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Bulls, Blackhawks nosedive in power rankings

The Bulls and Blackhawks have championship aspirations, and rightly so.

But their recent form leaves ESPN wondering if they’re even among the top half of their respective leagues — let alone championship material.

The Blackhawks have lost three in a row and been outscored 10-3 in their last two games. The Bulls had a four-game winning streak abruptly halted by the lowly Pistons on Friday.

The Blackhawks slid eight spots to 13th in ESPN’s power rankings. They were fifth last week.

Corey Crawford was chased out of Sunday’s dismal 6-2 loss to Boston, and the Blackhawks are losing ground in the Central Division. The loss of Johnny Oduya to injury is also troubling for the Blackhawks, who must now look over their shoulders at Winnipeg and Minnesota.

The Bulls fell five spots to 12th after appearing at seventh last week. Bear in mind they were at the top of the rankings roughly two months ago.

First, first, fifth and second. That’s where the banged-up Bulls ranked in defensive efficiency in Tom Thibodeau’s first four seasons. This season? Chicago awoke Monday at No. 13 in DE, which helps explain the underwhelming 13-11 record in 2015 and an average point margin that’s down to +2.9.