The Chicago Bulls are ready for the post-season even despite a few nicked up Bulls. The Bulls charged back from an 18 point deficit to catch and pass the Hawks in the 4th quarter.
Guard Aaron Brooks scored 9 of his 23 points in the 3rd quarter to get Chicago back in the game. Derrick Rose sat out the second half with a sore knee. Terming the sore knee, “not serious”–he instead chose to talk about getting “the mental game” ready for the first-round of the playoffs.
Chicago won 91-85 and clinched the third seed in the Eastern Conference standings. They will face the much improved Milwaukee Bucks starting Saturday at home.
“When you have a lot of moving parts, it gets choppy,” said Coach Tom Thibodeau. “We have to hit the ground running. We’re here now. We’ll see.”
The Bulls finished the regular season at 50-32, an excellent record considering the team started its regular rotation in 20% of its games.
Jimmy Butler scored 21 points, and Paul Gasol notched another double-double, adding 18 points with 13 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic, added 11 points for Chicago. Mirotic, a growing fan favorite, can score from all points on the court. He may be a factor in the playoffs.
Taj Gibson saw limited minutes due to a sore left shoulder that was wrapped after the game. He said he would be ready on Saturday.
For Atlanta, it was Dennis Schroder’s 21 points which led the team. He came off the bench and had a hot night, making 9 of 13 attempts from the floor. Al Horford chipped in with 14 points. Jeff Teague added 10 points for Atlanta.
Atlanta has won 60 games and earned the #1 seed in the East. They will take on the Brooklyn Nets who defeated Orlando in their final home game.
All eyes will be on Derrick Rose. Is his knee ok? According to him, yes. He said he could have played if he was needed. He has a few days to rest his body.
Now, it’s on the playoffs and the upstart Milwaukee Bucks. They had a fine year, playing without Jabari Parker, the number one pick, who they lost after 27 games, due to an ACL injury.