The Bulls Final 14
The Kings have had a rough season with last season’s rookie of the year, Tyreke Evans, out or playing in pain due to some plantar fasciitis. The rumors of the team moving to southern California has also impacted the play of a team that is much better than what their record suggests.
@ Atlanta Hawks *2nd Game of a B2B
Carlos Boozer sparked Al Horford to go off on the Bulls in their first meeting this season, but a Boozerless Bulls managed revenge to tie the series up. With Atlanta playing as close to full strength as they have been all-season, they will find a way to break out of this recent slump to hang onto the 4th seed in the East.
The Grizzlies get the Bulls in a sandwich of the leagues best records, after facing Boston, and soon to prepare for San Antonio. If Memphis managed to beat Boston, they could be hot and ready to beat the Bulls. If they lose to Boston, they might play the Bulls in redemption. Either way, the Griz’s senses will be elevated in their trip to Chicago.
@ Milwaukee Bucks *2nd Game of a B2B
Milwaukee will also come off a back-to-back of their own at the Knicks. With the Bucks currently 2 games out, and still very much in the hunt for a playoff berth, this will not be an easy game at their house.
The Sixers will be coming off a back-to-back against Sacramento when they visit the Bulls. What looks to be one of the more likely playoff previews, could very well be a dud in the regular season. This should be good news to the Bulls, if they don’t manage playing down to Philly.
@ Minnesota Timberwolves
Another sandwich stretch, except this one should easily be in the Bulls favor. The T’wolves face Boston, the Bulls, then Miami on a 3 game homestand. Minnesota is the #1 rebounding team in the NBA, with the Bulls at number 2. This begs the question, with a healthy Bulls team on the glass, will Kevin Love be more focused on yet-another double-double, rather than the win? The Timberwolves have been rumored as one of the potential ‘contraction’ candidates, and really, have no reason to win much of anything at this point.
@ Detroit Pistons
4 1/2 games out of the 8th spot, you can be sure that Detroit will put aside the whole Rip Hamilton versus the world act for a few more games. With Tracy McGrady playing for his career and former Bull, Ben Gordon, waiting to go off against his former team, expect this to be a streak-shooters cage match. The Pistons follow up against the Celtics in Boston. Hopefully the Bulls can run away with this game, and give Detroit enough of the blue-print(in terms of preparation) for Thib’s versatile defensive system, the same system that is still used by the Celts.
Toronto Raptors *2nd Game of a B2B
James Johnson continues to grow in a Raptors uniform, getting the opportunities that the Bulls could not provide him. All of his statistics have been up, and the Raptors have been doings better with him starting at the 3. He isn’t a dominant player, and the Bulls should be looking past this game, as a revenge to a loss just one week after the trade deadline. The Raptors will be headed to Orlando immediately after the match. Toronto is eliminated from the playoffs due to no scenario of win:losses allowing them entry, although as we have seen before, some teams only pay attention games back, and games left. The Raptors are 10 games back, with 14 left to play. Expect them to be officially eliminated by the April 2nd game.
The Suns are making a playoff push of their own, with 15 games left and 2 1/2 games out of the 8th seed in the west. They come to Chicago to play the second game in a five game road trip. Phoenix has a losing record on the road, and if they want to sneak into the playoffs, they’ll need to make their biggest team efforts right around the Bulls matchup.
Maybe the biggest game of the Regular Season for both clubs, the Celtics come to Chicago in hopes of pushing the Bulls into the 2nd seed. While the Celtics are an old team, Coach Doc Rivers might settle for a loss, just to have his team rested and ready for the second season. Don’t expect any favors from Thibodeau’s old team.
@ Cleveland Cavaliers *2nd Game of a B2B
When the Cavs set an NBA record for losing, it became easy to forget that most of their wins came against winning teams. Somehow, they can beat anyone in the league and they have lost twice to the Bulls within the final minute.
@ Orlando Magic
The Dwight vs Rose for MVP debate will continue in Orlando, after the Bulls won the last matchup behind a breakout game from Omer Asik. Dwight gets most of the credit for Orlando’s success, but they are stacked on the wings. If the Bulls get some luck, and Orlando stays put in the 4th seed, this should be a preview of a second round matchup.
@ New York Knicks
How Melo got his groove back? This game will be way to early to comment on, just for the simple observation reflecting the Knicks sloppy but potentially dangerous play. Can the Knicks put together a system in three weeks that will allow them to compete with any given team? One thing has been for sure, Carmelo will not give up easily at Madison Square Garden. We could see another potential first round series preview against the Knicks.
New Jersey Nets *2nd Game of a B2B
Deron Williams may sit out for the remainder of the season due to his wrist injury, and some signs might point to New Jersey tanking the rest of the season to boast their lottery chances in a potentially weak draft.
Boston’s Final 14
@IND *2nd Game of a B2B
WAS *2nd Game of a B2B
@WAS *2nd Game of a B2B
Miami’s Final 12
@WAS *2nd Game of a B2B