The Chicago Bulls are in a close battle in the middle of the Eastern Conference for position in the rapidly nearing NBA Playoffs. Given where they sit now at the six-seed, the Bulls could potentially end up anywhere from the eight-seed to the two-seed. Anything can happen at this point with only six and a half games separating the two-seed and the seven-seed right now.
Chicago has an opportunity at hand where they could possibly end up with home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. However, their outlook doesn’t look as bright as it could. The Bulls might actually have trouble over the remaining weeks in the regular season, mostly due to the lingering foot injury that their starting center, Joakim Noah, has been dealing with.
Noah has missed games here and there for most of the season with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, including missing Chicago’s game on Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers. This is a big deal for the Bulls as Noah has been their rock for most of the season. He’s led the team averaging 11.4 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals per game and has also added 12.1 points and 4.1 assists per game. All of those numbers are also career-highs for Noah.
As they jostle for position in the East, the Bulls are faced with the difficult task of balancing the health of Noah with their battle for their playoff position. They don’t want to hamper Noah in the postseason and in the future by playing him too much right now, but they also don’t want to sit him out for too long because that severely hurts their chances of winning. It will be interesting to see how the Bulls try and work this dilemma out over the next few weeks.