Here’s one way to put the Bulls’ stunning 5-2 road trip in perspective.
To this point in the season, the rest of the Eastern Conference has gone 10-34 on the road against Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. The Bulls just went 5-0.
The Spurs are 10-1 against other East teams, losing only to Boston. The Thunder is 8-2.
Keep in mind, though, that this trip was a step down in competition from what the Bulls faced in November. During the circus trip, they played the No. 1 (Lakers), 2 (Denver), 4 (Utah) and 6 (Portland) teams in the West, based on current standings. And that was when the Blazers had both Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla on the floor. Those two big men were since lost for the year.
This trip, they beat the current No. 5 (Spurs) and 7 (Suns), while the Rockets, Thunder and Hornets are all tied for spots 9-11.
In other words, the Bulls winning streak is fantastic, but let’s not get carried away. Momentum can disappear quickly and they have to come back with four games in five nights next week.
Can the Bulls stretch the win streak against the Clippers and Philadelphia – two teams they should beat? How about a competitive game in Atlanta next Friday? The biggest matchup next week is probably the last one when Miami visits the UC for the first time this season on Saturday.
As of Friday night, the Bulls were tied with Charlotte for No. 7 in the East, just a half game behind the Heat and a game back of Toronto.
--A couple performances of note: Center Brad Miller averaged 13.4 points during the five-game win streak and hit 7 of 15 shots from 3-point range. Remember in December when Miller scored 4 points total in a five-game stretch?
--Joakim Noah grabbed 18 rebounds in both games against the Hornets this season and also averaged 15 points. With no true center in New Orleans, outside of Aaron Gray, smaller defenders give Noah a chance to demonstrate his developing post moves.
--The Bulls improved to 4-0 against the Hornets the past two seasons. Derrick Rose has never lost to Chris Paul.