While the Chicago Bulls are currently in a three-way fight for the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, another possibility exists of them slipping out of home Court Advantage entirely for the first round if they’re not careful. Falling back into fifth place or even further would be a blemish on the effort that Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has made this year. Of course, he could make a miracle run and it still might not affect his tenuous situation for next year and beyond.
That’s because since mid-January, Thibodeau’s been the subject of speculation concerning his job status that’s come primarily from national outlets. Comments that players have tuned him out because his intense style has worn on them are mixed in with a supposedly shaky relationship with the front office. Then again, the fact that the Bulls are even in the conversation about postseason home court advantage is an indication that Thibodeau has performed above and beyond what’s been expected. When it comes to Bulls’ management, the complaint has usually been focused toward the minutes his players rack up during the course of the season. That’s certainly a change of pace from two years ago, when team general manager Gar Forman endorsed the philosophy.
No doubt the attitude adjustment stems from injuries sustained. The current injury to Joakim Noah is the latest headache to surface, since Jimmy Butler is also out with elbow issues and won'r return for a few more weeks. The elephant in the room is the Derrick Rose situation. With him, the Bulls have a chance to challenge for the conference title. However, the ever-present knee trouble has put him out until at least the middle of next month.
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