Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Road to the Playoffs

Just looked at the upcoming schedules through March for Philadelphia, New Jersey and Chicago. There's no reason the Bulls shouldn't be ahead of both of these teams by the end of these 17 games.

Out of the three teams, Philly plays the most teams that would currently make the playoffs (12)--and that obviously doesn't include their two games (1 home, 1 away) against the Bulls in this 17-game stretch. Nine of their 17 are on the road. They make a three-game swing out west that includes Golden State and Phoenix, and then, after an easy two-game break, have a brutal stretch where they gotta play home at Boston, @Detroit, @the Bulls, two home games against San Antonio and Denver, and then, finally, @Orlando. Personally, I think they'll be lucky to go 6-11, which would leave them at 31-43.

Like the Bulls, New Jersey plays 11 playoff teams in this stretch, and, again, that doesn't include their visit to the United Center. And after this Thursday's home game against the Bucks, the Nets have the hardest stretch of any of these teams. It starts with a home and home against the Spurs, the latter of which kicks off a 5-game road trip in which, Memphis aside, they also play Houston, New Orleans and Dallas. They follow that up with two tough home games against Utah and the Cavs, then are back on the road to face Chicago. Things get considerably easier from there, but again, 6-11 is well within the realm of possibility, which would leave them too at 31-43.

As for the Bulls, they only have 7 road games in this stretch, and while they play some tough opponents like the Cavs (twice), Boston, Pistons, Spurs, Jazz and Hornets, most of their games are against teams that are only slightly better (or slightly worse) than they are, such as Washington, Atlanta, Indiana, New Jersey and Philly. They have to win their home games against these squads, and if they can pick up a couple on the road, 10-7 is certainly feasible, which would leave them at 32-42, right in the thick of the playoff hunt.

God bless the Eastern Conference!


Blogger T Dizzle said...

This is a great post and it does make sense that we are still in this.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Ty said...

I soooo do not want to be in it. If I trusted Boylan with a true "youth movement", I'd love to see a team led by Hinrich, Gordon, Deng, Thomas and Noah make the playoffs and actually get some of that "experience".

Alas, the closer the playoffs look, the more Jimbo will rely on Gooden and Hughes to carry the team. Despite never "earning" their minutes.

4:33 PM  
Blogger JoeJoe said...

We might see the black shoes this spring if they take care of business and I wouldn't put it past them winning a series. But defensivley there has to be improvement

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Bullshooter said...

this is the kind of in-depth analysis that I can't seem to get at blogabull anymore. :-p However, a word of warning: these bulls have shown they can disappoint without reason, so 10-7 is pretty rosy outlook.

11:39 AM  
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