Thursday, January 15, 2004

Status Check

There isn't a whole lot going on in Bulls-land, the losses are piling up and the team is simply inconsistent from one game to the next. Scottie Pippen returned against the Pistons on Tuesday, yet Tyson Chandler is still sidelined. I didn't get to see the Detroit game until the 4th quarter when they were down 20. While the Bulls did string together a nice rally to cut the lead to 7(with the ball), Detroit plays the kind of style that is tough to come back on. Plus they're simply a better team. In fact I projected them to win the East.

But then again, I projected the Bulls to finish 6th. Now after a horrendous start, players being traded, and coaches being fired, the preseason goal of making the playoffs looks bleaker by the day. And the thing about bad starts is that you have to play better the rest of the year to catch up. Not around .500 which they have been lately. So how well do the Bulls' have to play for the rest of the year to even sniff a playoff spot?  I was going to do these projections during the all-star break, but since there's little going on I'll put up this chart now:

notes: Bulls' current record: 12-26 (.312)

           8th seed last year(Orlando): 42-40 (.512)

W(total) L(total) RestofTheWay: W L %
30 52   18 26 0.409
32 50   20 24 0.455
34 48   22 22 0.500
36 46   24 20 0.545
38 44   26 18 0.591
40 42   28 16 0.636
42 40   30 14 0.682
44 38   32 12 0.727
46 36   34 10 0.773
48 34   36 8 0.818
50 32   38 6 0.864


So, even in the meek Eastern Conference, to match the record for the 8th seed last year the Bulls' need to play .682 basketball. Pretty much twice as good as they're playing now. Now that cutoff mark may be a little lower (or higher) this year, but safe to say the Bulls' will have to run off a string of victories. The kind of streak such as 7 in a row, or 10 out of 12, etc. to get back in the race. A return of Tyson Chandler could be the kind of thing to spark such a run, but by then the hole may be even deeper.

Note: I changed the settings on the blog to make the table actually look right. Unfortunately that means that most of my previous posts have messed up line breaks. from now on they should be alright though :)