The Chicago Bulls are 33-32, and currently in the 8th playoff seed of the NBA’s Eastern Conference, just one percentage point ahead of the Detroit Pistons.
There are just a handful of games to play and every game now feels like it is a playoff game. The Bulls played like that in Toronto and gave a spirited effort. They defeated the Raptors, 109-107 as Doug McDermott had the hot hand making 9 of 11 shots for 29 points.
Asked why he plays so well vs Toronto, McDermott shook his head, and smiled, “Maybe it’s in the air.” McDermott had 30 points against Toronto, earlier in the year. Now, the Bulls need a concerted effort from everyone.
Chicago played without Derrick Rose who had a groin issue. Mike Dunleavy Jr. did not play due to illness and F Pau Gasol is back in Chicago, working on getting his sore knee in shape.
Yet, Chicago found a way.
“It’s a huge win,” said coach Fred Hoiberg.
Before the season began, Chicago was known for its deep bench. Now, it is all hands on deck. Guard E’Twaun Moore has especially played well, coming off the bench. Forward Nikola Mirotic, recently returned from abdominal surgery, is finding a lot of time on the floor. Dunleavy Jr. was having more quality minutes before his illness. He is expected back as is Gasol. Butler hopes to be on his game, as this team readies itself for a stretch run. Will Derrick Rose be a part of it? It seems to be a day-to-day proposition.
Chicago is fighting just to make the playoffs. It may likely go down to the wire.