Lots of things happened last night, some important, some not important. The Bulls clinched the division for the first time since the Jordan era with a win over Charlotte and an Indiana loss. To clinch this early is fairly amazing, but it says more about the weakness of the division than the strength of the Bulls, since 45 wins is typically not enough to win your division at the end of the season let alone this early in the year.
I only got to see bits and pieces of the Bobcats game, so I won't try and force a crappy recap on you. The biggest news coming out of the game is that Carlos Boozer took a flagrant foul from Kwame Brown, went down and looked to be hurt pretty badly. If you didn't see the play, no need to jump on the Boozer's fragile bandwagon.
His leg bent back in a way a leg probably shouldn't bend. X-Rays were negative on the injury, but you typically can't see a torn ACL/MCL on an X-Ray, so we'll have to hold our breaths there a little bit. The leg seemed to bend backwards more than sideways, so a torn ACL is less likely (at least all my memories of the torn ACLs have guys legs going sideways really weird).
In the locker room, they were calling it an ankle injury, and they'll wait to see how the swelling goes tomorrow. If this is an ankle injury, I might lean towards guessing a high ankle sprain rather than a low ankle sprain just from looking at it. If so, Boozer could miss the rest of the season.
However, that's enough of me playing web doctor from watching the play four or five times. It could just as easily be something that he plays through in two days, so no need to panic until there's an official diagnosis.
Can the Bulls possibly catch Boston for the #1 seed?
In other news on the night, the Boston Celtics lost to the Clippers
while playing in Boston. They recently struggled to beat the Milwaukee
Bucks in Milwaukee as well. Granted, the Bulls have had plenty of
games where they've struggled to beat a mediocre team on the road (and
have failed a few times too), so I'm probably getting ahead of myself,
but I still sense some weakness in Boston.
The Bulls are presently 2 games back in the loss column, but they lose the tiebreaker to Boston due to Boston locking up a better conference record. As such Chicago needs to lose three less games than Boston for the rest of the season.
They play each other once more, and that game is in Chicago. This gives the Bulls the chance to cut it to two games over the rest of the season. It's a long shot, but I think the Bulls are more in the running for the #1 seed than the Heat are for the #3 seed.
Granted a serious Boozer injury could curtail things quite a bit.
Let's cross our fingers on Carlos and get prepared for the Hawks. The Bulls are coming up on the end of the tough 20 games, and they've vastly exceeded my expectations through that stretch. The Hawks are one of the few teams to hand them a loss during that run, so hopefully they can get some revenge on Friday at the UC.