How good does the Bulls 15-8 record really look?
Let's break it down by grouping. For the sake of argument, we'll call good teams those with an over 60% winning percentage, poor teams those with under a 40% winning percentage, and average teams the ones in between.
Against the good (4-8)
0-2 against Boston
0-1 against Orlando
0-1 against New York
1-1 against Denver
1-1 against Oklahoma City
1-1 against the Lakers
1-0 against Dallas
0-1 against San Antonio
Against the average (3-0)
1-0 against Indiana
1-0 against Portland
1-0 against Phoenix
Against the bad (8-0)
1-0 against Cleveland
1-0 against Detroit
1-0 against Washington
1-0 against Minnesota
1-0 against Golden State
1-0 against Sacramento
2-0 against Houston
What does this tell us about our floor?
First, and most importantly, the Bulls have not played down to their competition. They've won every single game that they should have won this year. They haven't lost to a clearly inferior opponent all season. Early on, we thought the Knicks were such an opponent, but at 16-9, that's no longer a fair statement to make.
While that streak won't last forever as all teams have off nights or play a worse team that has a hot night, the Bulls have proven to be a good team. Average teams don't beat every other average team and bad team they play.
What does it tell us about our ceiling?
The Bulls have a lot to prove against the best teams in the league. The good news is that they've won their last two games against top flight competition by knocking out Los Angelas and Oklahoma City. Also, of their eight losses to quality competition, six of them were on the road.
It's tough to beat a top flight team in its building. The Bulls are 3-2 against that competition at home and 1-6 on the road. Also, the Bulls are 2-2 in those games since Carlos Boozer came back with the two losses coming in his first two games with the team.
There's plenty of reason for optimism that their record against the top notch teams in the league will improve as Boozer integrates, and they get more home games against those opponents.
This looks like an awfully well coached team. Without one of their best players, the team still found a way to win all the games it should win and some of the games that were really tough. They haven't yet hit their peak in terms of continuity due to the Boozer injury but are still ranked up there with the best teams and haven't left much on the table in terms of wins.
The Bulls are presently on pace to win 53.8 games this season, but the unbalanced schedule and early season injury means things are actually looking much better than that. As long as the team doesn't suffer a significant injury, a 55 win season seems like a reasonable guess as to where the Bulls are headed this year.