The Bulls are finally coming home.
After playing their last home game on November 13 and playing seven games on the "Circus" road trip Derrick Rose & Co. are coming home with their most successful trip in a long time at 4-3.
The four wins came against Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Sacramento with the losses against two of the best in the West (Lakers and Spurs) and the third coming on a buzzer beater to the Nuggets where the Bulls played without Derrick Rose.
Going into the trip and how the schedule fell I would have been happy with a 3-4 trip and am thrilled with a winning record trip and how the Bulls played in those losses.
Against the Nuggets, the Bulls were down 23 points at one point and had a chance to win with four seconds left before Carmelo hit a buzzer beater to win the game by 1. Interesting note after review there was .2 seconds left on the clock so the Bulls could have had a chance to win. CJ Watson stepped up huge with 33 points in the loss.
Against the Spurs and Lakers I was encouraged. The Bulls who are still minus Carlos Boozer took the best shots from both and were still standing at the end of the game.
The Spurs loss was a tough matchup playing the night after beating the Rockets in Houston. The Bulls were actually up at the half but had a truly awful third quarter being outscored 37-12 and they just never were able to come fully back losing 103-94. Against the Lakers the Bulls bench which had been playing very well went cold and were in the game the whole time in a 98-91 loss to the defending champs.
After 15 games the Bulls find themselves on top of the Central Division with a record of 9-6, 1 1/2 ahead of the surprising Indiana Pacers and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks who some picked to win the division. If the season ended today Chicago would have the 3 seed in the playoff behind Orlando and Boston.
So what does the month of December have in store for the Bulls?
Hopefully the month will start off with the return of Carlos Boozer who is expected to practice Monday and could be ready for Wednesday's game vs Orlando. Chicago will play 16 games, 10 of which will be at home. Three of the six road games will come on a mini road trip over Christmas which will send them to Washington DC, New York for a Christmas Day matchup, and finishing in Detroit the next day. They will have 4 backup to backups.
Some of the single games highlights will be the Magic, Lakers, Rockets and Thunder coming to the UC all within the first 10 days of the month and the Bulls traveling to play Cleveland without Lebron and Toronto without Bosh. Friday will see them heading to Boston to take on the Celtics for the second time this season.
The most important thing for this month is for the banged up Bulls to get healthy and hopefully with the return of Boozer the heavy minutes Rose, Deng and Noah have been playing will be reduced. I'm looking forward to a very successful month that will see the Bulls end 2010 with at least 20 wins which means at least 11 wins. Let's go Bulls!!!