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Bulls Mon Mar 22 2010

Will the Bulls Make The Playoffs? 2.5 Games Out Ed.

Ah, spring, that magical time of year where the Chicago Bulls flirt with the potential for being first round playoff fodder for the better teams of the Eastern Conference. Tailgate, takes a look at the crystal ball to see if the Toros will be playing in the playoffs or looking at lottery potentials (for the Milwaukee Bucks*).

Didn't the Bulls just lose 10 Games?

Yes. But the bottom half of the Eastern Conference is rife with mediocrity and the Bulls are still only 2.5 games out of the 8th seed. 3.5 games outta the sixth seed, mind you and 7 games ahead of the New York Knicks, just sayin'. They have a decent schedule the rest of the way and face Charlotte twice, and Miami and Toronto once each, so there is opportunity for the Bulls to make up ground on those three teams that are ahead of them in the standings. Additionally, they play the New Jersey Nets twice and the Washington Wizards once, those teams are bad, bad, bad right now.

Isn't, like, half of the Bulls roster injured right now?

The Bulls will be without Luol Deng for, at the very least, the rest of the regular season with a bum calf muscle. But they did get Derrick Rose back from a sprained wrist and Joakim Noah is back and will be playing a limited amount of minutes each game as he comes back from his bout of plantar fasciitis. Noah is the defensive anchor the Bulls can count on to slow any team without guys named Kobe or LeBron on it to a halt. Noah back in the line up? Bigger and more relevant (seriously, no hyperbole) than Derrick Rose back in the line up.

Shouldn't the Bulls want to tank and try and nab a great lottery spot

No. The Bulls with the John Salmons/Hakim Warrick & Joe Alexander trade with Milwaukee last month, gave up a first round draft pick that's only protected in the case of the selection being in the top 10 of the draft. If it's 11 and up, the Bucks have the option of switching draft spots with the Bulls. The Bulls would have an astronomically small chance at getting into the top ten with their current record. Even if they tanked, we're talking "snowball's chance in Hell" of nabbing a protected 1-10 spot.

The Bulls were/are in great risk of missing out on the playoffs and getting totally screwed in the draft, now that Noah and Rose are back the Bulls are less likely to miss out on the playoffs. Tailgate is giving them a 5.5 out of 10 chance of making the playoffs as of today.

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Tailgate is the sports section of Gapers Block, covering all Chicago sports. More...
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