Somehow, the Chicago Bulls are going to the NBA playoffs.
Entering the final day of the NBA regular the season, the Bulls were still in playoff contention. A win against the Brooklyn Nets would put them in or a Miami Heat loss. Well, the Bulls took care of business to a abysmal Nets team 112-73. Jimmy Butler led the way with 25 points. Paul Zipser scored 21 points off the bench, 5-7 from three point range. The game was over after the first quarter, but the Bulls finished off the Nets in the fourth, putting up 37 points to the Nets 17.
“Now the fun begins,” Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said after Wednesday’s clinching game. But in retrospect, does the fun begin?
Do we, Bulls fans, really want to see this team in the playoffs? I was all for them missing and getting themselves into the lottery. As Gar Forman said after the deadline they are going to put the young guys into the rotation, many thought for sure the Bulls would get worse. Trying to compete in this NBA is hard enough, but with young guys in the rotation (Paul Zipser, Denzel Valentine, Cameron Payne), its even harder for Hoiberg to get wins.
But through it all, the Bulls found away. The Bulls were able to keep their TNT Thursday home game streak alive and win other big games down the stretch. And some without their second leading scorer in Dywane Wade, who they played better without him, managed to be on of the 16 teams still playing after tonight.
The Bulls now will gear up and play the Celtics in Round 1 of the NBA playoffs. The team split the season series 2-2, both winning their games on their home courts. The Bulls will have to be at their best to compete with this very versatile Celtics team.
Game 1 will be on Sunday at 5:30pm CT in Boston.