Chasing History

Posted by By at 1 February, at 04 : 41 AM Print

This past Saturday the Chicago Bulls defeated the Indiana Pacers 110-89 to move one game closer to NBA History, a word that has become synonymous  with the Bulls thanks to Michael Jordan. But this years team is threatening to accomplish something that even Michael’s Bulls didn’t. Neither have the storied franchises of the Lakers or Celtics. The Bulls are currently 11-0 versus teams in the Central division, only five games away from finishing the season undefeated within the division. In the history of the NBA no team has gone an entire season without losing a game to a division opponent.

The NBA adopted the current format of three divisions per conference at the start of the 2004-2005 regular season. Since that season the best division record has been 15-1, done by the ’04-’05 Heat and the ’08-’09 Celtics. The ’08-’09 Lakers & Magic, ’06-’07 Mavericks, and ’07-’08 Celtics have all gone 14-2. Several teams have finished 13-3.

If this year’s Bulls do finish the season 16-0 versus the rest of the Central will they be talked about amongst the greatest Bulls teams of all time? Probably not unless they go on to win the title, but at that point with another banner hanging from the rafters of the United Center, it will more-or-less be the appetizer to the main dish.

Would it boost Derrick Rose’s MVP argument? I would say yes. For all he’s done to lead the Bulls to a tie for the 3rd best record in the league entering tonight he still isn’t the clear cut MVP choice despite having played so far with less around him than the two teams with a better record (Spurs and Celtics) and the Heat, who his team shares the same record with. As team oriented as Rose appears to be on all accounts I’m sure even he would take satisfaction in the accomplishment with or without an MVP award to accompany it.

Detractors will say that the Central is the weakest division in the league . The other teams in the division have a combined record of 61-123. The next closest division would be the Pacific, whose teams below the Lakers have a combined record of 72-112. The Pacers seem like a shadow of the teams early in the decade that had Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, Brad Miller, and Jamaal Tinsley and the Pistons are a far cry from the championship teams led by Billups, Prince, Wallace, and Hamilton. That being said, the Bulls can’t help who’s on the Bucks, Pistons, Cavs, Pacers this year. All they can do is play them when the schedule says to.

Division strength aside the NBA is a long season and should the Bulls finish 16-0 it would be something to celebrate. Think of it as a 16 game winning streak. The longest winning streak this season in the league is 14 by the Celtics. It starts to look a bit more impressive when you take a look at what the Bulls have dealt with so far this season. Their prized free agent signing Carlos Boozer didn’t play his first game until December 1st and it took a bit for him to adjust and fit in with his new team. Their main interior defensive presence, Joakim Noah, has been out since December 15th with an injury to his thumb. Despite the injuries and being middle of the pack in offense (17th), Tom Thibodeau has preached defense and Bulls are currently 3rd in the league allowing an average of only 92 points per game.

Their next division game isn’t until February 26th against Milwaukee so we will have a few weeks to wait and see if the streak continues. One thing’s for sure. After listening to Stacey King’s call of Ronnie Brewer’s “Mozgov” of Josh McRoberts on Saturday I would be interested to hear what he would have to say after the game against Cleveland on April 8th, which is the Bulls 16th and final division game of the season if they did in fact finish with a perfect record against the Central.

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2 Comments

  1. Bull4Life, 6 years ago Reply

    POSTERIZED !!!! GOOOOO BULLLLSS!!!!

  2. MJsSon, 6 years ago Reply

    Theyre good, dont get me wrong. but they’ll never be the BUlls of the 90′s! History or not…Ill take MJ and Scottie over D-Rose and Booz any day of the week!


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