    milwaukkee has a significantly more difficult schedule coming up. Also they play upper echelon teams 7 or more times for the remainder of their schedule, as well as play decent teams like Phoenix and memphis.

    this year will be a battle for the last seed in the playoffs. :(

  • In reply to cuillini:

    Time to play some real teams.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to cuillini:

    The Bulls have got a stretch of quality teams over the next 14. So what? Since when does the quality of the opponent make one lick of difference to these Bulls? When they play well they can beat anyone and when they play badly they'd get whooped by the whitney young jv. Simple as that.

    But I'm gonna put my fan goggles on and call it 9-5. 6-2 at home, 3-3 on the road. Losses to Utah, Orlando, Memphis & Dallas on the road and Cleveland.

    Let's get some wins!

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Good point about quality of teams and Bulls. I have never been able to pick a win for the Bulls. Schizophrenic team : ) Glad Im not part of any fantasy leagues right now.

    Bulls will torch a top team then roll over against WA. I have no idea what to expect from the next games. Just wishing for the best as I really want to be in the playoffs.

    Cant the bucks just roll over and die yet?

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Im hoping for the Bulls sake, they have an "Increase our ranking" standpoint rather than a "just stay afloat enough to capture 8th" one.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    This is what LEADERSHIP is all about!!! Check out this video.

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2010/02/24/20100224_chi_rose_arenalink.nba/index.html

    WOW!!! Who's excited after listening to that?

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I'm not worried about the current Bulls team. If the Bulls defense can stay on point, I don't see any reason they can't at least go .500 during this stretch which is admittedly brutal. Especially if Rose can have another breakout stretch like he did on that Western road trip. It would help if they would just let Joakim rest instead of placating him with six worthless minutes a game. Let him heal for a playoff run. If he can't keep in some kind of aerobic shape on a bike or other equipment at least the last couple of weeks of the season he can tune up, and hope for the best.

    The future of the team is another story. On that front I'm more then worried. Why am I starting to doubt any Max Free Agents coming to a cheap Bulls team when they know Miami, Cleveland etc. will spend the money/go over the cap like good teams do when they have a chance to possess multiple stars(Rose and a second all-Star). Paxson says it was only the Salmons trade which made signing a Max F.A. possible. To me it sounds like they are going to plan on staying under the cap which means they won't be able to have a talented deep roster to support the two stars significantly negating their value. Why would a F.A. want to come to a cheap team like that when other franchises like Miami will spend for two stars and second tier but quality players behind them?

    The more I think about it this staying under the cap garbage even after all the fan record attendance and profits makes me think stars are going to see Chicago as a cheap front for gullible fans and pass. I would if they plan on staying under the cap and housing a lame ass team just to "afford" a name F.A. All these fans just taking the company line, and going along with the notion that Chicago will be not assembling a nice supporting crew, but instead be financially hobbled due to a second star.

    That is the one exception, multiple stars, where you do spend. God, all this conformity makes me want to ralph. I agree with staying under the cap in most years, but then when you get a chance like this with Rose to be really good and get a second star then you reward the fans for at least a year or two and go for it. Plus the TV and merchandise ratings if you do contend in a loyal market like Chicago starving for a dominant team again would rake in the cash for the Bulls/Reinsdorf.

    All this talk of getting two stars and staying under the cap really makes me pissed at the acquiescing fans and the local brown nose media. This is bullshit.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    To be clear, when I say getting two stars I'm including Rose as one of the two. And I personally would be shocked and elated if despite criticisms we got Stoudemire if we can't land Bosh. Only one of those two or Wade would count for me as getting a game changing superstar.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    "People better get there sleep before they play Derrick Rose" (said off camera to Eric Snow).

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2010/02/24/20100224_chi_rose_arenalink.nba/index.html

    I like hearing that from DROSE. That's LEADERSHIP!!!

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Lets go Bulls!!! Tough schedule ahead! YOU HAVE TO WIN YOUR HOME GAMES!!!! Hopefully the Heat continue to lose and the Bobcats and Bucks continue to win...Wade out of the playoffs watching the Bulls play in the 1st round would be AWESOME!!!! It would Def. make him think.

    I want anyone...Bron,Bosh,Wade,Amare...I think those 4 are automatic game changers. Bron is the Best, Wade is a top 5 player in the league...Bosh and Amare running the pick and roll with Rose could be unstoppable. Joe Johnson,Booz,Lee,Gay would be decent complements to our team, but def. not the jackpot. Come to play every night!

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    mr happy has lost his damnmind

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I agree with Sammy that the Bulls will not attract a big name free agent cause these guys will remain with their teams except maybe Bosh who will probably end up in Miami with Wade cause he is tired of cold weather according to him. The Bulls may have a chance at Stoudemire if Bosh goes to Miami or vice verser. We all can forget about Lebron cause he is making fools out of New York and whoever else think that they are going to get him. He is not going anywhere, why would he when the NBA has already given him an all star team to try to win the championship with. It is really very sickening though how the NBA has really kissed up to one person in order to get him a championship. I know all bulls fans remember that the Bulls built their championship through the draft and that we should all have lots of pride knowing this, and that it really is too bad that Cleveland and Lebron has to have the NBA's help in order to get him a championship. Oh and one more thing, the Bulls excuse for not getting a free agent will be is going to be a little something like this, we did all we could but these players just thought it would be in their best interest to go in a different direction. Bulls fans look forward to another Ron Mercer like signing cause the Bulls and every other sports team in Chicago are just too cheap and stealing money from their fans and giving the fans false hopes. I hate saying this and I'm sorry for saying this but it is all too true with Chicago sports teams.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Reesel way to bring everyone down lol But ya, everybody pretty much knows LeBron will stay in Cleveland...but im telling ya, he would have a better future here in Chicago. Our team is better imo. Amare Stoudemire i believe should be in the talk with Wade,Bosh and LeBron. All 4 of those guys are game changers...If im the Bulls, realistically, i think i would go after Bosh and Amare the hardest. You gotta get Rose a big man.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    thats the obv picks.. if not them then do you trade for david west whos contract would be cheaper than hinrich and add joe johnson to get a overall better team?

    bosh
    amare
    wade
    trade
    lee

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    i think amare has to be higher than wade.. getting wade would mean moving deng because of shooting..which wont happend and means we would need to push the ball more and cant stop to play defense because getting back would be slowed..

    i put amare higher because if his main problem is defense and rebounding..then signin with us shouldnt be a problem because wer already the best rebounding team.. and defensively he has a chance to be the one of the best in the league and i think he would play more better overall in a change of scenery ..everybody does.. and him with noah and deng gives us size and length with 3 players who play hard everynight..(amares new motive to prove something)

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    which would probably last for a year and a half but if were wasting all this time to clear cap and promise a big time player then wasting time shouldnt be a problem we should look for a title team as soon as possible..we cant wait nomore..2010freeagency is almost here and is the front offices deadline

  • The Bulls need to win their HOME games. It's as simple and complicated as that. If they win their home games, they will be the 5th Seed.

  • FREE AGENCY and THE (LBJ) DOMINO EFFECT (PAY ATTENTION!!!):

    It's premature, but I have a thought about FREE AGENCY.

    In my opinion, LBJ IS THE LEAD DOMINO. Where he goes will dicate the movement of the other major free-agents.

    Bulls fans need to root for two things. One, that LBJ comes to the Bulls (long-shot). Or two, that he goes to New York or New Jersey.

    Here's why.

    If LBJ stays in Cleveland, than the only way the Bulls can compete for the Central Division title is if DWADE comes to Chicago. Bosh, Amar'e, JJ, DLee or anybody else won't get it done.

    If LBJ leaves Cleveland and goes to New York or New Jersey, than the Central Division is the Bulls to lose.

    Automatically DWADE, CB4, JJ, DLEE, AMAR'E and every other top free-agent knows the Bulls are a top 3 seed in the East and in contention for the NBA Finals, if they go to Chicago.

    If LBJ doesn't go to New York or New Jersey, than CB4 isn't coming here. Why is that? Because he knows that Toronto is just about ready to over-take an older Boston team in the Atlantic Division. He would have no reason to leave Toronto.

    If LBJ goes to Miami (long-shot), than DWADE isn't coming here either. Why would he? They are instant contenders for an NBA championship.

    Translation:

    If you are a Bulls fan, you need to root for LBJ to join the Bulls or head to New York or New Jersey in July.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to MrHappy:

    Good stuff Happy. Really optimistic. Don't think it'll work that way though.

    1) The only real choices for LBJ are Cleveland and Miami. I don't think LBJ can come to Chicago. He's from ohio, his mama will stop talking to him.

    2) I think I agree that if LBJ stays in Cleveland the only way we contend is with Wade. This has a little to do with Hinrich actually. We need to turn our worst starter into a hall of famer to compete. Here's what I've been working with. I'll use some PERs to show it. I don't think PER is the end all be all of player measurement but it's good for proving a point.

    Wade 27.6 Bosh 26.4 James 31.8
    Hinrich 11.0 Gibson 13.6 Deng 16.9

    Difference 16.6 12.8 14.9

    So getting Wade to replace Hinrich improves the bulls by 16.6 pts, almost deng's PER by itself. Wade would improve the team more than Bosh or even lebron. Especially since Taj's numbers are going to be better next year so he and Bosh will be even closer.

    Let's look at it another way. Here are average PER scores for some of the top teams in the league (starting 5) and where the Bulls fit in:

    Cavs 18.74
    Lakers 17.46
    Celtics 16.9
    Bulls 15.36

    Bulls w/bosh 17.92
    Bulls w/lebron 18.34
    Bulls w/wade 18.68

    Basically, if the Bulls want to maximize their improvement this offseason they should go after the SG position since it's a goldmine of potential for them. The improvement a PF gives you may be questionable for the price.

  • hahaha.
    Too funny, I nearly fell over.

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