Over the last few weeks, the Bulls have gradually dropped out of the top spot, losing five of their last six, and currently, sit at the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference.
This may feel like a bad thing for the Bulls, but there are positives about where they reside in the Eastern Conference if the playoffs were to start now.
The East is loaded this year with teams that the Bulls are going to have a tough time beating.
The Sixers practically own the Bulls and obtaining Harden at the trade deadline doesn’t make it any easier. I’m sorry, but there is no scenario where I see the Bulls taking down the Sixers in a seven-game series
The next team is the Nets. When fully healthy, the Nets aren’t a team anyone wants to face in the playoffs. Seven games with Kevin Durant is a tough task and they also improved at the deadline adding Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond. Despite the Bulls’ success against the Nets in the regular season, they are starting to play like a different team.
Lastly, the Bucks. The Bucks have also had success against the Bulls this year. They are the defending champs and Giannis Antetokoumpo is seemingly unguardable for this Bulls team.
In a full playoff series, these three teams are going to be very difficult to take down.
Best and Current Scenario:
Here is a hypothetical scenario. The Bulls march their way back to the top of the Eastern Conference. But, who is sitting in the current 7th/8th position? The Brooklyn Nets. After a great regular season under your belts, no team wants to be “rewarded” with having to play the Nets in the first round.
As long as the Bulls hold on to a top-five seed, it looks like they won’t have to play Milwaukee or Philly (Bucks are currently the 2 seed and Sixers are the 3 seed).
That being said, should the Bulls be content at where they are?
The Bulls’ current first-round matchup is the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have been playing a lot better, but the Bulls have had success against Boston this year. The first matchup was a comeback win for the Bulls resulting in a 128-114 win. The Second matchup was a close loss 114-112. However, in the second matchup, the Bulls were without LaVine as well as Ball, Caruso, and P-Will.
The Celtics are a team I personally (as a fan) feel comfortable taking in a seven-game series.
If the Bulls beat the Celtics in the first round then at the moment, they would take on the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat have won all three games against the Bulls this year. Though, most will agree that the Heat are an easier out than Philly, Milwaukee, or Brooklyn. The Heat are well-coached and well-rounded, but they are not a super team with an MVP caliber player.
If the Bulls could have a first-round series against Boston, then a second-round series against Miami, the Bulls will have a very good chance of making a run in the playoffs.
Now, I am not saying to try not to win because the Bulls still have to stay competitive. All I am saying is that the Bulls are not in desperate need to climb back up in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls take on the Bucks tonight in a game all fans would like to win. Go Bulls!