Moment #6: Bulls Sneak Attack the East
The story is well known by now: the Bulls entered 2011 with no real expectations and ended up flying out of seemingly nowhere to fully arrive as an elite Eastern Conference power. But the story, at least to Chicago fans, never gets old.
The Bulls lost out during the offseason on all three of the Big 3 free agents and were therefore written off as nothing more than the eight seed they were in 2010. But they added Carlos Boozer and quietly amassed a Bench Mob that would emerge as a force to be reckoned with to support a devastating starting five.
Chicago got no credit and no love the entire year and there is no two ways about that. The only respect they got was for having Derrick Rose and even that wasn’t enough to garner real credit. It wasn’t until a showdown with the Miami Heat that the Bulls started to be recognized as the force they really were.
After beating the Heat the Bulls quickly surged up the standings in the Eastern Conference first eyeing second place. After they accomplished that, before anyone could even comprehend what had happened, they were tied for first place with the Boston Celtics.
Before that sunk in, they owned first place all on their own.
This set the Bulls off on a tear.
They never slipped below first place after claiming it and chased after something no one imagined they would ever hold in their possession in 2011, the NBA’s best overall record. This seemed like a tall task as the San Antonio Spurs were hot on a classic bulls record all season: the Quest for 70.
But before you could tell your buddy about these budding Bulls, they overtook the Spurs and now owned the number one seed in the East, the East’s best overall and home record as well as the League’s best home and overall record.
The Bulls seemed unstoppable, if they wanted something they got it. But unlike the Heat who thought they were entitled to what they wanted, the Bulls didn’t stop working as hard as they could until they accomplished a goal.
Wins, playoff positioning, individual playing and coaching awards, it seemed the Bulls got it all in 2011. They didn’t get the championship but they set themselves up for consistent runs in the future. They came out of nowhere to surprise everyone in the East and everyone in the NBA. The Bulls surge to the top of the Eastern Conference is Moment #6 of the Bulls Top 10 Moments of 2011.
Tomorrow: Quest for 70? Not quiet but it’s pretty damn close!