While it was some bad basketball to have to watch, the Bulls not only took out the terrible Nets and Pistons (what was with that group? Poor BG, they got their collective stink on him) but did so comfortably. The ease was a good sign, especially given just how epic their defeat was against Miami, and that while against bad teams it was still a potentially pit-falling quick turnaround for Sunday's 5pm game.
The best sign of all being the improved health. James Johnson has been suffering foot trouble and he sat out Saturday night (starting...a 6'1" guard from Arkansas...Jannero Pargo! ::click::) but returned Sunday and played nearly 25 (pretty good, actually) minutes. And Joakim Noah's gradual return to full-time duty continues unabated, as he was used in multiple stints in tonight's first half and finished with 17 minutes of total burn. Plus, his lift looks ok.
Meanwhile, the Raptors suffered two big losses over the weekend: a buzzer-beater to Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets, followed by a fourth quarter collapse against Miami that happened simultaneously with the Bulls victory Sunday pulling them within a half game. A loss tomorrow in Charlotte and the Raps will be tied with the Bulls for that 8th playoff spot (though the Raps own the tiebreaker regardless of their final in-season meeting).
The important (as important as a water-treading season can be, but still) thing is that rooting for the Bulls to overtake the Raptors and hoping for Chris Bosh to flee
to Miami as a result is still in play.
The Bulls did their part over the weekend in taking care of two awful quitting teams, but it's not much to celebrate yet: it would've been bigger news if the Bulls didn't win both. Seeing them be in control takes some sting off of that TNT debacle last week, but it's still worrisome that the time they played a team with something to play for they not only lost but got humiliated. But at least Noah's healthier now, as the 5 upcoming opponents only include 1 currently out of the playoffs.