Welp, after 81 games, plenty of bitching, a few great moments and still no Derrick Rose, the Bulls wrap up their regular season tonight against the Wizards. The Bulls sit at 44-37, and a victory would secure the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and also put them two short of my preseason prediction. Because that's what's really important here.
Anyway, we received some good news this morning about Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson:
Joakim and Taj experienced a little soreness yesterday but fine today. Both are a go tonight.— Christopher Cason (@C4DUNK) April 17, 2013
Noah and Gibson returned in limited minutes in the Bulls' blowout win over the Magic, with some mixed results. The rust was obviously there at the start, although both guys, and especially Gibson, showed some nice things as the game wore on. Both players will be on minutes limits again tonight, and they possibly will be when the playoffs start this weekend.
As for the Wizards, they've lost five games in a row after blowing out the Pacers a couple of weeks ago. The Wizards have beaten the Bulls twice in a row this season, but they'll be working with a very limited roster tonight. Nene, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster and Emeka Okafor will all be out with injuries, so the Bulls should be able to take advantage of a very short-handed Wizards team.
If the Bulls somehow do lose tonight, they could still get the No. 5 seed if the Hawks lose to the Knicks. Both of those teams will be resting guys, so who knows how that game plays out. If the Bulls lose and Hawks win, the Bulls will get the No. 6 seed. I'm hoping for the No. 5 seed just so the Bulls can play those fraud Nets, with a showdown against the Heat looming.
Game is at 7 p.m. local time and is on CSN Chicago.