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http://chicagosports.chicagotribune...lumn?coll=cs-bulls-utility&ctrack=1&cset=true

Visions of Bulls playoffs

Yes, one can dream. And why not. Hot teams in the last 20 games of their NBA seasons, as the Bulls are now, have done amazing things when there weren't dominant superstars to get in the way, which currently is the case. So you're asking whether the Bulls can win a first-round matchup?

Think bigger. Consider these teams:

In the 1978 Finals, Washington (44 wins that season) beat Seattle; Seattle (39) went to the 1987 Western Conference finals; Phoenix (41) went to the Western Conference finals in 1984; the 1979 and 1982 Spurs (both with 48) went to the conference finals; the Rockets (40) went to the 1981 NBA Finals; the 1976 Suns (42) played one of the most memorable Finals; and the 1975 Warriors (48) stole the conference finals from the Bulls and won the championship.

It's about getting hot at the right time. And what if the Pacers get the final Eastern Conference playoff spot? They're 3-0 this season against Miami, which hasn't won in Indiana in four years, and Jermaine O'Neal is practicing again. "When a team wins 12 in a row against you, you can't make excuses about it," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said.

The Pacers, though, are working their way toward sixth and a third consecutive first-round series with the Celtics. If you want to look ahead, figure a Bulls-Wizards matchup in the first round.

Their April 13 meeting in Washington could be for home-court advantage. Both teams are tied at 41-31, though Washington has an easier closing schedule. The series would be an intriguing matchup of perhaps the league's best perimeter offensive team (if Antawn Jamison returns healthy) vs. perhaps the league's best defensive team. The Hawks' Al Harrington said Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes are "pretty much impossible to shut down. I have to admit, it's a beautiful combination they've got going on."

It's unclear if alumnus Michael Jordan would throw out the first ball at each team's first home game.

Besides the Bulls stuff, overall some relatively interesting tidbits from Smith, esp the first part about Golden State, stars giving up and whining out of contracts and the new CBA.
 

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Jamal Crawford has a new name, thanks to one New York tabloid: Jamal Crawful. The former Bull had a 3-for-17 shooting performance Sunday in a 106-102 loss to the Bucks. It marked the fifth time in six games the Knicks yielded more than 100 points. Crawford, shooting under 39 percent on the season, says he is "confused" after being benched for defensive reasons. Counseled teammate Stephon Marbury: "When in doubt, shoot. That's how I look at it." At least Crawford is in the right place.
Yeah, how could anybody get benched in NY for not playing D? :biggrin:

More bad news for Steph. Suns' success makes it three straight teams to win at least 50 games in their first full season after Steph leaves (along with Wolves and Nets).
ESPN Power Rankings. So much for best PG in the L.
 
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