Joakim Noah was the man and about the only thing worth watching in the second half of this game was to see whether Noah would become the first seven footer since Tom Boerwinkle to get a triple double for the Bulls. He fell three assists shy, and part of me is still angry for the assists he would have had if not for the intentional fouls teams made to stop layups off of good Noah passes.
The important news is that the Bulls won the game. Playoffs? Are we talking playoffs?
The Bulls control their own destiny now. They are one game up with two games to play, but they lose the tie breaker, so the one game is most tenuous. The Bulls still need to win out to control their own destiny.
As discussed before, the Bulls play Boston and Charlotte (on the road) for their final two games. How hard and how much those two teams play may determine how successful the Bulls are in making the playoffs.
If Atlanta wins on Monday, they will lock up the three seed over Boston which would give Boston nothing to play for against the Bulls on Tuesday. Given Boston's age, it would not be surprising for them to start resting guys and preparing for the playoffs.
It's also highly like that Charlotte will have nothing to play for in the finale though they may be more prone to play their players anyway since they probably aren't expecting a long playoff run and have a home game.
The Raptors have games against the Knicks and Pistons remaining, and while neither team has anything to play for, it's not inconceivable the Raptors lose one or both games. They are simply a sack of trash without Bosh, and the Pistons have won three of their last four with Ben Gordon starting to play like we remember Ben Gordon playing. Maybe Ben does us one last favor and knocks of Toronto for us.
At this point, I'd say the Bulls odds of making the playoffs are about 70%. I think there's an excellent chance that Toronto loses a game, and I think the Bulls, at the very least, split their games.