As the 2013-2014 NBA regular season winds down the Chicago Bulls are starting to turn their sights to the playoffs. The Bulls currently hold the fourth spot in the playoff standings, so as of now they would face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round (Deja Vu of last year). However, the Bulls and the Toronto Raptors have the same record, but the Raptors are in the third spot because they hold the tiebreaker. Depending on how the final five games go for the Bulls, they could slide up to the 3rd spot and potentially see the Indiana Pacers in the second round.
Currently, the Bulls are riding a five game win streak heading into their game at Minnesota tomorrow evening. With each game played, the Bulls have been gaining more and more confidence and it seems they are playing their best basketball of the season heading into the playoffs. On top of that, the Bulls finish out the year playing at Minnesota, Detroit, at New York, Orlando, and at Charlotte. Considering how they have been playing recently, they could turn their five game winning streak into a 10 game one, making them red hot entering the playoffs.
Many people believe that Bulls aren’t a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference and that it will eventually be the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers squaring off in the Eastern Conference finals. Well, someone forgot to tell the Bulls that because they believe they can beat anyone on any night. Although the roster looks drastically different then it did on the first game of the year, they feel as though they are still title contenders without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng.
If the playoffs started today, the Bulls would have a date with the Brooklyn Nets in the first round for the second year in a row. Both rosters are very different from last years matchup, but Bulls fans hope for the same result. Just over a month ago it looked like the Nets might not even make the playoffs, but like the Bulls, they have momentum at just the right time. Going 16-5 in their last 21 games the Nets have crawled up the Eastern Conference rankings to the fifth spot. Having to play Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams in the playoffs is something that no team wants to do. Keep in mind, if the Bulls do make it through the first round as a fourth seed, they would play the Miami Heat in the second round (assuming Miami gets the number one seed).
The Bulls also have a great chance to take home the third seed which would make them play either the Washington Wizards or the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round. Both teams shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the Bulls because of the Bulls defense and tenacity. Barring any upsets, that would put the Bulls and Pacers on a crash course to meet in the second round. Almost all Bulls fans have been keeping an eye on the Pacers recent struggles and they hope those continue in the post season.
No matter what seed the Bulls end up with, they will have to take down the two headed monster that is the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. With or without Derrick Rose, the Bulls have one of the toughest defenses in the league, and having to beat them four times in a series is no easy task. Assuming the Bulls make it out of the first round they will either play the Pacers or the Heat in the second round, and either one will be a series to watch. Led by the heart of Joakim Noah, the Bulls will not go down quietly, or be intimidated by the names on the back’s of their opponents. Whatever happens in the playoffs, this season has been a huge success. No body gave them a shot to compete, let alone even make the playoffs. Toughness, defense, and heart win championships and thats the Chicago Bulls.