Will the Bulls make the playoffs?

With Joakim Noah out and a brutal schedule to end the season things don't look pretty for our Bulls.   Milwaukee is playing out of their minds, Miami has recently won some of their tough games and has a cake walk schedule.   Barring something unusual, those two teams are going to blow past us.   We still have hope to stay ahead of the Bobcats though.
The key comes down to this.   We play the Bobcats twice down the stretch.   In order to make the playoffs, we will need to win both games.    That will give us the tiebreaker against them, and pad our lead by two games.   In those circumstances would need to make up three full games on us the rest of the season. 

We might be able to play well enough to avoid letting them do that.   Unfortunately, if we can't beat the Bobcats both times, then the Bulls are going to have their work cut out for them.  If not, we're going to need to find a way to win some of these tough games without Joakim. 

Even if we do win both of those matchups, the Bulls still may not be able to do enough unless they can find a way to win a couple of the upcoming games with Joakim out against the tough competition.  

Injuries can kill teams, and the Noah injury has killed us.   Just a week ago, the Bulls were looking like a 44-45 win team, now we'll hope they can win 40 games and stay in the playoff race.


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  • Granted the Bulls need to start WINNING some games, but I believe Toronto and Milwaukee still have to go out West for some games. They will come back to the pack a bit. Trust me.

    Miami and Charlotte play each other a few times yet, so that never hurts. Also, their schedules toughen up at the end of the month, while the Bulls schedule gets a bit easier. So, things should stay pretty even throughout.

    They bottom-line is Joakim Noah's health. If he can't MAN-UP and get back on the court, then the Bulls are in trouble. If he puts HEART over PAIN, then I like the Bulls chances.

    Unfortunatley, Vinny Del "Dumb-bo" coached this team to 10 BAD losses this year. Losses that could cost them in the end.

    10 BAD LOSSES:

    vs. New Jersey...they had 1 win on the season.
    vs. Sacramento...35 point lead lost.
    @ New York...they are pittiful.
    @ Clippers...they are pittiful.
    @ Golden State...they only had 6 players.
    vs. Clippers...they were still pittiful.
    @ Philadelphia...they are pittiful.
    @ Wasington...lost a 12 point lead.
    @ Indiana...they are pittiful.
    vs. Memphis...lost a 17 point lead.

    Flip those 10 losses and where would the Bulls be in the standings?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    That's a really dumb comment about Noah manning up...

    And they also lost to the raptors at home by 30, the shoe-tie game.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It seems almost impossible that Bulls will make playoffs.
    Miami has a cream puff schedule with its last 8 games.

    Milwaukee is not a surprise. Skiles' team do great in Scott's second season & thi is season #2. Plus, we gave them the missing piece that they needed. Then the basketball gods work against us by sitting LeBron in a game that Milw was scheduled to lose

    Toronto would have to utterly collapse for the Bulls to pass them.

    That leaves Charlotte like Doug said - but Larry Brown teams always finish strong

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Well Vinny Del Negro coached teams have finished strong too..

  • In reply to bulls6:

    They say things happen for a reason.

    Let's suppose Joakim stays healthy, and the Bulls go on a nice run with their two All-Stars(one near so). Get a fifth seed, and have an ultra competitive/thrilling series barely getting edged out by the Hawks or Boston. I don't believe they win those series because Taj plays a lot of minutes with crucial energy paired with Noah defensively and off. rebounds and points, but gets taken out of games(largely by the low pedigree and kindly/polite "rookie" manner with a coach who has never fought for him from getting those calls piled on him). When coaches/teams want to go at him, and get him out of the game they can. Also when teams ratchet up the extended double team to get the ball out of Derrick's hands, Vinny and the coaches have no answers. Which is what Al Harrington would have been one of.

    So where does that leave us? An entertaining and exciting enough finish to possibly have Vinny retained? I've already said there's no way a Byron Scott or other name coaches have Derrick not getting to the line more and watching the pick on defensive pick and rolls. Vinny is hurting, yes hurting Derrick as a mentor. A guy with resolve and some class(so far) who has players working hard for him, but not a suitable head coach on so many specific crucial issues.

    With Joakim out, and Gar/Pax/Jerry trading Tyrus for garbage and a rainy day draft pick along with misused John Salmons for a bench/10ppg guy and who's who of busts Alexander and Law.. Lets' face it. You go for the win now(with free agency looming) with a 20 ppg player with solid field goal percentage(Al Harrington).

    You combine either the stumbling cheap coaching hire of Vinny, albeit yes a gutsy guy, absolutely stunting the growth and free agent attracting aura of Derrick Rose as a player, and make the cheapo move of trying to get your deposit/No.1 pick back on Tyrus rather then win/look good right now when it most matters.

    If I'm a F.A., and I have any brains and I see how they've handled Derrick, the wrong headed and cheapness of the coaching "investment," and the language Paxson has used in regards to Salmons "enabling" a signing of a Max free Agent meaning they won't spend over the cap at all(as Miami, New York, Cleveland, Dallas) clearly have in the past and will now to make a run; then why the hell would I come to cheap and mismanaged Chicago?

    I know somebody's got the rebuttal of how Flip(39%) Murray or Hakim(10ppg fumbles the ball and loses defensive assignments) Warrick were better then signing a 20ppg career solid field goal percentage guy with an offensively versatile skill set. And just because an athletic freak/in a scorer's body like D-Rose doesn't appear to have an agenda to get to the free throw line avg. 4 FTA's pg, so what? Big deal? And he doesn't understand yet to watch the pick and react around him not blindly run into them yet still looking like an amateurish dolt who brings a major weakness at times to our halfcourt defense. Hey, these problems are overstated. They're not a big deal. The Bulls have done a solid job with Derrick and their other decisions. No reason a big name free agent wouldn't want to come here. Uh-yeah.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    I don't know why you think Larry Brown teams always finish strong. They finished strongly in 10 place last season.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    So doug, What happens to our FA summer if we dont make the playoffs?

    Does our strategy change or what?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Why do you blame these losses on Vinny? I don't remember him taking the court during any of those games.
    Let's consider the Sacramento game. Perhaps Vinny was responsible for getting a 35 point lead and then the players blew it.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Remember the last play of that Sacto game? Vinny called an excellent play at the end. Rose got the ball & missed an open lay-up.

    Yet Vinny gets blamed. I doubt he instructed Rose to blow the open lay-up

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Forgot about that. Good point.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    In 2-1/2 seasons Noah could not run the court for first 1-3/4 seasons. Was he hurt or just out of shape and lazy?

    This year Noah came to camp in shape,. after 1/2 a season he is broken down and may not be back. Does he have a chronic injury?
    Did it keep him from playing the first 1-3/4 seasons?????

    We have to worry now! Pax may give No-Shot Noah a big contract like he gave to the fragile Deng and Klank Hinrich gthe clock eater.

    Then we can watch as average players like Bogut and Kamen push the Florida fairy, No-Shot Noah gets push around the court as if he was on roller skates!

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    All I have to say is God I hope they make the Playoffs. I have been worried about the whole 2010 FA sweepstakes all year and if the trades we made to get under cap end up costing us the playoffs and we don't get the FA were looking for... then those fears I have had would be justified. I am just praying that wont happen.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    It all depends on the Bobcats. Other than their hot January they've played like a .400 team. If they continue to not be very good, we can make the playoffs with 39 or 40 wins.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Jeez, temper yourselves everyone. There's some serious overreacting going on right now. Yes it's a tough stretch & not having Noah really hurts, especially on the defensive end. But we've not lost more than 5 in a row at anytime during Vinny's tenure & we are in no way BAD enough to lose 12 in a row. We aren't the Nets with Noah out. Offensively, we've been playing well, it's defense that has been the problem lately. Shore up the D & we can right this ship. No team in the bottom 4 is going to run away with anything & all will continue to duke it out for the final 6 weeks of the season.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    At the start of the season, I had the Bulls winning 39-41 and grabbing the 7th or 8th slot in the playoffs. I certainly didn't expect Noah to go down, but I think 39-41 wins is still likely. The Bulls need to put together at least 3 quality wins, and win the majority of games against teams they should beat.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    good stuff for a change Mr.Happy. Those losses killed our season.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The Bulls have virtually no shot at making the playoffs unless one of the other teams(most likely charlotte)completely tanks the rest of the season.

    Whether he comes back in 3 weeks, or later, Noah is essentially done for this season. He will not recover fully this season, and will not be in basketball shape by the time he attempts to return. He will reinjur himself in any event. He should probably just shut it down for good as soon as the Bulls are officially elimanated.

    Noah may not be an Allstar, but he just might be the Bulls MVP.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Alright guys, we are getting a little out of hand. The Bulls are still only 1 game or 1.5 out of the 6th spot. you never know what can happen or who we might beat. Hopefully either the Bucks,Heat,Bobcats or Raptors slow down a bit so we can stick in the playoff race. That being said, its still going to be really tough for us the rest of the way. Hopefully (hopefully) we can finish better then the Bucks so we can keep our draft pick.

  • I think we miss the playoffs unless Murray and Warrick play out of their minds.

    Noah being injured has hurt us. Because of that, Miller is wore down. I dont know how much he has left.

  • In reply to truebluefan:

    If Vinnie keeps Murray and Warrick on the floor the Bulls may get in to the playoffs. Start Murray ,play Pargo and bench Klank Hinrich!

    Some interesting facts about Hinrich.. from another poster on another site:

    "Of the 74 guards playing more than 25 MPG this season, Hinrich ranks 63rd in fg%. 65th in TS%, and 65th in PER. Which is why, I guess, that despite the Bulls being devoid of offensive options, Hinrich ranks 60th in USG%."

    "Of the 166 players in the NBA playing more than 25 MPG, Kirk...rank[s] 154 in PER, 152 in TS% and 151 in FG%."

    "He is the 98th ranked 3pt shooter in the league. Despite being a "true point" his assist percentage is lower than Joe Johnson, Monta Ellis, Beno Udrih and Allen Iverson."

    "Our starting shooting guard has scored over 15 pts a grand total of 6 times this season. Hinrich has not scored over 20 pts in a single game all year! Not one time."

    "We are paying this guy about $9mil a year for this??? We had chance to trade him for expiring 2 years in a row but we did not. Why is our management so much in LOVE with this guy???"

  • More likely we lose the next 7 games. The last game is at Philly but it is the second of a back-to-back (after Cleveland) and Bulls have been losing those games - especially when the opponent has the prior day off.

    and to the poster above about the Golden State loss - Bulls were healthy but Golden State only had 5 NBA players + 3 NBDL players. One of the NBA players, D George, was hurt and only played about 5 minutes. But the other 4 players (Maggette, Curry, 2 others) and the 3 D-Leaguers were in complete control.

  • I think we are missing the point. If strength of schedule determines whether or not your make the playoffs, does it really matter? Point being, do you think Cleveland, LA, Boston etc. look at the schedule or just think they can win every game?

    I dunno, I guess just making the playoffs is an accomplishment?

    Dont get me wrong I want to see it happen, and the "experience is valuable" (cliche alert)...

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