[Thanks to wjb1492 for tonight's game preview. -Matt]
Yet another game originally slated for a national audience but now dropped in favor one between two good teams. There's nothing quite like being barely relevant heading into March!
Tonight the Bulls, currently in 10th place and 2 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the East, have an opportunity to win back-to-back games for just the fourth time this season and the first time since late December. I knew they had yet to string three wins together, but I hadn't quite realized (the bliss of intentional ignorance?) that the team hasn't had even a 2-game winning streak over the past two months. The opponent - the reeling Washington Wizards, who have lost 10 of their 13 games this month, and more significantly just found out that Caron Butler is out for the foreseeable future, with a more serious hip injury than originally believed. In comparison, the Bulls are 5 and 7 during February, so it's not like it's time to break out the champagne or anything. I seriously don't have much to say about a playoff race where the team's greatest hope is that other teams suck just as bad or worse.
The big question tonight would seem to be who gets playing time, with Boylan saying he's going to take the "game-by-game", approach. Of course, the associated question here on blogabull is which guard will perform well and which will experience the "hater" reaction for the next few days. Nothing like a little contention among fans, right? I'm sure Kirk, Ben and Larry haters are all waiting their chance to jump into the fray, while the corrensponding fans are hoping for a good game. (Du-haters, fortunately (or is that unfortunately?), seem to have been permanently silenced of late by the string of DNPs.) [No Thabo haters out there? -Matt] It all should make for a warm-and-fuzzy end to this most charming of seasons, watching the who-to-keep-and-who-to-trade debate develop. The "new toy on Christmas morning" shine on Larry and Drew hasn't worn off yet, so I can only imagine that the debate will grow even more intense if/when all those flaws Cav's fans complained about start to appear.
Accuscore predicts a Bulls win. I predict that Boylan will make at least 4 line-up decisions that most people hate. Oh, and I'll go with a win for the Bulls as well. Hawks and Sixers play as well, so with a little help from New York (not likely) and Golden State (possibly), the Bulls could end the night tied for 9th and just a game and a half out of playoff contention. And if that doesn't get you psyched for the game, then I don't know what will! ;)
Blogging with the enemy: Bullets Forever