Is the Bulls record a mirage obscuring a fading team?

Maybe it's just the Rose injury hanging over us all, but some similar thoughts in the wake of the Washington thoughts that caught my eye:

Sam Smith, post-game:

The Bulls are 6-5 in their last 11 games, and then needed unlikely three pointers at the end of regulation to win the previous two before Monday. They were blown out by the Thunder, lost at home to the Rockets, were blown out at home by the Nuggets (the Western Conference is looking way too much), and they were fortunate to beat Toronto twice after trailing in the fourth quarter of back to back games and outplayed by Toronto in both before the Bulls won the second in overtime. Basically in the last month, since a big home loss to Portland March 16, the Bulls have been, at best, a below average team fortunate to pull out a few games with confidence and veteran savvy.

Doug Thonus giving his 'who can win a title' rundown at Bulls Confidential:

The Bulls have had nothing consistent to lean on this year, yet they've managed to piece together the best record in the NBA. Call me paranoid, but I have a San Antonio Spurs feeling about the playoffs this year. Not a "upset in the first round" feeling, but a "this team isn't as good as its record" feeling.

Last season, when the Spurs entered the playoffs, I thought they had no chance whatsoever of winning a title. They put together a great record, but I never felt they were dangerous to the good teams. Sadly, I'm starting to feel that way about Chicago now as well.

I'm admittedly bit of both a Negative Nancy AND a Nervous Nellie (it's the pits, I'm telling ya) but this rings true to me. Not that everything can't be made better by Derrick Rose coming back to full strength. Or that other teams have their litany of problems as well. But the Bulls are not even close to favorites themselves simply because they've put together yet another insanely impressive regular season.

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