This Bulls season continues to be an interesting one. Earlier, I would have thought it odd to be more confident about the Bulls chances for a win going into MSG than I would be about tonight’s home game vs. the lowly Suns. That has unfortunately been the pattern for this team. Why are the Bulls facing this reality?
- Are they simply playing down to their level of competition?
- Is Kirk Hinrich the Bulls silent MVP?
- Are the Bulls starters more concerned about sending messages to potential Eastern Conference playoff opponents than imposing their will on the whole league?
- Are our expectations of the Bulls too high without Derrick Rose?
Maybe all of the above is true.
Not much time to recap, but didn’t want to let a week go by without posting. Bulls are just amped up for these road games I guess. Only the Clips match the Bulls for the best road record in the league at 10-5. Noah has recently admitted that they focus and come together on the road. You have to think that Derrick’s knack for imposing his will on the opposition (both at home and on the road) will help to “right the ship” as it were at the United Center where the Bulls are a miserable 10-9.
BREAKING: D. Rose warms up on MSG floor
Fans are starting to literally rub their hands together at the prospect of Derrick Rose coming back after the All Star Game in Houston. His first game back MIGHT be Tuesday, Feb. 26th vs. the Cavs at the United Center (I’m assuming they’d like #TheReturn to be at the UC), or how appropriate would it be vs. Philly on Thursday, Feb. 28th at home? Full circle and a sportswriters dream. Also a fan’s fantasy since Philly is currently on a collision course with playoff obscurity with a record of 15-22. Like Thibs says, things change quickly in this league.
Phoenix is riding a 12 game road losing streak coming into the United Center tonight, but that makes no difference based on the uninspired Bulls performances so far at home. I’m actually now predicting a win for Chicago for two reasons:
- After the meltdown vs. the Bucks, they won’t want to have another let down game.
- Also, after the 41 pt. 4th quarter they gave up to New York, you have to think that the coaching staff has amped up the intensity, 48 minute team, one game at a time talk. Will it sink in?
I’m predicting that the Bulls go 6-2 over this next stretch. Yeah, I said 6-2. Lots of winnable games and there is no reason, other than a lack of readiness and focus on the part of the Bulls that they can’t get 6 of the next 8.
- vs. Phoenix – Bulls win. They won’t want another embarrassing loss at the UC. Also, should be loose after dominating win over NYK just last night.
- vs. Atlanta – Bulls win. They pay Atlanta back for that blowout loss they suffered a couple of weeks ago in the Highlight Factory. Hawks have been on a slide losing 5 of their last 7.
- @ Toronto – Bulls lose. They have proven to be road warriors, but I think the Raptor’s ability to make tough, contested shots may prove to be the Bulls undoing.
- @ Boston – Bulls win. Always seem to be amped for these potential Eastern Conference playoff teams so they bring their A-game to the Gaahden…
- vs. Memphis – Tough call since their style of play is so similar and they also have closers with Rudy Gay and Conley. I’m going to go ahead and predict a Bulls win though. They have already lost to the Grizz down in FEDEX forum and with the way our front court is playing, we might be able to squeeze out a close one here.
- vs. Los Angeles – Bulls win. Lakers won’t or can’t defend the paint so I’m predicting big games for both Noah and Belinelli. Might be a laugher.
- vs. Detroit – Bulls have owned Detroit and I see no reason for that to change. Bulls win.
- vs. Golden State – Bulls lose. Golden State has had the Bulls number for a while now and with the high level that they are playing at right now, I dunno, gonna be tough to slow Lee and Curry down.
Is this ambitious and best case scenario? Of course it is. Bulls have been known to lay eggs so there might be some more losses in there certainly. BUT, Bulls have the talent to go 6-2. That would make the goal record over the next couple of weeks 26-16. Ten games over .500. It has been stated over and over that the Bulls are a .500 team, maybe a little better, so TEN games over would certainly change the definition and perception of this squad. I think it can be done and am looking forward to seeing how it pans out.
I won’t be around tonight for Phoenix (swamped with work), but will be back for Atlanta on Monday. Actually had a chance to GO to that game, but I’m just too busy right now.
Take care til’ next time Bulls fam and follow me @ChiTwnBullsBlog for the latest!