"I think we're the most dangerous team that's going to be in the postseason in the Eastern Conference right now," Tyrus Thomassaid. "We're the underdog right now. But I think we're going to shock a lot of people."
The Bulls generated enough offense to wipe out one of their familiar early double-digit deficits and cruise to a 113-99 win, their 13th in their last 14 at home.
The victory moved the Bulls (39-40) a half-game ahead of the idle Detroit Pistons for sole possession of seventh and 3½ ahead of the idle Charlotte Bobcats. If the Bobcats lose tonight at Oklahoma City, the Bulls will clinch at least the eighth and final playoff spot.
The slumping Sixers, who have lost their last three, are now only 1½ games in front of the Bulls, who have three games left, including Saturday vs. Charlotte. The Sixers have four games left, including the league-leading Cleveland Cavaliers twice, starting at home tonight.
Tyrus Thomas led the Bulls with 24 points, including a career-high 14 of 14 free throws. Derrick Rose added 16 points and Brad Miller 15.
I didn't see the whole game, only the 4th quarter and highlights ...
but I was somewhat impressed. The Bulls handled another playoff team in the East, which has to count for something (even though it was at home - where the Bulls are a much better team).
5. Joakim Noah, Bulls
You might be surprised to see Noah this high on the list, or at all, but anyone who studied him in college recognizes all he brings to the table. His energy and spirit have helped fuel the resurgent Bulls (watch him when he's not in the game -- he rarely sits down).
But it's not just his intangibles that have propelled him to this spot. Among centers, he ranks 13th in rebound rate and ninth in assist rate. He also is 14th in the NBA in blocks per game (1.4), and only six players in the league have grabbed more offensive rebounds than him, despite his playing just 23.7 minutes per game.