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OK, I admit that a couple weeks ago, the Bulls' "Race for the Eighth" (playoff spot) didn't do much for me. I guess I had finally gotten my mind around declaring this season a disappointment, and "winning" the final playoff spot with something like a 37-45 record over an underachieving Sixers team somehow didn't exactly set my soul aflame.

Well, I've found myself enjoying the heck out of watching my team go 8-2 in the last 10 pressure games. They're generally considered to be somewhat talent-challenged and yet they've been winning without several of their more talented players. I'm particularly enjoying the fact that the Bulls' gutty play of late and the Sixers' recent resurgence have stuck a cattle prod in the sleeping Bucks and Pacers, bringing them back into the Race for the Eighth whether they like it or not.

Who knows? Maybe the Bulls late-season drive will get them something more than the distinction of being the worst NBA team to make the playoffs.

Last season, the Bulls pulled me out of the post-dynasty doldrums. A month ago, I felt myself returning to that awful place. I never want to go back there and I thank this gritty Bulls team for giving me late-season meaningful games.
 

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transplant said:
OK, I admit that a couple weeks ago, the Bulls' "Race for the Eighth" (playoff spot) didn't do much for me. I guess I had finally gotten my mind around declaring this season a disappointment, and "winning" the final playoff spot with something like a 37-45 record over an underachieving Sixers team somehow didn't exactly set my soul aflame.

Well, I've found myself enjoying the heck out of watching my team go 8-2 in the last 10 pressure games. They're generally considered to be somewhat talent-challenged and yet they've been winning without several of their more talented players. I'm particularly enjoying the fact that the Bulls' gutty play of late and the Sixers' recent resurgence have stuck a cattle prod in the sleeping Bucks and Pacers, bringing them back into the Race for the Eighth whether they like it or not.

Who knows? Maybe the Bulls late-season drive will get them something more than the distinction of being the worst NBA team to make the playoffs.

Last season, the Bulls pulled me out of the post-dynasty doldrums. A month ago, I felt myself returning to that awful place. I never want to go back there and I thank this gritty Bulls team for giving me late-season meaningful games.
Seconded, and passed unanimously!

When it became evident that Paxson was going to leave these guys to sort it out, my focus became the team, and how they were going to respond to the challenges. It looked unforturnately that no one would really step up, but lo and behold, they're coalescing, and ben, kirk and andres have formed a poor man's trio of reliable players that can carry a team.

And I want to commend Paxson. It took guts for him to wait it out and let the cream rise to the top before acting in haste. It was the right choice, I believe, whatever the outcome of this race. These guys have pushed through, and really grown up. Like Al Harrington said, other teams are young, but these Bulls seemed to have figured it out much faster.

So, they're not great, but they are fun, and worth my time and attention. Good job, Bullies!
 

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The difference is last year I was crushed when we had the collapse in games 4-6.

This year I'm just glad we may make it.

The thing that strikes me as somewhat similar between last year and this is both seasons we went through most of the season relatively healthy, and are limping into the last couple weeks of the regular season with an increasing laundry list of injuries and ailments.
 

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In his chat today Hollinger went out of his way to mention the end of the bench guys who he said played very hard last night. This, I believe, is the Pax/Skiles agenda of sorts. No guy is more important than any other. Everybody has a role and everybody should be ready to play. No matter if you're Ben Gordon or god forbid Jannero Pargo. This comment might get some frowns, but this team reminds me of a college team with the way everybody seems to be about the team rather than themselves (something the Pistons, Spurs, and Suns have in spades). Teams, not players, seem to be the next wave of basketball.
 

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Yeah, we have Malik Allen's jumpshot, and Michael Sweetney's slow motion post moves that work because he knows how to use his body for position. All about team, Malik and Sweets weren't playing at all not too long ago.

If we beat Washington tommorow, 1 game out of the 5th. Imagine if Washington dropped down to 8th, or even out of it. Chicago, Philly, and Indiana are the only teams winning, and Indianas only winning because they have a super dooper, easy schedule at the end.
 

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Ya I hope Deng and Duhon return soon because I don't think the Bulls can keep this up much longer.Plus I heard Gordon and Hinrich was a little banged up after yesterdays game.These guys need to get healthy fast! :chee:
 

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transplant said:
Last season, the Bulls pulled me out of the post-dynasty doldrums. A month ago, I felt myself returning to that awful place. I never want to go back there and I thank this gritty Bulls team for giving me late-season meaningful games.
I'm bumping this up because...well...our MOJO is officially BACK! Tonight's game led by Gordon's amazing play showed us that whatever was holding the Bulls back all season seems to be in the past. This was probably the most enjoyable game I've seen all season. Even though we were losing most of the game, you could just feel like we were ready to pounce down the stretch (and sure enough it happened). That's one distinct trait of this team's mojo from last season. It was just great to see. And even though the chances of advancing past round 1 are slim, I'm loving that this team never gave up and actually accomplished SOMETHING in what was quickly becoming a meaningless season. It's sweet to see some positive momentum going into next season.
 

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I've been saying most of the year that this season was disappointing to me because our record slid some, but the way we're closing things out has done a lot to bring back the excitement. The great thing is seeing how much fight these guys have. I knew they played hard every night, but thought maybe they wouldn't be able to find another gear this season. I'm glad I was wrong about that.
 

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It certainly is admirable to witness the fight in this team. Great way to close out the regular season.

They way they keep dusting themselves off and continuing to charge ahead full steam is a case study in motivation techniques.

The environment that Skiles and Paxson created is once again refreshing to see in the NBA. Very NCAA like. Let’s hope it amounts to something of NBA consequence.
 

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kukoc4ever said:
It certainly is admirable to witness the fight in this team. Great way to close out the regular season.

They way they keep dusting themselves off and continuing to charge ahead full steam is a case study in motivation techniques.

The environment that Skiles and Paxson created is once again refreshing to see in the NBA. Very NCAA like. Let’s hope it amounts to something of NBA consequence.
Agreed.

The question between us has always been -- which comes first, the attitude, or the talent.

I'm a firm believer that everything is possible for those who believe. But I'm also aware that it takes hard work to keep believing in the face of mounting obstacles. And it's easier to "believe" when the talent is there. But, and this is the key, you don't believe in the talent -- you believe in the team and the goals of the team. The talent is not an end, its a (necessary) means to the end. And really, talent is something that can and really must be developed (see Tyson, Ben, Luol, etc.)

Anyway, I like the way we've done (and not done) things so far. And I credit Paxson and Skiles for keeping the eye on the prize in the face of difficulties and hardships. And I credit the players for keeping on believing, too.

In this respect, I think Nocioni has really taken over with on court leadership. After all, he's the guy with the gold medal, won by a great team from Argentina. But he couldn't do that until he brought his game under control and his production to a consistent level. He did it just in time. (whew!)

This is a guy, as your signature indicates, who really knows himself and his team, and really buys into the idea that they can achieve alot by making the effort to work together as a team. With the hope of course, that more talent will come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
kukoc4ever said:
It certainly is admirable to witness the fight in this team. Great way to close out the regular season.

They way they keep dusting themselves off and continuing to charge ahead full steam is a case study in motivation techniques.

The environment that Skiles and Paxson created is once again refreshing to see in the NBA. Very NCAA like. Let’s hope it amounts to something of NBA consequence.
K4E, you've really gotten good at this.

These Bulls are unlikely to make any serious noise in the playoffs, but this is not the time for this line of rational thought. What the Bulls have done in the last few weeks is for the fans. It's been fun. It's been exciting. Most important, as a fan, it's been rewarding. My friends who are not Bulls' fans have been telling me since midseason that last year was a fluke. Now I can seek them out and ask, "How you like my Bulls NOW?"

For this season at least, I'll let the detractors back up and say that "well, the Bulls aren't going to win the championship or anything like that." Being a fan is not a rational thing. You have to put a little bit of yourself on the line with your team. Those who became Bulls' fans during the dynasty years may find it hard to get it. Only one team wins the championship and only a few truly compete for it. While I want my team to live in that rarefied air now and forever, it doesn't work that way.

I didn't think I'd say it, but I'm proud of the 2005-06 Bulls. They've done a helluva job.
 
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