Bulls Making Late Playoffs Push
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 5, 2006 6:49PM
Chicagoist has pretty much given up on the Bulls making the playoffs. Sure, we were diappointed for a while that they took a big step back from the progress last year's team made. Especially during that time between the Super Bowl and March Madness when they were about the only show in town. But we'd found solace in their likely two lottery picks -- including a very good shot at the first pick from the Knicks. While we were busy filling in our brackets and keeping tabs on baseball as Opening Day drew near, the Bulls seem to have righted the ship.
About 10 days ago, Scott Skiles finally made a significant lineup change. He returned Ben Gordon and Tyson Chandler to the bench in favor of Chris Duhon and Michael Sweetney. Those two players played key roles off the bench during last year's 47-35 campaign. Sure enough, since the shakeup, the Bulls are 5-1. About damn time, Scott! We've been questioning not sticking with what worked last year all season.
Last night, the Bulls rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 102-96. Down 90-73 in the 4th quarter, the Ben Gordon of old re-emerged to score 16 points in the final period as the Bulls stormed back to win the game. Gordon, sporting a Jordan-esque shanved head, scored 23 points on his 23rd birthday.
The win, combined with Cleveland's victory over Philadelphia, pulled the Bulls to within a 1/2 game of the 8th playoff spot in the East. They face off against the 76ers tonight and again on Saturday. The Bulls have 8 games remaining and Philly has 9 left. The end of the season is rapidly approaching. Their hopes for making the playoffs clearly rest on the outcome of these two games. If they truly have the heart to make the playoffs, we'll find out in their next two games. Otherwise, we'll again be marking down the night of the draft lottery in our calendar.