Right before the Bulls faced the Orlando Magic, I noted that the schedule was about to get awfully difficult for the Bulls. They were facing perhaps the most difficult stretch of the season. A stretch rivaling the circus trip in terms of difficulty, and that stretch would define how good a team they are.
My goal for the team was to win 13 of the 20 games, but I lacked confidence that this team would roll against the best of the best and predicted a 10-10 stretch which now seems laughable.
I used to be 70 lbs overweight in college. When I lost all the weight and became athletic, it still took me three years for my body image to catch up to my new physical image. I promise it won't take three years for my view of the team to catch up with how bad ass the Bulls are. Derrick Rose has blossomed into a legit superstar, and the Chicago Bulls are not just 'hanging' with anyone. They're beating everyone.
On the season, the Bulls have beaten every team in the league at least
once except for the New York Knicks (0-2 with one game remaining) and
the Atlanta Hawks (haven't played yet, 4 games remaining).
The Bulls don't just put up a fight, they can, and have, beaten every elite team in the league and may get a win against everyone. Since the tough stretch started, the Bulls are 7-2 with wins against Orlando, Utah, New Orleans, and San Antonio amongst the seven wins.
Dating back to a December 3rd loss to the Celtics when Carlos Boozer was only playing his second game as a Bull and had barely practiced while Joakim Noah had already torn a ligament in his thumb and was playing one handed, the Bulls have more or less owned the good teams of the league.
Dec 6th: Beat Oklahoma City Thunder
Dec 10th: Beat the L.A. Lakers
Jan 8th: Beat the Boston Celtics
Jan 15: Beat the Miami Heat
Jan 20th: Beat the Dallas Mavericks
Jan 28th: Beat the Orlando Magic
Feb 9th: Beat the Utah Jazz
Feb 12: Beat the New Orleans Hornets
Feb 17th: Beat the San Antonio Spurs
9-0 over that stretch against legit contenders. Critics will say the Bulls had some luck along the way. The Heat were missing LeBron, the Celtics were missing Garnett, the Mavs still had Dirk recovering from injury, the Jazz had some massive internal issues with Sloan leaving causing a disruption.
There's a part of me that's still nervous because of those things, but the Bulls have been missing Joakim Noah all this time as well. It's easy to forget when making excuses for other teams that no one is making excuses for us.
It's time to buy in. It's time to enjoy it. It's a great time to be a Bulls fan.