The Bulls are getting to the point of the season where everyone is finally healthy and the standings are being watched.
In other words, it’s no excuse time.
That starts tonight with the Boston Celtics in town, and the same Boston Celtics team that is holding down the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference seedings, just a half game better than the 12-18 Bulls. That didn’t go unnoticed.
Neither did the fact that Luol Deng had no setbacks from a strained Achilles that cost him five games, before he returned in the Tuesday night loss to Toronto. So the only injury left is Derrick Rose’s right knee surgery, and the Bulls know that he’s not stepping back on a court for a game until next season.
“I think it’s great [to have everyone back],’’ Joakim Noah said after the morning shootaround. “We’ve just got to keep grinding, a lot of basketball left and I think that if we just keep grinding, keep our minds into it, it could be a hell of a year.’’
The Bulls are expecting to start Deng, Noah, Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler and Carlos Boozer, and a win puts them back in the playoff contention just like that. Welcome to the Eastern Conference.