Monday, January 31, 2005

A look back, and forward

Tomorrow will be the first day of February, closing out one of the best months in Bulls history, earning a record of 13-3. Here are some very standard (and un-worthy-of-APBR) stats:

Month W-L  FG%  3P%  FT%  RPG APG PPG
 In November 11 1-10 0.409 0.313 0.694 41.5 21.1 89.8
 In December 15 8-7 0.443 0.340 0.751 43.8 21.5 89.9
 In January 16 13-3 0.448 0.368 0.764 43.8 23.2 96.1

And if that wasn't impressive enough, it doesn't reflect the change in team defense, a defense that-and I like to mention this often- is 2nd in the NBA.

Sure they were healthy (when many of their opponents weren't), and they were playing a lot of weaker teams. But they won.

So what does this month bring? Well, in short, a much bigger test, as already projected by the Bulls Report:

It could be ugly ... Of the 11 games on the schedule, only 3 are at home. Those 3 games include Miami, Sacramento, and Washington -- all teams with winning records who are playing well right now. The 8 road game are against New Jersey (best chance for a win for weeks), Miami (tough), Dallas (tough), Houston (tough), Minnesota (tough), Toronto (should be a win, which will be a welcome break), Cleveland (let's spank them again), and Charlotte (definite win).

In a word: eek. I wouldn't even write home about that Toronto win just yet, as they are a pretty good home team (15-7). But I'm not forgetting of course that in the NBA season sometimes you win games you are not 'supposed to'. And while I'm not sure how good this team really is, at least there are a lot more teams the Bulls 'should' beat than before.

Leave your predictions here: I say they'll go 5-6. Because even when they were 1-10, I was an optimist. But not crazy. Remember, the Bulls don't have to be as good as Dallas or even Houston: they're in the East.