Analyzing the home stretch, Bulls are in three races

Analyzing the home stretch, Bulls are in three races

The Chicago Bulls are down to the home stretch, there are three significant races for playoff positioning left to play out over the final 10 games concerning the Bulls.

1: Bulls vs Celtics for the #1 seed in the East
2: Bulls vs Heat for the #1 seed in the East
3: Bulls vs Lakers for home court in the finals

Pretty much every other race had been decided or moot.

In terms of tie breakers, the Bulls own the tiebreaker vs the Lakers and Heat and lose the tiebreaker vs the Celtics.  (the Lakers tie breaker would be clinched with a win vs Minnesota or Phoenix, so I'm going to go ahead and assume the Bulls win at least one of those two games).

Here's a look at the remaining schedules
The Magic numbers break down like this presently:

vs Celtics: 9
vs Heat: 7
vs Lakers 9

For those not used to magic numbers, it's the number of combined Bulls wins + losses of the other team required for the Bulls to clinch the advantage against that team.   With 10 games to go, the Bulls control their own destiny, and can lose one game and still maintain their seeding over all three teams even if any of them win out.

Against Miami, the Bulls can lose three games even if Miami were to win out.

The remaining schedules break down like this:

Bulls Celtics Heat Lakers
76ers @ Twolves Rockets Hornets
@ Twolves @ Pacers @ Cavaliers Mavericks
@ Pistons @ Spurs @ Wizards @ Jazz
Raptors @ Hawks @ Twolves Nuggets
Suns Pistons @ Nets Jazz
Celtics 76ers Bucks @ Warriors
@ Cavaliers @ Bulls Bobcats @ Blazers
@ Magic Wizards Celtics Thunder
@ Knicks @ Heat @ Hawks Spurs
Nets @ Wizards @ Raptors @ Kings
Knicks

The Bulls schedule

The Bulls have a fairly balanced schedule remaining.   They play five at home, five on the road.    The Bulls should be major favored in every game remaining except possibly on the road against Orlando. 

They should be heavy favorites against everyone except @Orlando, Boston, and perhaps the 76ers tonight.   However, it's also worth looking at what the game means to each team.

The Magic are likely locked into the 4th seed already when the teams meet, and while I doubt they'll be resting anyone, their intensity may not match the Bulls intensity if the Bulls are still fighting for the #1 seed.   

Worst case: 7-3, best case 10-0, likely 9-1 or 8-2.

The Celtics schedule

The Celtics have the toughest schedule remaining, though they catch a break with the Tim Duncan injury which takes a likely loss and gives them a good chance to win.   The Celtics still have road games left against the Hawks, Heat, and Bulls on the schedule and seven road games overall.

I'd make the Celtics underdogs in at least two of their remaining games (Bulls, Heat), and the way they've been playing lately, who knows how hard they're going to push for anything at this point.

The Celtics are also caught in a battle with the Heat for the #2 seed where they hold the tiebreaker, but only have a one game lead remaining in the loss column.   Do the Celtics really want to play round 2, 3, and the finals on the road in order to win a title?   I doubt it.  Are they going to start pushing their starters hard though?   I doubt that too.

I think the odds of the Celtics catching the Bulls, despite a mere 1 game lead (2 games ties them, but Celtics win the tie), seem pretty low at this point.   The Celtics have shown no sign of turning it around.   I think the Celtics are likely to fall all the way to the three seed right now.

While they have the capability to win most of these games, factoring in their present level of play, it's easy to seem them dropping four or five games.

The Heat schedule

The Heat are probably too far back to catch the Bulls.   The Bulls own the tiebreaker and three games in the loss column.   I don't think the Bulls will finish the season 6-4 or worse which means even if the Heat win out, they aren't likely to catch Chicago.

However, looking at their schedule, the Heat have a pretty excellent chance at winning out.   The toughest game left is a home tilt against the free-falling Boston Celtics.    I think the Heat finish the season no worse than 9-1 and could win out.   Only the Rockets, Celtics, and maybe @Hawks should pose any problems, and quite honestly,  I think the Heat are considerable favorites over all those games. 

Maybe they drop one game that you wouldn't expect, but the Heat haven't dropped many games that they shouldn't this season and have lost mostly just to the really good teams.   As such, expect the Heat to win 9-10 games.

The Lakers schedule

The Lakers play plenty of tough games still, but almost all of them are on their home floor where it will prove difficult for any team to come in and win.     They still play the Hornets, Mavericks, Nuggets, Thunder, and Spurs at home while taking on the Blazers on the road.

The Lakers are awfully hot right now, and they have home court for most of these games, but I don't see them winning out vs that group.    The Spurs game could go in several directions depending whether or not Duncan is back yet and whether or not the game means anything.  

I think the Lakers odds are similar to the Bulls the rest of the way.   Their worst case is 7-3, their best case is to win out.   I'm going to predict an 8-2 finish for the Lakers, but I wouldn't be surprised with something better.

Final thoughts

The Bulls should take the #1 seed.   Only Boston really cranking up their intensity a ton right now and winning out would likely change that.    The most interesting race left is the Bulls vs Lakers for potential home court in the finals.

Granted, that race is also by far the least meaningful.   The Bulls aren't favorites vs the field to come out of the East, nor are the Lakers favorites vs the field to come out of the west.  The odds of this matchup happening aren't that great, but it's something both teams are still going to likely look at before resting anyone down the stretch.  

Comments

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  • I wrote this yesterday afternoon before the Spurs played, but with the Spurs loss last night, you could argue that the Bulls have a legit chance to pass them too.

    Of course, this requires an epic Spurs collapse, but they haven't won without Duncan yet, and who knows what his status is. He might not play again this season for all we know. I haven't looked into the topic except for the initial report that it was a three week injury and then Brent Barry was saying on one of the broadcasts that the Spurs were really worried about it.

  • "Against Miami, the Bulls can win three games even if Miami were to win out."

    TYPQ...change the words "Bulls can win" to "Bulls can lose"

    I still think this is the lakers title. Phil always win 3 in a row, Lakers are hot & the WWE (oops NBA) script writers & referees & TV sponsors will not allow anything less.

    I also cant see anyone stopping the Heat from coming out of the East. A Heat - Lakers finals is a rating bonanza and the refs will oblige

  • In reply to bulls6:

    They stopped LeBron from coming out of the East against the Magic despite a massive ad campaign for a Kobe/LeBron finals 2 years ago.

    I think the fix thing is silly, the results never follow the money, so there is no fix. No one fixes things to lose money.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If there was a fix. It would be Bulls - Thunder.
    Feature 2 current/future stars.

    Question: Doug do you believe that the more vociferous whinners are rewarded?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I know we women have lots of standards to pick up a man, and there's one website that can almost meet all our different demands
    -blackwhitecupid.com - my sisiter told me this; it worked for her, it worked for me; and i'm sure it's gonna work for u, buddy!!
    thank you and good luck.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    WWE lol thats too funny, but thats what its turning into....imo i also agree its somewhat fixed. If the game was fair...there would be no All Star calls right?

  • In reply to Csharp:

    The thing with super-star calls is that frequently super-stars deserve them, because people do things to stop them they wouldn't have to do on someone else.

    They probably don't really get the benefit of the doubt that much more, but they're involved in far more bang-bang plays where the ref feels they have to call something.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    The refs are human and they make mistakes. And some refs give calls to whiners like Wade because they keep asking the ref even if the opposing guy just breathes on him. Also, on your theory... Rose is the new hot guy who needs to be sold to the general public. So, the Bulls will get all the calls:-)

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Teams win with two or three stars. Noah and Boozer have been trending down for some time injuries noted. Not hating. I love Jo as a player and have no probs with Booz/have admired/appreciated his offensive talents. Just a problem as others Sam Smith etc. have noted that both have trended down. If it's simply a matter of injuries then regardless they need to get their game/production back if we are going to the ECF and beyond IMO. And as I said I think the record shows Noah gets in a lot better energy/production groove when he gets extended minutes. I'd even like to see him with some games at 40 and up. We can't worry about injuries to the point of not getting these guys at peak performance level for the playoff run IMO. And if others think we don't need Jo playing that many minutes or that Booz's production doesn't need to rise then we'll just have to disagree. Again, pointing out problems/things that need improved/resolved is not hating. I want both players to be the star impact guys they have shown they can be and that's all.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Agree completely. I hope the Bulls clinch the #1 seed sooner than later and just run their offense through Noah and Boozer and give Rose/Deng some rest. But, I doubt Thibs will try that now. Thibs needs to "assume" that he has Kareem and Malone and run the offense through them for a few games.
    I would like to see a two man game from Noah and Boozer as both of them handle the ball pretty decently for big men.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    My point his - i believe the (clearly) lower production from Noah/Boozer results from their injuries.
    Noah offensively cannot get his tornado jumper, or make those hook moves falling like beg of season.
    And Boozer with 2 ankle injuries is missing a step now, which is earning him a lot of blocked shots, and not so stellar offensive performances - as per beg season when he was doing his 20/10 thing...
    Now you are very right stating they have to step up, or else playoff time will come hard.

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    Not to sound corny, but I believe in Joakim and Booz even to some extent beyond the somewhat theatrics has looked all in/comitted to me on the court at most times. So I believe in these guys(more so Noah), but they have got to start gearing up now/soon. If Jo plays like he's shown he can/has earlier and Booz likewise lives up to his excellent playoff numbers then we could be looking at a Chicago Bulls team coming out of the Eastern Conference(IMO).

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    When has Noah not step up his game in the playoffs?

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    What about 4 stars because Lu has been as good if not better than Pierce this year!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Right Utah( I always liked the name Johnny Utah from the movie Point Break - tangent out of knowehre, sorry), but you are right Lu has earned his wings as a "48 Minutes of Intensity," Norm/ second half offensive presence i.e bringing it. Lu has been huge, and needs to do the same come playoff time. His defensive effort to me has been stellar.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Do my eyes deceive me?! Da Bulls actually have a chance to clinch the East?! No one could have predicted this. And then lightning striking twice with Da Bulls landing a bona fide superstar in Derrick Rose. After the Jordan years, I thought we were going to spend decades in oblivion as some sort of karmic justice. Now there are still 10 games to be played, and we still could potentially get knocked out in the first round, but I am loving the ride so far.

    Now having said that, you have got to love the contrarians(read :haters) that are starting to gather steam in speaking against DRose's MVP credentials as well as the Bulls' newfound contender status. Here's hoping the Bulls shut them up with a championship this year!

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    +1

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    ^^ Like

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    I hope Rose wins the MVP, but the ultimate thing will be the playoff success. I hope this teams makes it to at least the ECF to validate the run they had through the regular season.

    If they got bounced by Orlando in the second round, you'd go into next season not enjoying anything, because you'd be in the Dallas mode of 'prove it in the playoffs'. If htey lose a tight one to Boston or Miami in the ECF then I'll be horribly disappointed, but I won't think their season was a fluke.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    I was thinking about what other said above about Jo wanting to play fast and Booz wanting to play slow being an issue ...

    I think that is true but Where they compliment each other the most is in the half court which is playoff basketball we could be in for our best basketball when the playoffs start!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    The other problem as RW mentioned is Noah's "Tornado" shot. If he gets that going at a rate of 3/5, then Boozer will have some room inside because Noah will draw his man away from Boozer. The big worry I have Noah is not confident in his jump-shot and is such a team player that he will not shoot it unless it is at the end of the clock. Thibs just has to run some plays for him at crucial situations and Noah has to convert them for him to get the confidence of using it regularly. He is no where close to Rose, Boozer, Deng or even Taj/Kurt in throwing up a shot with confidence.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You're right I think confidence is a big part of it with Joakim. He's a very emotional guy, and it's his aura of confidence/intensity that has a lot to do with his elevated level of play both in reg. season crunch time and the playoffs. Also the legs and being in a groove offensively due to all the time off and injury factor in as well. As I said, I just hope while keeping the team minutes formula intact(Thibs) which has strung together all these reg. season wins he will also keep in focus the idea that the playoffs are a different aniaml. We are going to win with Joakim building momentum into star mode type of play. Not with Omer playing 15 minutes(on most nights/later rounds). I agree the early rounds it shoud more be the team/bench, and then in the second and ECF rounds building towards Joakim and the starters peaking/dominating. This includes Boozer. A PF who on many nights gives you 18ppg and up with 9 boards and up is going to help you climb the mountain.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    But in an Orlando series Omer Asik and Kurt Thomas should and must play many more minutes if we want to win. Noah cannot matchup with Howard - it

  • In reply to Edward:

    Edward, you're talking that "NOAH CANNOT MATCHUP WITH HOWARD - IT'S A PROVEN PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY."
    "CAN NOAH GUARD A HEALTHY ANDREW BYNUM?"
    "I WANT ASIK TO GET PLAYOFF MINUTES! OFTEN TIMES HE'S A BETTER DEFENDER THAN NOAH."
    HOW ABOUT STOP PRETENDING AND ADMIT YOU'RE NOT A NOAH FAN, NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE.
    PHONY!

  • In reply to Normie:

    By the way phony Edward, how did Noah do in that epic 7-game series against the Celtics "big" Kendrick Perkins?

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Clayton Bigsby, sadly, they're out there sneaking on to this blog pretending to be Bulls fans, but every now and then they show their true colors with sneaky, degrading comments.
    The truth is that the Bulls are now the most feared team in the NBA because they play championship ball spearheaded by stifling defense.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    with all the big men getting their time and the bulls playing a passing game I don't think boozer's production is too bad. the reason they're winning is the way they're playing. you put boozer in his jazz role and then you'll be saying we aren't utilizing our other assets enough.

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    I anticipate that Boozer and Noah's time on the court will increase dramatically in the playoffs particularly as/if they advance. While Omer's and Kurt's go down. So "Utah" numbers are what will be needed IMO espcially high efficiency/fg%. The problem is in a lot these recent games including before his most recent ankle sprain he had a seven or eight game stretch where his shooting was something like 39% along with ppg obviously way down. So quality not just quanity took a real hit. Again, not hating. I just think 39% for an extended stretch and ppg and rebounds dwindling are not what we want/can't be rationalized as Utah numbers. And Joakim can not be having these 8 points 5 rebounds games. If you think Omer and Kurt will see as many minutes in the playoffs, and Jo and Booz won't be playing 36-39 minutes per game especially Noah then your points probably will be more realistic. But I hope lowered minutes/diverisified production is not the case. We need stars to win IMO when the pressure/defense/competition gets stifling as ECF's and Finals do.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    i know your not hating. and i agree jo needs to pick it up. but i don't think they will go to these guys offensively in the first round too much because they'll still play omer and I was thinking gibson. Then in later rounds I don't think they should either because they may be going against dwight howard and then shaq and company. I'd rather put my emphasis on defense in the paint against those teams instead of trying to score on them there. Against Bosh in Miami, I would go all out boozer.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I am a little worried about these 10 games because our Star is hurt!!

    The white Mamba haha lol wtf did he do to get hurt he probably has gout or something

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Gout..? Laughing at that. Actually, if we were in deep, deep foul frouble, I could see a character guy like WM(Scal) actually hitting a big shot if he was wide open/Derrick and the other guys were swarmed. But probably won't ever come to that, and he'll just be the human victory cigar.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    LMAO! There would be a riot if Scal hit a game winner at the UC in a game 7 that would honestly be my favorite moment in the history of sports ever!!!!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Would be unreal/awesome if he hit a game winning shot period let alone a game 7. That would be insane. Then he really would be the White Mamba in reality as well as in jest. His interview of Omer on Bulls.com/TV was interesting.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    If you missed Taj the Journey on Bulls.com/BullsTV Part III was pretty cool with Taj talking about his impressions/happenings with the guys/other Bulls players off the court.

    http://www.nba.com/bulls/video/journey-taj-gibson-part-iii-paint-ballin.html

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    White Mamba isn't active anymore and probably won't be the rest of the way.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Too bad, but his presence will still be felt as he's a great team presence guy to have around/on your side.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    White Mamba was signed as a player-coach, more coach than player;)

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I just saw ESPN First Take and Skip Bayless whined about how he doesn't believe in the Bulls because he doesn't believe in a team that has a scoring point guard. And Rob Parker pointed to John Stockton, Steve Nash, and Jason Kidd as examples of great point guards who didn't win championships. I think these examples and whining about DRose is ridiculous. Did any of these point guards also play for one of the best defenses in the NBA? When I think of DRose, and I hate to say this as a Bulls fan, but his leadership of the Bulls as their top scorer and superstar reminds me of the Bad Boy Pistons without the Bad Boy part. Their defenses were stellar and they are both led by a superstar point guard. And there is no Michael Jordan around (sorry Kobe, sorry DWade, sorry LeBron) to stop him. Also, it was Chauncey Billups who was the leading scorer for the most recent Pistons and even Tony Parker was the MVP in the last Spurs championship. So why not DRose and why not now?

  • In reply to mgreen:

    Stockton, Nash and Kidd are great PGs and HOF players. But, athletically there is no way they can keep up with Rose in a long series. They all depend on their teammates to be successful but Rose can be great individually or can be like them. That's my opinion. What does he want Rose want to do? Pass it to Noah to take a jump-shot or Brewer to take a 3-pointer? They are going based on some stereotyped opinions..

  • In reply to mgreen:

    Great article...if the Bulls can hold on to the #1 seed it's going to be huge because then Miami and Boston would tire each other out...making it a Laker vs. Bulls final - and if the Bulls can hold home court advantage over the Lakers and Ron Artest is more of his normal crazy self instead of a hero...could get interesting - check out AskEachOther.com (a Chicago owned site) for Bulls questions, articles and polls.

    http://www.askeachother.com/b/Sports/i/If-I-Were-The-2011-Playoff-Bound-Chicago-Bulls-Right-Now

  • In reply to AskEachOther:

    I wouldn't say either team would be worn out, if anything whoever wins that series between Boston and Miami, they would be more focused because of such a big series.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Sometimes those things can go in a surprising direction/different then you think. It will be interesting to see if they do play each other whether the victor(Miami/Boston) will (potentially) come in with a positive momentum or looking sub-par into a Bulls series.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I thought somebody said the Bulls had a poor record on back to backs..? Ironic also since weren't we supposed to lead the league/right up there with back to backs on the schedule?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/3960/back-to-back-games-dont-rattle-bulls

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Hey RW, do you have an email I can get in touch with you at? I tried using the one attached to your account, but you didn't respond.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sure. That might have been my old AOL one. You can reach me at mark.norman95@yahoo.com

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Are you sure that you want Mappy to have that info.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I updated my email on my account too. Sorry never even thought about it when I switched from AOL.

  • In reply to mgreen:

    Jordan, Wade, and Kobe were all scoring point guards when they wanted to be.

    I like the comparison to the Pistons, both with Isiah Thomas and with Chauncey Billups. Both versions of the Pistons' championship teams stressed defense over offense, and both versions relied on their point guards for offense.

  • In reply to TimS:

    I'd have to think about it, but initially I like the Pistons comparison as well though we are short on Joe Dumars and V-J(Microwaves) unless you count the Bulls guard squad/numbers cumulatively. Korver has come on, and if he plays like he has the last month or more he will be the sh*t in the playoffs. Likewise C.J. and Bogie they are coming on at the right time. And Ronnie's been a rock most of the season, and even his medium range J seems to be on the rise recently.

  • In reply to mgreen:

    Good points/nice take. Skip(Bayless) is a dip i.e sensational ratings ranter and raver. Also Colin Cowherd has labelled Derrick as a "phony." I think the real issue with these company ho's is that the Mother(f-er)ship as Dan Patrick in hindsight bemoans won't supposedly make as much ratings money with Rose as they would "satisfy" the fans with BronBron, D-Wade, and Kobe.

  • In reply to mgreen:

    Take Skip Bayless' opinion and think the opposite and you'll probably be right more often than not.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Have no fear RoadWarrior, Thibs knows what he's doing. He'll take the harness off in the playoffs and let the young Bull (Noah) cut loose!

  • In reply to Normie:

    Regarding Noah, one interview clip I saw had him saying he's just starting to feel like his legs are getting back to where they should be. Sadly these guys need to play into shape and cant just be back at their previous stats after being out like its a video game. I'm with RW, I believe in these guys (Noah and Boozer) and think they'll be ready for the playoffs.

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    Noah is definately one of those games, I was saying this in year one, all he needed to get in shape was to play him until he collapsed.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    yeah i notice that Boozer is becoming slow. He must to loose some weights and do fitness this summer. Having fat increase his chances of being injured.
    But don'T worry for Noah !! he is a another player when playoffs come. He is always on fire in playoffs. i'm not worried for him. However, Boozer must wake up !

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I think with all the hype of 2010 Free Agency, and the substance of giving away Hinrich, Salmons and 3 draft picks for cap space, that we expected to land a MONSTER player.

    Boozer is no Monster. He

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Why don't you change your screen name to LAKERS/MIAMI?
    I'm talking to you bulls6. The screen name bulls6, is that your idea of a sick joke?

  • In reply to Normie:

    I hate the Lakers with a passion

    I dislike Miami a lot

    I've been bulls6 since 2003

    I'm sorry that I am not a homer. Bulls are excellent but they are not as good as the Lakers & I doubt they can beat Miami.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Hope to hear from you when it's all over.

  • In reply to Normie:

    would that be sometime in May.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    I am sure that every Bulls fan(knowledgable basketball fan)not drinking cool aid feels pretty much the same deep down, even if they can't bring themsleves to say so in public.

    As I have said all year, the bulls are one year ahead of schedule, and while the second half surge is exciting, I will be shocked if we make the finals, and have considered a lakers 3 peat a forgone conclusion if healthy.

    I still think that it is Lakers/Heat in the finals. But at this point I will be dissappointed if we don't make the ECF and acquit ourselves well once there.

  • In reply to Normie:

    Wow did anyone check this video out of course he is a Miami writer

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6263657

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I hope Rose reads this

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/28/2137216/for-chicago-bulls-derrick-rose.html

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    That guy is a moron!

    "Rose benefits from the greatness of his teammates, but Westbrook is harmed by the greatness of his more famous one (Kevin Durant)." -I think he has that reversed...Rose's teammates benefit from his greatness and Kevin Durant's stats are harmed by Westbrook's improved play.

    If the Thunder were missing Durant & Ibaka for 50+ games this season and Westbrook led them to their current record with those numbers, sure I could see the comparison, but it just doesn't work given the facts.

    I also think people (the media) have trouble wrapping their minds around a star who leads a very well build cohesive team. They can't fathom how that type of team and player could be great, even MVP great. They are so programmed to promote and bow down to the superstars who put up huge numbers that they can't objectively see the greatness in something different. All of the haters also forget to point out the # of games that Boozer and Noah missed so far this year and that Bogans is in the starting lineup.

    I too hope Rose reads this and takes it out on the Sixers tonight! I live in PA and going to a friends house in my Bulls gear tonight to watch the game with a bunch of Sixers fans...I'm going into enemy territory, but I don't think Rose will let me down! Also had my wife bake some brownies to bring over and I drew the Bulls logo on them with red cake decorating gell...I'm sure it'll be a big hit since I'm the only Bulls fan there!

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    didn't bother ready that blather, but if we didn't have Rose at the point, Westbrook would be my next choice.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Haha sweet man I am always fighting with Jazz fanz so I know how you feel

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    In that short video disparaging Rose, that talking head is just a smug idiot. He talks about comparing statistics and shooting percentages. A total moron. I presume he

  • In reply to Edward:

    Nice! I like the Bulls index idea! Espn needs to get their noses out of Lebron's butt! Just like their Heat or 3 Peat page that they've had all season. I think the Lakers are one of the favorites at this point too, and should be considered that all season as the defending champs, but they shouldn't have annointed those two teams as the only possible champions before the season even started. Ridiculous!

  • In reply to bulls6:

    i don't know if the bulls can beat the Lakers but i'm certain that they will reach the nba finals. Miami is just a talent mix, not enough collective to beat chicago Defense. If bulls can share the ball in offense and stand by rose late in the fourth quarter then YES they can reach the finals.

  • Indeed Spurs looking they can go on a slump last 10 games... best record in the NBA for the Bulls? well... lets not get over excited. Predict 8-2 for the Bulls on the final stretch.
    Losing @ORL (which might make the case for Howard MVP) and @NY. We get the 1st seed East - and meet Miami conference final.

  • If Bulls win in NY, they would have beaten every team in league. That's not done too often.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    +1.i didn'T notice that.

  • Doug
    I think you are discounting the Mavericks. I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers than the Spurs. Dallas has gone through a lot of failures and kind of more desperate/prepared than most teams.
    Lakers are beating up on the weaklings after the all-star break except for a couple of tough games. They lost their one must-win game at Miami.
    I predict that HCA doesn't matter much for any of the big three from the EAST(Miami, Bos, Chi) against the West in the finals.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Dallas just folded down the stretch and lost home court to LA. Their game is not playoff ready either, as they are a soft jump shooting team. I'd be shocked if Dallas came out of the West.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    which I guess is my way of saying, yes, I am discounting the Mavericks, we'll see if I'm discounting them fairly or unfairly soon ;)

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Somebody foolishly overlooked the San Antonio Spurs.

    They have the best record, but could be caught when all is said and done.

    Let's not be CLUELESS.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    WOW HAPPY YOU FOUND TIME TO COME SEE US WITH YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE OF POSTING ON THE KNICKS BOARDS ... Hows that Melo thing working out for ya?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hence my first comment in the post.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Wow.. He's back from the grave.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    too bad

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You have such a wonderful way with words Mappy. Such a pleasure to have you back.

    For anyone who actually is CLUELESS, I am being sarcastic!

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Don't feed the troll!

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    The stats geeks are attacking DRose hard...

    http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2011/03/rose-v-howard-why-do-chicago-and.html

    http://hoopspeak.com/2011/03/derrick-rose-for-mvp-is-it-too-late-for-a-debate/

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    The sad thing is that I bet none of these guys have ever played proper basketball. The closest thing they've probably come to it is posting up an imaginary Shaq on a 6' nerf ball ring. And then blowing the dunk. I would just leave them alone - and when Rose wins the MVP maybe their statistics will snuggle up to them at night as they cry themselves to sleep.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Happy do everyone a favor and zip it. There no room for your nay saying BS on this site....its for Bulls FANS.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    OHHHHHHHHHHH Mr Happy iss backkk !!!!!!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Happy reminds me of Melo. It's good when he's gone (Denver), and not so good when he's around (NY).

  • In reply to zentastic:

    OUCH!!!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Do you really think the Mavs can beat the Lakers in the second round without home court? I find it pretty far fetched, the Mavs aren't as good as their record, and there's no real reason to think they're any better than they have been in the past when they've struggled to win playoff games.

    Right now Denver & Oklahoma are probably the 2nd/3rd best teams in the West, pity they have to meet in the first round.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Dallas never had a good inside presence and did not really play defense before. If Chandler is healthy, he provides or negates Bynum. If any of the wing guys can play some kind of defense on Kobe, they have a chance.

    That said, what I meant is if they beat the Lakers on Mar 31, they might have a chance at HCA against them.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Doug that article on the final two minutes indeed shows Kobe and Wade both have low/in the .200's percentages of hitting those shots. That was really just a side point I was making anyhow, but I was wrong nonetheless. As you and others vociferously let me know. Ha. It says Kobe has what 14 game winning shots? I saw a blurb on ESPN where I thought they said it was 24-25. Anyway, my thing is Derrick can definitely improve in this area as I have seen many of his game winning attempts miss(or are there stats somewhere that show otherwise/he's at .350 or up??). If so I'm sure someone will let us/me know. But I do think he's been more clutch this season, and I think these playoffs will be a great opportunity for him to show his abilities in this area. Pointing to ways D-Rose can improve is not hating. I think he's played at a top 2-3 player this season(if not No.1). He's just an incredible player and person as we all know. I do think it's a good thing to note weaknesses of the player you root for or idolize even because it gives you that final star to shoot for. And there is the excitement of seeing them reach that platueau.

    My real concern right now is that Joakim seemed like that second star or even superstar player to me earlier this year that a championship team needs to win it all. Now he and Booz look very non-starlike(?) I always felt like Jo got into a rythm/plays on a much higher level when he has more minutes 38-39. If you look at the box scores pre-injury this year you'll see a lot of 38-39's and up. I hope they go back to this for the last ten games because Jo needs to get that groove back IMO. Omer has had enough time to be ready. But we will need Jo's offense IMO which Omer weill not give you any 17-22 point games like Jo can. Likewise Boozer though I don't know that he needs more minutes. He justs seems like he's lost his elevation(what he has)/ability to score in the post/score the ball period at 18-20ppg. I'm definitely thinking if Joakim doesn't get back to posting 13-14ppg and 12 or more boards with hopefully close to two blocks per game i.e being an impact/all star consideration type of player the Bulls will struggle to make it to the ECF/be hurt at some critical point by this.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Whatever we think of Boozer, I like to point out two things:
    1. His ankle has been hurt two times. We need to give a little more time for him to get more comfortable with it.
    2. We didn't have a great record when Boozer was out. Whatever the other things are(Rose's great play, understanding Thibs's system etc..), the fact is the Bulls have had a great record with Boozer playing and Noah being out.
    As I wrote in an earlier post, if Noah is taking so much time to get back his game...imagine the O'Neals with the Celtics and Haslem with the Heat. I think missing a week or two is ok for a player but missing more than a month seems to make a big impact on how fast they can get back to their rhythm.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Whatever fans say - Boozer made this team better.
    It was unfortunate to have 2 ankle injurys in a short period, so his legs might not feel fresh for some power dunks...
    With Boozer on court - he's keeping defence honest, and out of the way of DRose. That is invaluable.

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    true that

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    Boozer has, without a doubt, helped this team tremendously and still does.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    For months now he has played more like Keith Bogans, than the Carlos Boozer I thought that we were getting.

    and I am starting to believe that he and Noah will never be a match, Noah might actually play better with a defensive 4, or as a 4 with a defensive center.

    Defense is a total team effort, and it only takes one weak link to break it down, just ask BG Boozer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's like with Brewer and Korver, one or the other is a decent player but having both on the team to play as the situation dictates is worth more than the sum of its parts. That's the situation with Boozer and his back ups.

    Is the defense a lot better when Boozer is on the bench? Yes. Is the offense better by an even bigger amount when he's out there? Yes again.

    The defense is still good when Boozer is out there (true anecdotally and the numbers say good for 5th in the league), and we have the luxury of playing one of the defensive guys more if we need to. I don't think Boozer has been great since rolling his ankle, but he still serves a very important role on the team.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Totally agree. Fans love to jump the gun and say Boozer has lost this or that....or maybe he's sprained his ankle twice in the last month and is still getting it back. I'd lean towards injury as opposed to he is no longer good enough...but that's me.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Have no fear RoadWarrior, the reason John Paxson drafted Joakim Noah was because he plays BIG IN BIG GAMES. WATCH HIM IN THE PLAYOFFS. He's a raving Bull.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I agree that Rose was very non-clutch early in his career. I think he missed his first 8 shots of that variety. He's been very clutch thus far this year though,a nd would likely have a very good percentage in those shots this season.

    I agree with your conerns about Jo/Boozer, I think the fact that one wants to play fast and one slow has been kind of an issue.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I am willing to bet that in crunch time come the playoffs we will see less and less of Boozer, more Noah, and any of the bigmen who can play defense, Taj, Thomas or Asik and Destroy.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    exactly, i think the same thing. OKC can beat Dallas.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Plus Dirk has Lebron Syndrome - nice stats in the regular season; can't get it done when it counts.

  • In reply to davebursill:

    Dirk of course being much less of a tool though.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    OKC could again prove to be the Lakers biggest challenge out west.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Just got to listen to the podcast Superb as usual, DT...

    1) I fear the Magic most in the East, only because they're the team with the history of injuring our Unicorn (btw, kind-hearted mythical beast that's [i][b]impossible to capture [/b][/i] is why they call him that I believe).

    2) Booze and Noah may be figuring it out a little. In the 4th q against Milwaukee Noah had that highlight dunk on the break, assisted by Rose. How that happened is as Boozer snagged the rebound Noah started downcourt. The one man back broke toward Korver and Derrick hit Jo for the dunk before Bogut was even in the frame. That was a great play where Jo and Carlos keyed off each other a bit and if they keep doing it our break gets doubly dangerous.

    3) I get your point about the bench depth not being so much of an advantage in the playoffs. But also, even though our bench works great as a unit, they are also a bunch of specialists that can be very useful in the playoff matchup situations. I think they'll get their chances, just probably not as a unit.

    That's enough opining for one morning, I'll shut up now :)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Dallas can'T beat LA or Spurs. Last years' spurs beat them easily before being sweept by the suns. dallas has always been a good team since 2000 but they have never won a title. They need another star to help Nowiztki.
    LA is too good, once phil jackson and kobe turn the engine on. There's no way spurs or dallas are beating them.

  • fb_avatar

    Now this was a great weekend to be a Bulls fan. I'm actually a little angry at myself that I didn't get up and go to church Sunday morning. I cannot imagine how good the choir would've sounded the morning after Rose dropped 30 and 17. Wow.

    Looking forward, I'm still cautiously optimistic so far as seeding is concerned. Whenever I get to thinking that this team's invincible I try to remember that if this team plays in any division other than the god-awful Central, they're 3rd in the East right now.

    Yes, the Bulls look invincible (heard they've outscored opponents in the 4th q by 201 pts this year. No other team is over 100 in that stat. Dayum.) Yes, the Bulls control their own destiny. But the Sixers are hungry, the Suns just went 3OT against the Lakers, and I'm 99% sure that if the Bulls really need the Nets game at the end of the season, destiny will take a hand.

    Now to gorge myself on youtube footage of our MVP.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    lol my choir was really good yesterday lol

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    "Whenever I get to thinking that this team's invincible I try to remember that if this team plays in any division other than the god-awful Central, they're 3rd in the East right now."
    Talk about damning a team with faint praise, Mr. Redwhitenblack. Only from a so-called Bulls Fan.

  • In reply to Normie:

    Some people will always see the glass half empty I guess. Oh and religion has ruined most things in the world let's keep it and the choir away from this Bulls team :-)

  • In reply to Normie:

    clearly you are related to Mappy, if not the spawn of Mappy.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Why do you think they'd be third in the East right now if they played in any of the other divisions? You play half the other divisional foes 4 times anyway just like your division. We play Boston 4 times, Orlando 4 times, the Hawks 4 times.

    At most, we'd have one more game against Miami, whom we're presently 3-0 against.

    I don't see how you make the case being in another division would have any impact whatsoever, because of the teams worth mentioning, we're playing them all four times anyway except one.

    Maybe we'd have one more loss if we played Miami four times, but that's only a maybe.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Agreed! It

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