Bulls win, Raptors lose. Bulls 1/2 game back

If the Bulls beat the Raptors in their head to head matchup, then the Bulls will be tied in the loss column with them.   They lose the tie breaker to the Raptors though, so they'll need to finish a game ahead of them in the win column at the end of the day.

Let's update our rest of the way schedules.

Chicago 35-38 Toronto 35-37 Charlotte 38-34 Miami 40-34
Phoenix @Charlotte Toronto @Detroit
@Washington LA Clippers Philly @indiana
Charlotte @Philly Milwaukee @Minnesota
Milwaukee GS @Chicago Philly
Cleveland @Cleveland Atlanta Detroit
@New Jersey Boston @New Orleans @New York
@Toronto @Atlanta @Houston @Philly
Boston Chicago Detroit Nets
@Charlotte @Detroit @New Jersey
New York Chicago

As you can see, since the last schedule listing, Miami and Charlotte are pulling pretty far out of reach.  Miami is definitely out of reach as they don't play a team making a legitimate effort to win the rest of the season.

Charlotte would be similarly out of reach, but since the Bulls play Charlotte twice, they actually could conceivably close the gap though it's unlikely.

Toronto is obviously the team the Bulls are chasing, and to be honest, in a perfect world, the Bulls would knock Toronto out of the playoffs.   That would give Bosh incentive to leave in the summer, it would raise the Bulls in his minds eye for knocking him out, and it would make Minnesota get Charlotte's draft choice this year which would mean the Bulls would get their draft pick from them earlier.

The Raptors have 10 games left, of those, five are against teams that are at least decent and trying to win.  Of those five games, three are on the road (which means likely losses to me, especially given how the Raptors are playing now).    I predict the Raptors finish out the season 6-4 for 41 wins on the year.

The Bulls have nine games left.  Of those seven are against teams who will legitimately be trying to win, however, the final two games (Boston and @Charlotte) may turn into laughers if those teams rest players because their seeding is all locked up already.    There's a fair chance that this will happen. 

Still, the Bulls schedule looks tougher down the stretch than the Raptors.   Also, the Bulls will need to finish with one more win than the Raptors with one less game to play.   If the Raptors go 6-4 then the Bulls need to go 7-2 to top them.   Right now, that's what I predict they'll need to do.

They've gained ground recently, so we'll get some fun reports on the radio tomorrow, and there is reason to be hopeful, but the Raps just got done with a tough stretch of games, and the Bulls just played some easy ones.   The tables are about to turn, and it will be tough for the Bulls to hang on. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • I personally see Bulls only winning against Washington and the Nets(with Phoenix as a maybe) for the remaining games(assuming the opponents play at full strength. The only Toronto losses would be Cleveland, Boston and Atlanta(and Charlotte as a maybe). I am afraid to say this, but the Raptors will win the 8th spot :(

  • I have Raptors winning 6 of their final games (including the Celtics game). As for us I have us winning 3. Call me pessimistic. Great win tonight, fell asleep a little in the 3rd but we were never in serious danger of losing. God I am enjoying BG being one of the worst players in the league lol. Ronald FLIPPPPPPP baby.

  • The Bulls no longer allow alcohol on the team charter, sources said. Coach Vinny Del Negro instituted the rule with management support after a verbal incident between two players that started on a recent flight and resumed in a hotel lobby.

    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    had to involve Flip, he looks like a dude that does not want to be ticked off ever.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I can't wait to hear what Chris Bosh said about his team losing a BIG lead.

    It could be entertaining.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Nice review! Doug...
    But I feel that you are being conservative giving Toronto 6 wins. They have a tough schedule and will probably go 5-5. Bulls do have a tougher schedule but hope Deng can return and give a boost...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    doubt glass deng will return to help.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You know wat I think, I think we need to win every game to even have a shot at making the Post season. Idk who TOR will beat or lose to but it doesnt matter. If we dont play well it wont matter. I would Hope that somehow Lebron gets hurt and we dont play him in that game and BOS chooses to rest their players. Also that Tor continue to crumble and milwaukee and Charlotte dont care about us possibly coming up. I feel like our next few games are soo important but we gotta start now by winning in PHX. We cant throw out numbers and not win. We are sooo lucky for losing ten and still being in it.

  • I never expected Ben to be one of those guys to sign a big deal and stop trying, boy was I wrong. Ben doesn't even try out there.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Gordon was always a dog, once he got paid, he just layed down on both ends of the floor.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Hey Doug, Ronald Freakin Flip Murray 23, Ben Gordon 3.

    Anybdoy remember that crazy talk early in the season on this site about Gordon playing "like" an All-Star.

    Vindication is so sweet, as Detroit heads for 60 losses, and Gordon shoots 30% from 3. So now he sucks at the only thing that he was good at, thats has to be worth $11.5 million per, or at least 6/$54.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    The Bulls need to go 6-3 while Toronto goes 5-5. Needless to say the Bulls have to win the game against Toronto.

    Realistically the Raptors are the likely favorites in only 5 games, Clippers, Philly, Golden State, Detroit, and New York.

    Given the way that they are playing, the could easily lose to Golden State and even New York. Of course, they have sort of had our number lately, and if we respond to that big game the way we did against Miami, then our goose is cooked.

    Unfortunately, the likelihood of the Bulls going 6-3 does not look good. We could easily go 3-6. However, if Noah can finish strong we might have a shot. We have to beat the Wiz, Charlotte twice, New Jersey and Toronto. Then we have to pull one out against Phoenix, Boston, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Atlanta. Maybe Phoenix who we have had a little success against lately, or maybe Atlanta lays an egg as they are wont to do.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Toronto seems to be falling apart. Triano benched a healthy Turkoglu.

    http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/65633/20100329/triano_benches_healthy_turkoglu/

    If Bosh stops caring and starts thinking about free-agency, they are done.

    He's a professional, but his frustrations might just get the best of him.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Also, don't give the playoffs to Milwaukee just yet.

    They may just come back to the pack. I know they have a 6 game lead on the Bulls, but they barely beat Memphis yesterday and I could see them possibly losing 8 more games this year.

    MILWAUKEE'S SCHEDULE:

    vs. Clippers...looks like a win.
    @ Cleveland...could be a loss.
    @ Charlotte...could be a loss.
    vs. Phoenix...could be a loss.
    @ Chicago...could be a loss.
    vs. New Jersey...looks like a win.
    @ Philly...could be a loss.
    vs. Boston...could be a loss.
    vs. Atlanta...could be a loss.
    @ Boston...could be a loss.

    If the Bulls get HOT and win 12/14 down the stretch, they might just catch the Bucks.

    You never know what could happen. The Bulls need to keep WINNING.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Doug: You have Bulls playing Charlotte twice (which is cirrect) but you have Charlotte only playing the Bulls once.

    Of course, that last game of the year may not matter much

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    In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Even though it's nice to have Noah back (sort of) no Deng, no playoffs imho. Or a much tougher road at least. I do think Toronto can be counted on to tank a few for us - they're not going to be strong down the stretch. You guys are talking about 6 wins for one team, 7 for the other, etc. I'm not sure if either team will look that good. It's going to come down to who sucks the least.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Taj is averaging great numbers recently, and James Johnson hasn't been slouching as he usually does, so I don't think we're missing Deng too much atm. I would really like him though because he is still an upgrade over our current 3's, and Depth is always good. This offseason though I would love to somehow get rid of Deng because I want Taj starting...

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    It's amazing that there is even a conversation after the Bulls lost 10 in a row or whatever it was. What does that say about the East?

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    You can't live in the past, but some games are more important then others. Make no mistake the aftershock of that Miami beat down will live on at least until it is avenged. It's one thing if they get behind big, and then come back and make a game of it and lose. But to just get your ass beat down the whole game, by a heated rival..?

    Of course Miami had two things the Bulls don't. A big in Jermaine O'Neal who when he wants to can still score around the bucket. Having somewhat of a comeback season with 14 ppg on .533 shooting, and he's played in 67 ball games with 7 boards and 1.4 blocks. Not bad for a former star with bad knees. The other thing Miami has is a defensive system in place that whether Riley is coaching or not exists. The HEAT's defensive field goal percentage is .438 and they only allow opponents 94 ppg.

    For years Miami has used the Riley way of putting a big in the low/mid lane, and just cheat as much as possible staying in the lane to shadow a defender of the other team's star/penetrator. It takes creative adjustments to thwart this strategy including a lot of different looks and hyper spacing with a lot of guys out on top to make the cheating, lane zoning big stand out. Then you have to use double screens and dish off to a cutter so the zoning big is out of position. At least you get a sense of getting to the basket, and he may get into foul trouble/you at least get trips to the line.

    Vinny offensively is no technician nor the do the Bulls possess one. And the other thing you do in a critical showdown where someone is just shutting down your offense is you fight which means you play Derrick Rose/your star basically the whole f-ing game. And you make it a fight with him representing, and you give him every play call/system/tool you can use to help him, but you tell him to go out there and fight those son of a bitches all game long. I guarantee if they had that approach derrick Rose would not end up with 16 field goal attempts shooting under thirty percent.

    I still sort of like Vinny personally, but completely failing to grasp a monumental, war/playoff thrown down gauntlet setting like that, and allowing your star player and team to look like pussies on national TV being ridiculed by some fat bastard in a poncho(Barkley) and Kenny the donkey toothed/smiling "Jet" Smith is a bit much. Not to mention Wade post game, "They knew we we're not going to be denied."

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    The Bulls can do it...Ill give them about a 40% chance they make it in. We have been all over the place this season...great to horrible in the matter of a couple games. You never know what team will show up but like everyone else is saying....take 1 game at a time. Toronto will lose some, we just need to focus on ourselves. Go out there and compete....you can beat the Bobcats and the Bucks. You just have to go out there and give it your all.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    For what its worth, there is a little turmoil going on in Toronto that may help our cause. Hedo Turkoglu was a DNP yesterday, and apparently this was on disciplinary reasons. He had reported a stomach virus for a previous game and was later reported by fans to be partying in Toronto.

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/03/hedo-turkoglu-benched-after-he-and-his-virus-go-clubbing.php

    Not sure if it will derail the Raptors' match to the eigth spot, but you never know ;)

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    -Greatest Dave Chappelle episode ever, lol (your screen name)

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    This offseason, assuming we make the playoffs for the 8th seed, pushing Toronto out, (which I think we have an even chance of doing). And let's just say Bosh leaves for Chicago (a little less likely but still possible) I would want to get rid of Deng if at all possible because I think Taj can easily start for us, put up almost Deng's number next year, for alot less money. Also I'd like to get rid of Kirk for a better shooter (Kevin Martin, Micheal Redd, (Idk who's available, whos unhappy, but you know what I'm talking about, and guards aren't too hard to get compared to great points and centers, which we already have etc...) So your line up would be 1. Dereck Rose, 2. Sign and trade/free agent signing 3. Taj Gibson, 4. Chris Bosh, 5. Noah. with James Johnson, Miller (for cheap hopefully)Acie Law, and whoever else you want to keep or sign coming off the bench. That would be my ideal team that is still in the realm of practicality. Everything I've been hearing from Wade is he's staying, sounds like he just wanting to rile management up to become more active. If somehow that wasn't true I'd definatly go after Wade, then Bosh, but whatever works I'll take. Hopefully we'll get one....

  • In reply to Matthew:

    Taj Gibson @ 3? Must be a joke.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    What's wrong with that? He's not too oversized, and has the speed to play it. And if you got Noah and Bosh, assuming you want to start Taj that's where you'd have to play him.

  • In reply to Matthew:

    Go Bulls! Bring on the Cavs!

  • In reply to Matthew:

    Make that 1 full game behind the Raptors. The Bobcats laid an egg in the 4th Quarter.

  • In reply to Matthew:

    Is Tyrus Thomas in the Bobcats dog house already? did you see that pass from Felton? what an idiot. Passing to Tyson Chandler is like passing to that guy in the Burger king commercial with the little hands who cant handle the big burger.

  • I'll grant you I didn't know he'd play as terrible as he has this year...but I did expect him to play close to it. Reasons being why I thought so when they did the 2 free agent signings: Rip Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, and Will Bynum all are basically the same type of players as gordon, shooters, who can't exactly excell at the point, who (besides bynum) deserve atleast 30 minutes. And I didn't think Gordon if you took in his offense, and defense that he brings in as a whole was better then either Rip or Stuckey, which means he'd be a bench player, something that would upset him and in turn there'd be locker room trouble, team chemistry issues and his stats going in the crapper. Could I see it going down this far this season and turning him into one of the worst contracts this season? Yah, but did I expect this bad? No, but it doesn't suprised me. So I'll say I called it. :) I always thought Gordon was over rated and would have only kept him for around 7m at the time we could have resigned him, but after this year I'd probably only consider him a couple million dollar player. Goodluck Ben on your franchise that's "a winner" and a "nice change" where your "really excited to be". You went from a promising team to a gutter team. And I definatly called that on the pistons when they did the trade....

  • I don't see the "could be a loss @ Philly" even though they won a few games recently...I would be very suprised if they lost that game. Any team that seems to play philly with a sizable amount of focous offensively and defensive effort wins against them. The wheels would really have to come off the Bucks for that to happen, but I hope your right and see something I don't :P

  • In reply to Matthew:

    I don't think Skiles would allow his team to get to that point at the end of the season when it matters most.

  • As a matter of fact I do live and work in Vegas, and I have always contended that I could easily work for an NBA team, look at the results that the rest of these bozo's get. The NBA is by far the easiest league to handicap talent.

    As far as precitions go, heres one for you, I predicted the very night of the trade for Dennis Rodman in 1995 that the Bulls would win 70 games and have a repeat 3 peat, when most people thought the team would implode with Rodman.

    As another matter of fact, I was one of the first and only people calling for Taj Gibson at 26, I was a Noah supporter from day one(predicting that all he needed was to play and he would average a double double, I didn't want to sign Ben Wallace, wanted Brandon Roy(before the draft), would never have signed Deng for $72/$80 million, and of course Rose over Beasely. So maybe I actually do have a clue about what matters in the game(at least as it applies to winning) just by watching how people play.

    I always hated Gordons game, and have stated repeatedly that he has no effect on winning and is a silent cancer to team chemistry and effort.

    Nothing about his first season with the Pistons is all that surprising to me. He is just another in the littany of NBA bums who got paid and mailed it in for the rest of their careers. He is, has been and always will be a selfish, self centered, mope a dope who only cares about getting his, Points and money. Unlike many others, I was never blinded by his occasional meaningless sports center highlight.

    You would probably take an entire team of Ben Gordon like players. Give me an entire team of Noah like players anyday.

    By the way I am pretty sure that 40% minus 30% is about 10%, and the only thing that I predicted is that Gordon would never be worth the money that he wanted starting with the first $50 million contract that he turned down all the way through the 3rd $50 million contract that he finally signed. And I also stated that he was simply not an NBA starter for anything resembling a quality team. As it turns out, apparently he is not even a starter for a near 60 loss team.

  • Ya Tyrus didnt even play last night lol hahaha But anyways...watch the Bobcats, they could be falling out too...their schedule looks pretty tough. Plus the Bulls play them 2 more times...those would be big wins for us.

    Id say...go after Bosh and Amare as hard as you can...you have to at least get one of them. Amare is upset in Phoenix, they always want to trade him and his team is getting older, and Bosh is pretty upset with his team as well. I just want one of them, i dont care what 1 we get either. They both would make a huge difference for us.

    1. Sign Amare or Bosh
    2. Draft best player available (Hassan Whiteside,Paul George,Jordan Crawford etc..some1 will drop)Or Trade up for Xavier Henry
    3. Sign a cheap FA SG....Anthony Marrow,Mike Miller?

    Rose, Law
    Marrow/Miller, Hinrich
    Deng, James Johnson
    Bosh/Amare, Taj
    Noah,Brad Miller, Hassan Whiteside (if he falls,can take over when Miller retires)

    Thats a really good looking team going forward.

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