The Bulls went into Cleveland and grabbed an easy win. Derrick Rose didn't need to do much, and had one of his lower statistical outputs of the season. Carlos Boozer dominated on offense, and Joakim Noah had a nice night as well. With the win, the Bulls locked up the second best record in the NBA and best record in the East.
Do the Bulls have much to play for left?
The only home court left the Bulls can lock up is to gain it over the Spurs. However, with the Bulls a game back with both teams having only three games left to play, the best the Bulls can reasonably hope for is to tie the Spurs at 62 wins (with the Spurs possibly losing to the Lakers).
The Bulls should be able to win out if they aim to do so. Orlando is missing Dwight Howard on Sunday, their other two games are against the Knicks (in New York) and New Jersey at home.
The Bulls will likely be especially motivated to beat New York, whom they haven't defeated yet this season. Tom Thibodeau has shown no sign of laying off the gas pedal and has commented on how young this team is and how he doesn't feel the minutes matter.
I'd tend to agree. Say you play the starters 20 minutes a game over the next three games. You'll save them a total of maybe 45 minutes of basketball a piece spread out over approximately one week. Is that really going to make a difference? If you want to save their legs, the real place you save them now is in practice, but with the playoffs having no back to backs, I'm not especially worried about this team's legs.
Interesting side notes from this season:
The Bulls narrowly missed being the first team ever to sweep it's division. Only the OT loss against the Pacers stopped that from happening.
The Bulls have made the largest improvement of any team in the league. That's really tough to do when you start at 41 wins.
If Derrick Rose wins the MVP, then he'd have to have to be the second most unlikely MVP in recent memory with Steve Nash's first being the most unlikely.
The Bulls (as noted above) have a chance to beat every team in the NBA at least once. They'd be the only team in the league to pull that off if they manage.
Tom Thibodeau entered this season without a single player who even made third defensive team (let alone 1st or 2nd). Yet, he's built a defense that ranks #1 in virtually every important category.
If the Bulls win out, Tom Thibodeau will tie Paul Westphal's record for most wins (62) by a rookie coach.