Five straight Losses, make It Six.
If you thought It was over before, the latest Bulls loss courtesy of the Orlando Magic probably did nothing to sway your thinking. With Noah, Deng and now Derrick Rose going down with an Injury in the Bulls matchup with the Magic, The Bulls have now lost three of there five starting players.
The Injury to Derrick, which happened with 55 seconds to go in the First quarter, looked eerily similar to the Injury he suffered from Dwight in the bulls first meeting, with the result being a sore hip.
In typical Derrick fashion, he drove hard to the hoop weaving in and out of traffic, challenging the 6' 11", 265 pound Howard. Howard exceeded the challenge, and this time Derricks back didn't break the fall, his wrist did.
Now things look even bleaker for the Bulls as they try to salvage what Is left of the season, with players they never thought they would rely on to do it.
In some ways, It all seems like a bad joke played on the Bulls courtesy of the basketball gods, whoever they are. You simply do not anticipate having to go with a starting five of Kirk Hinrich, Jannero Pargo, James Johnson Taj Gibson and Brad Miller to close out the season.
Most fans would look at that lineup and laugh at the thought of a playoff birth. Most skeptics and columnists would write the Bulls off immediately, which they already have begun to do.
If this is indeed a joke, its not a very good one for obvious reasons, and unfortunately, the laughter might not stop anytime soon. With Miami, Memphis, Dallas and Cleavland coming up, the Bulls will face two of the best teams in the NBA and two teams who are clicking at the right time.
For the Bulls to have any success during this stretch, the current nucleus of players on the floor will have to do just that, Click.
Not having any significant playing time together doesn't help, neither does having a coach who's confidence has been hit multiple times during the season with threats of firing and losses.
However this is where Vinny must make his money. This is where Vinny must step up and command his troops and prepare them for war, because It will certainly be a battle these next few weeks.
Where do the Bulls go from here? Perhaps now is the time to really give James Johnson extended minutes to see what he can do. Johnson showed flashes of what he's capable of in the loss to Orlando. Acie Law also is intriguing with his ability to drive and finish. Could we see more minutes going to Law down the stretch?
Next up, The Miami Heat who currently sits in eighth place and a win ahead of the Bulls.