While the Bulls February schedule is only half over, they've managed to get through the first half (all road games) at 2-3. While not great, it is far better than 0-5. At least by having a surprising win over Dallas and a not-so-surprising win over the imploding Minnesota Timberwolves (more on their problems here, here, and here), it shows that the Bulls aren't entirely a fluke. There's still a chance of tired legs and inexperienced game keeping the playoffs from reach, but as of now the ship seems steady, and can tread water before the schedule becomes friendly again.
Tuesday night is the return to the United Center to face the Kings. After a tough start, the Kings have followed their usual formula to the middle of the Western Conference playoff race at 33-18. Some good news for the Bulls is that Peja Stojakovic pulled his hamstring on Sunday and will probably miss the game. This year the Kings are not nearly as deep as they were in years past (due to cap casualties and the yearly Bobby Jackson injury), so the Peja injury could hurt especially bad. But they still should have Chris Webber, Brad Miller, Mike Bibby, and new addition Cuttino Mobley. Losers of 4 straight before a win on Sunday, maybe the Kings won't be as tough of a matchup at home than was assumed at the start of the month. I do hope that there is a big UC crowd to welcome back the fellas home. And to see that Asian woman who stacks bowls on her head at halftime while riding a unicycle, that shit is crazy.
The following night is a game I've been looking forward to for a while, the first matchup of the season against the Toronto Raptors. This will be a road game and the wrong end of a back-to-back, but unless you've shut off all contact with anything outside of the American border you know that the Raptors have some issues as well. Although if you had shut off all contact that means you're not reading Raptorblog, and that is just plain wrong. Make sure you head over to the forum to get a perspective from behind enemy lines. Don't worry, just mention that I sent you, the fans are friendlier than their fight-seeking head coach.