Unfavorable schedules

Derrick Rose “probably” won’t play tonight against the Grizzlies in Memphis — and several other players missed practice yesterday — which means the Bulls will “probably” lose their eighth game in row. Barring a minor miracle. Actually, make that a major miracle.

I decided to take a closer look at the Bulls schedule versus the schedules of the other four teams competing for the final four Eastern Conference playoff spots. I was looking for a little hope. I didn’t really find much. The Bulls have the most games left against plus-.500 teams. The Heat play their final nine games against sub-.500 teams. Unless the Bucks or Bobcats suffer a major injury, it looks like Chicago’s best hope is for the Raptors to stumble down the stretch. But even then, the Bulls need to get healthy and win some games.

Note that the playoff odds were pulled from John Hollinger’s 2010 NBA Playoff Odds page.

Milwaukee Bucks

Record: 36-29 (23-9 home, 13-20 away)

Currently: 5th

Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)

Games vs. sub-.500 teams: @ Clippers (25-42), @ Kings (23-44), Sixers (23-43), Clippers, @ Bulls (31-34), Nets (7-59), @ Sixers.

Games vs. plus-.500 teams: @ Nuggets (45-21), Hawks (42-23), Heat (35-32), Grizzlies (35-32), @ Cavaliers (52-15), @ Bobcats (34-31), Suns (41-26), Celtics (41-24), Hawks, @ Celtics

Playoff odds: 99.8%

Charlotte Bobcats

Record: 34-31 (24-8 home, 10-23 away)

Currently: 6th

Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)

Games vs. sub-.500 teams: @ Pacers (21-45), @ Wizards (21-43), Timberwolves (14-53), Wizards, Raptors (32-33), Sixers, @ Bulls, @ Hornets (32-35), Pistons, @ Nets, Bulls

Games vs. plus-.500 teams: Thunder (41-24), @ Hawks, @ Heat, Bucks, Hawks, @ Rockets (33-31)

Playoff odds: 98.5%

Miami Heat

Record: 35-32 (20-14 home, 15-18 away)

Currently: 7th

Games left: 15 (7 home, 8 away)

Games vs. sub-.500 teams: @ Nets, @ Bulls, Raptors, @ Pistons, @ Pacers, @ Timberwolves, Sixers, Pistons, @ Knicks, @ Sixers, Nets

Games vs. plus-.500 teams: Spurs (39-25), Magic (47-21), Bobcats, @ Bucks

Playoff odds: 99.1%

Toronto Raptors

Record: 32-33 (22-10 home, 10-23 away)

Currently: 8th

Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)

Games vs. sub-.500 teams: @ Nets, @ Timberwolves, Clippers, @ Sixers, Warriors, Bulls, @ Pistons, Knicks

Games vs. plus-.500 teams: Hawks, Thunder, Jazz, Nuggets, @ Heat, @ Bobcats, @ Cavaliers, vs. Celtics, @ Hawks

Playoff odds: 63.2%

Chicago Bulls

Record: 31-34 (19-13 home, 12-21 away)

Currently: 9th

Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)

Games vs. sub-.500 teams: @ Sixers, Nets, @ Pistons, @ Wizards, @ Nets, @ Raptors

Games vs. plus-.500 teams: @ Grizzlies, @ Mavericks (45-22), Cavaliers, Rockets, Heat, Suns, Bobcats, Bucks, Cavaliers, Celtics, @ Bobcats

Playoff odds: 39.4%

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10 Responses to Unfavorable schedules

  1. Bullsfan22 March 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    It seems that the Bulls have had an unfavorable schedule the whole year. Amazingly, when it seemed (at the time) that they were about the embark on the toughest stretch of the season, they actually played extremely well and had a 5 game winning streak on the road, against the western conference, no less. The thing now is that half of their team is injured and having Hinrich missing a game (for no good reason, IMO) is tough. If they want to make the playoffs, their change has to start tonight, and they can’t let up until the end of the last game of the season. What is Deng’s status, or Miller’s? Noah I guess will be out for another week or so, not good. If they can miraculously hang on and they other contenders for the last 3-4 spots start losing and/or lose ground, and the Bulls get all of their players to full strength, then there is a chance, if not, then unfortunately it will be time to tank the rest of the games in hope of the lottery and a possible key free agent or two down the road….

  2. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. March 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    I spent some time today re-reading columns and posts from the beginning of the Bull’s season. Pretty funny stuff! I especially liked all of the love that Pargo was getting back then. Also I found this:

    “Let’s also not forget that Scott Skiles has been coaching the Bucks for over a year now. I expect them to be a much improved ball club, even with the loss of some of their marquis players.” – Brad S. Oct 12th, 2009.

    That guy’s a genius!

  3. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. March 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Speaking of tanking for the lottery, …Is it this year or next that the Bucks can swap draft places with the Bulls?

  4. contrerasadvocates@yahoo.com'
    Savage March 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Hey Brad, I believe it is this years pick top ten protected. I don’t think we will get a top ten pick this year and it looks like the Bucks will have a better record so they will probably be swapping picks with us. This off-season should be a crazy one!

    Things are really getting out of hand of late I hope we can at least get a few more wins. Would be nice to have Noah back wouldn’t it?

  5. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale March 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    “Speaking of tanking for the lottery, …Is it this year or next that the Bucks can swap draft places with the Bulls?”

    Here’s your answer:

    “Chicago traded [to the Bucks] their regular second round draft choices in 2011 and 2012. Also, Milwaukee has the option in NBA Draft 2010 of switching first round picks with Chicago, so long as Chicago’s first round pick is not a top 10 selection.”

    Obviously, Bulls management didn’t foresee the possibility that the Bulls would be a lottery team this season when they made that trade. In fact, at the time of the trade, Chicago was 27-26 and Milwaukee was 24-28. It didn’t look like it was going to be an issue.

    Well, since the trade, Salmons is averaging 18.8 PPG (plus his PER has jumped from 12.8 to 16.9) and the Bucks have gone 11-1. The Bulls, on the other hand, have gone 4-8.

    More lemon face: “Based on the standings as of Sunday morning, the Bulls were out of the playoffs and would have the No. 11 draft pick, while Milwaukee was No. 18.”

    So, in terms of this regular season, the Salmons trade has been an absolute and unmitigated disaster. It remains to be seen how this will affect Chicago’s offseason. But if the Bulls end up losing, say, the 11th pick and their late-season fall from grace costs them a shot at Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh…well…

    You know, at the beginning of the season, I said I believed in John Salmons. And I was right…he just needed a better coach and system.

  6. tester123xyz@hotmail.com'
    bobbysimmons March 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Yes! I think the everyone has finally caught on to the fact that the trades really screwed us big time, as Matt put it, the Salmon’s trade has been an “absolute and unmitigated disaster.” The Salmon’s trade, though so many people praised it, was massively lobsided

    Milwaukee gets Salmons, 2 future 2nd round draft picks, right to swap first round draft picks

    Bulls get Warrick (falling out of rotation), and Alexander (useless)

    a more reasonable trade would have been the Bulls get Warrick and Alexander, and a 2010 first round pick, since based on what we’ve seen the Salmons trade for the Bucks was pure gold, the results couldn’t have been better if we randomized them 1 million times

    And yes, Brad, that guy at the beginning of the season was a genius, except for the fact that the Bucks weren’t losing Jason Marquis, but instead “marquee” players

  7. Bullsfan22 March 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    In the Bulls defense, they went on to win 4 of 5 games after they traded Salmons, but then as we all know, half of the team got injured and that’s when things got out of control. I agree that him being traded was a questionable move, especially as they were getting rid of a solid scorer who just was biding his time, and but the Bulls demise can be placed on untimely injuries to basically the best players on the team and the inability of the coaching staff to play with the lineup. As a result of losing Noah, they lost size, energy and defense, now they have lost major scoring opportunities with Deng and Rose and potentially Hinrich. One more injury to anybody on the team and I think they should just forfeit the season, for real. Does anybody know when “anybody” is coming back? Noah, Deng, Rose?

    p.s. Hinrich just got ripped with that suspension, that was a total joke from the league officials.

  8. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. March 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    “…except for the fact that the Bucks weren’t losing Jason Marquis, but instead “marquee” players.

    Tip o the hat to bobbysimmons for nice catch. :)

  9. contrerasadvocates@yahoo.com'
    Savage March 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    It seems that the trade had more to do with the option Salmons had at this years end and 2010 Free Agents. However, I don’t think we really need to ad that swapping pick this year. The Bucks likely would have done that trade without it. Man the end of this year has really turned into a disaster. It has showed what little depth we have had. That was my main concern at the start of the year and now with the injuries our lack of depth is all too apparent. So frustrating to watch the Bulls falter like they have.

  10. Ryan March 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    I think trading Salmons was the right move. He had a player option to sign for $6 million more next year. He was one glaring contract they had to get rid of to have a chance at free agency – he was having a less than average year with the Bulls (he has since stepped up) and I don’t think many teams would have offered him any more than his option. I also watched him play against the Clippers last night, and noticed him smiling a few brief moments. Thinking back, I never seen him smile while with the Bulls – not even in the Playoffs against Boston. I don’t think he wanted to be with the Bulls, mainly from the playing time and I don’t think he fit the Bulls style of play. It is biting us now.

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