The Bulls' 99-90 win over the Orlando Magic last night tied them with the Miami Heat for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, 32-14, 3.5 games behind the Boston Celtics.
It seems generally accepted around the NBA that the Western Conference is the stronger half of the league, although that may have evened out a bit this season. Each conference has the same number of teams currently with 30 or more wins -- five -- and the Bulls held their own when they went on the "Circus Trip" out west in November, and that was before Carlos Boozer had played a single game. On the other hand, the eighth spot in the East now belongs to the 76ers, who are six games under .500.
Considering all the injuries -- to Boozer, to the still-sidelined Joakim Noah, and the ulcers now afflicting Derrick Rose -- it's pretty remarkable that the Bulls are on their way to their best record since the end of the Michael Jordan era. Their current pace would give them 57 wins and it's not inconceivable that they might pull off a 60-win season, something they have done only five times in their history.
The Pacers, who are 6-15 on the road, blasted the Nets at home last night. But then, that was at home, and it's the Nets, who are awful. Mediocre as the Pacers are, they are only 1.5 games behind the Sixers for that last playoff spot. The Bulls should win this game, which would mean 13 wins in their last 14 home games.
Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN, both locally and on WGN America.