In last week's SBNation.com NBA Power Rankings, the Bulls ranked sixth. This week, they have moved up to fifth, behind the Spurs, Heat, Celtics and Lakers, and pushing ahead of the Magic. Here's what SBNation.com said about the Bulls:â†µâ†µ
5. Chicago Bulls (36-16, Prev: #6) -- Things really could gone wrong after consecutive losses to the Warriors and Blazers, but the Bulls handled the Jazz and Hornets with relative ease. A big showdown with the Spurs on Thursday looms. More important is whether this team really takes off when Joakim Noah returns, hopefully next week.â†µâ†µ
This sounds about right. The Bulls have come home after a modestly successful 3-2 road trip on which they could have probably been 4-1. Meanwhile, Noah's target return date is Feb. 23 -- but could he return earlier?â†µâ†µ
Asked if he will lobby the Bulls to come back Thursday when they host San Antonio for the last game before the break, Noah paused for a few seconds, then chose his words carefully.â†µâ†µâ†µ
â†µâ€œWeâ€™ll see how it feels,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m just taking it day by day. Iâ€™m just trying to get better and improve.â€
Well, that would be a bonus for the Bulls, if Noah is healthy -- and as the article notes, the Bulls are usually cautious with these kinds of things. Waiting until after the break, rather than trying to squeeze in one game, might help. Meanwhile, the Bulls face the Bobcats -- who just blew out the Lakers in Charlotte last night -- at the United Center tonight.