This season in the NBA the Eastern Conference has been getting a lot of flack for being down. With so many injuries to top players such as Chicago Bulls‘ Derrick Rose and Atlanta Hawks‘ Al Horford, this only seems like a two-team race. The two teams that have been running away with the East from the beginning of the year are the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat. The Bulls must avoid sliding to the bottom of the pack to have a chance in the playoffs.
Currently, the Bulls are sitting in the middle of the conference in fifth place. They have been playing some very good basketball this year as they are getting healthier. Coach Tom Thibodeau squeezes the best from his players and the Bulls will continue to play hard regardless. When they lost Rose to a devastating knee injury, many fans and people around the league thought the Bulls would be dead in the water. But they have clawed their way back up the ladder to make the race for the last six spots interesting.
Last season, the Bulls faced this same dilemma when they were counted out. Granted, that team had more firepower with guys like Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli who could create on offense, but these Bulls are winning games differently. There are nights when the offense is very stagnant, but collectively they put it together and make shots down the stretch. They are relying more on Joakim Noah to generate offense and it’s working. Then there is still a slight chance that Rose could come back at the end of the season. It hasn’t been ruled out yet, and if he does come back look out.
The Bulls must continue to play the basketball that has gotten them this far by sharing the ball and playing hard-nosed defense. If they can avoid playing the Heat or Pacers in the first round they have a shot to make noise. There is still a lot of regular season basketball left before we can talk about playoffs.