Toronto beats Charlotte, narrowing our odds

The Bulls and Raptors each have 9 games left in the season now.   In order for the Bulls to make the playoffs over them, they'll need to win two more than the Raptors over those nine games [with one head to head]. 
At this point, the Bulls have a more or less equivalent chance of passing the Bobcats as they do the Raptors.   The Bulls need to effectively gain two games on the Raptors with one head to head matchup (since they lose the tiebreak), or they need to game three games on Charlotte with two head to head matchups (if they win both they'd win the tie break).

The odds of either of those things occurring aren't too great as the Bulls have the most difficult schedule down the stretch.   Every game left is obviously critical including tonight's tilt against Phoenix where the Bulls have to hope to squeak out a win against a superior team.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • MJ looked like he wanted to kill a few of his players when they kept cutting to him as the Bobcats made mistakes down the stretch. Who knows, maybe he'll decide another comeback is in order. ;)

    If we make it from here we'll have earned it (or one of the others will have massively choked it away).

  • Phoenix is gearing up for the playoffs, and maneuvering for position. I doubt they're going to succumb to the Bulls as easily as they have in the past. I maintain that that Miami wuss implosion karma wise has sealed the Bulls fate this season.

    I'm more focused on salary moves, the draft, and the 2010 Don Quixote sweepstakes. Any chance the Bulls buy out Hinrich's contract? Or trade away Deng's for either another player/SG, or a 2011 expiring and possibly a 2011 first rounder? If they are keeping Deng what about JJ? Do they think he can play the four or is he going to be on the block for another pick/player?

    With a real/commanding coach could JJ's at times disruptive but charismatic and often likable personality be harnessed to be a difference making player on both ends of the floor? To me he's starting to show signs with his blocks and steals and at times better coverage on threes.

    With the season Deng had it's too bad he's had the injury bug once again or else I think we could have moved him. Somehow I get the feeling Boozer is the only big we might be able to sign, but it also depends on how far Utah makes it in this year's playoffs. And I know with injuries, poor defense, and questioned attitude do we want him? But we need a big!

    As for our 17th, pick should we keep it.. last year a lot of players that were appealing Evan Turner for one dropped out/stayed in school. Marcus Thornton to me was underrated as was Darren Collison, and it's easy to lie after the fact, but I liked them both. I thought Thornton was what you want(a sure thing) unless you wanted to take a chance on potential.

    This year's only sure thing to me is Dominique Jones. Like Thornton he's undersized for a SG probably only 6'3.5 in shoes. But even though he doesn't shoot from the perimeter(threes) like Marcus, he can shoot although he's streaky. But his field goal percentage in the Big East and scoring as a freshman along with underrated athleticism(he has D-Wade like rebounding stats) is enticing. Defensively he's just average lateral quicks etc., but he's sure to be a scorer and quality back up SG at minimum if not eventual starter. Otherwise you've got Luke Babbitt. He's no Adam Morrison. He'll be able to score I'm thinking at least 16 ppg on quality field goals, but his defense perimeter wise is awful lateral quicks. Still those would be my one and two with Ekpe Udoh, James Anderson, and Elliot Williams as my players of interest should they fall. It just sucks that free agent signings come after the draft so if we strike out we have saved the cap space rather then loading up with some talent to add to our solid, young core(Noah, Rose, Taj, and perhaps JJ).

  • By the way, I hear the Nets are interested in Jeff Van Gundy and more importantly the Clipps are going to pursue Byron Scott.

    People have been saying Scott will hold out for Phil(Jackson's) retirement to coach his playing days Lakers. I know the Bulls won't get him because he would be the answer to the mentor Derrick needs and a real leader as a coach to give the players defined roles and solid offensive play calling and in game strategy. I'll admit he's got some of Riley's thug mentality/nastiness imbued in his players, but he's good nonetheless. We'd just need for him to agree on a good defensive coach which he is not(say keeping Bobby O.)

  • 43-39...gets the Bulls in the playoffs.

    Just keep WINNING!!!

  • Sorry, Elliot Williams will not "fall" he's sure to be available, and would be pretty much a high risk/high reward guy.

  • No but we did have a 9-2 stretch.

  • Talking about the draft, I feel it will not be a big deal if the Bulls have to swap their pick with the Bucks. 11 or 18/17th will not make a big difference. Sometimes, it might be better to get the later pick because of a few theories...
    1. The later player such as Taj might be better suited to contribute as a role player than an earlier pick. If you get a James Johnson like player who is used to being the main go-to guy, they do not know how to play without the ball and might never learn in the 3/4 years in the NBA. Fans/Mgmt get impatient and they are shipped out.
    2. You might also get a project type of player or a foreign player such as Omar Casspi, Jonas Jerobko who might atleast shoot well and contribute limited minutes.. We all know the Bulls need a few 3 point shooters

  • It kind of sucks that the Raptors won, but still the Bobcats loss. We fighting against both of those teams....plus we play the Bobcats 2 more times....if we beat them both times that would be great.We just need to focus on winning right now though.

    The draft will be interesting...i wouldnt mind seeing the Bulls trade up to try to grab a guy like Xavier Henry. Maybe swap our pick and Hinrich for a pick an a bad contract or something. Paul George could be a sleeper for us....excellent athlete with great size, Im not sure if he can play the SG though.

    Ya we need a coach....Scott,Van Gundy, Avery...maybe Coach K???....we need someone that can help us get to the next level.

  • the season really comes down to 3 games now. We have to win both Charlotte games, and the Toronto game, otherwise we are done.

    In terms of making the playoffs or not? Are we better of, free agent wise if we make the playoffs and get waxed in 4 by the Cavs, or would we be better off just missing and blaming it on injuries, and getting a shot at the lottery?

    The only way sneaking into the 8th spot works, free agent wise is if we give the Cavs the same series that we gave the Celtics last season, and the Cavs won't be missing their Kevin Garnett. Last year the Bulls caught lightning in a bottle, and still lost, lightning doesn't strike twice, does it.

  • The Bulls are a long shot to make the 8th spot in the playoffs. They was well on their way to coast into the playoffs, but the injuries pretty much killed their season.

    The schedule favors the Raptors, and they beat us twice if i'm not mistaking. The Bulls have 7 of 9 games against quality teams, while the Raptors only play 4 of 9 games against quality opponents. I just can't see the Raps tanking so badly they fall out of the 8th seed with so many positives in their favor.

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