So last night while trying to keep an eye on both games, I had some genuine hope that Charlotte might drop a game to Milwaukee. If so, they'd fall to only three games ahead of us, with two left to play (and we'd own the tie break), but unfortunately, they managed to pull out a one point win in overtime.
Still the night wasn't a complete loss, as the Bulls pulled out a win against the Wizards which was the most important factor of the evening. More interesting to Bulls fans is that the team was finally playing (relatively) at full strength.
Everyone was there, but the team didn't look good. Clearly the chemistry built up from the last time everyone was healthy was gone. They let a dejected Wizards team hang around far too long in this game before putting them away as well. Still, in reality, there was going to be an adjustment period to getting everyone back, and having it against the Wizards is as good as you can ask for.
The good news is that the players who struggled weren't Deng and Noah, so the team has a good shot of picking it's momentum back up again. While it's a small chance, I wouldn't completely rule out this team finishing the season 6-1 which is the mark I feel they'll need to hit to have a shot at the playoffs. If Deng/Noah can both play 30 minutes a night, and no one else gets hurt then the team has a shot to get on a legitimate roll.
The Bulls schedule won't make it easy. They only have one game left against a losing franchise (@ New Jersey) with six games left against teams with something to play for right now. Two of those teams could potentially be packing it in by the time the Bulls play them (Boston/Charlotte may have everything locked up in the final two games), so it may not be quite as bad as it looks on paper. The Cavs could also have the top seed locked up with five games left, but it's unlikely they'd start resting players that early even if they do.