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Bulls Beat Suns, Finish Road Trip 3-4

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 13, 2007 2:12AM

With the Bears' season over, Chicagoist has focused our attention to basketball, specifically the Bulls. With their home arena invaded by Princesses on Ice, the Bulls spent the past two weeks wandering out West in their second extended road trip of the season.

2005_sports_bulls_logo.gifSunday, the Bulls concluded their seven-game road trip by knocking off the Phoenix Suns, handing the NBA's second-best team their first double-digit loss of the season.

With that win, the Bulls finished their trip a respectable 3-4, certainly better than the 2-5 we expected after they lost to Sacramento and Golden State in consecutive nights. Their overall record stands at 29-23, looking at the fifth seed in the playoffs were they to start today. But they're only 1 1/2 games out of the second seed.

With the Bulls playing OK, but not great, do they make a deal before the trading deadline in order to have a real shot at winning the Eastern Conference?

The Trib's Sam Smith looks at the Bulls' needs and whether they need to tweak the roster or make a big splash.

He continues to list Pau Gasol as Plan A. While he might be the star low-scoring threat the Bulls need, how steep a price are they willing to pay? Plan B is an unrealistic trade for Kevin Garnett. Plan C is to trade for a roll player who can score in the post — somebody like Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Nazr Mohammed, Etan Thomas or Melvin Ely. Would that really help? They might help win a couple games, but won't mean much going against Shaq or Chris Bosh. Smith's Plan D is bascially a "stay the course" and wait for the draft to improve for next year. Even below doing nothing is his Plan E — Portland's Zach Randolph.

If the Bulls make a move, they need to ensure that they don't weaken their young core and don't take on contracts that will tie their hands when the like of Deng and Gordon are eligible for new deals. We think that Plan C might be the way to go. Would Detroit send an underused Nazr Mohammed to one of their intra-division rivals?