How good are the Chicago Bulls? So good that, when the team does get a break, it seems like forever in between games. Since their 118-110 scoring explosion on Saturday, it's been a mere two-plus days since the Bulls' last contest. But, when your team is coming off a week of winning -- literally -- we fans just want more, more, more.
Yet tonight's game doesn't start until 7 p.m. Central, so what are we left with? Power rankings, of course. It's Tuesday, the sun is shining in Chicago (no, it's not) and, as mentioned, we've got a week of winning to propel us to the heights of rankings ecstasy. So let's get to another smattering of samplings to make extra sure that we're not crazy in thinking that this team is really, really good.
1. Speak to me, oh, SB Nation Overlords. Our mothership has beamed down a ranking of second in the NBA, up from third last week. The San Antonio Spurs get top billing with, you guessed it, the Miami Heat following close behind. (Curse them and their sky-high true-talent level!)
Writer Tom Tiller gives a nod to fellow SB Nation writer Chris Clark's excellent observation that Luol Deng is taking fewer long two's and more high-reward three's this season. Indeed, while Derrick Rose wows the basketball world and Carlos Boozer, er, limps off the court, Deng has been the quiet killer for the Bulls this season. (And I mean that in a good way, of course.)
2. What's up, Mr. Hollinger? This is the first appearance of ESPN's 2010-2011 Hollinger Power Rankings here at SB Nation Chicago. And what a concept it is. Insider John Hollinger set up these rankings at the beginning of the season, plugged in some mathematical formulas and left them to their own devices. The formulas take in to account factors such as scoring margin, strength of schedule and recent performance to place the teams in the various slots.
So perhaps cold, hard numbers will look with a little less favor upon our Chicago-based hoops organization? Nope. The Bulls land at number two in the league with a 107.531 overall ranking (no change from last week), between the Los Angeles Lakers (107.930) and aforementioned Heat (106.279).
3. Must-see B-Ball. Last but not least, let's flip on the TV (not really) and see where the NBC Sports BasketballTalk blog puts the Bulls. Ah, consistency! Writer Kurt Helin bumps the Bulls up from No. 5 last week to No. 2 in the NBA, between the Spurs and the Lakers. He cites the team's stellar defense and writes, "... as long as they win the Derrick Rose for MVP train will keep picking up steam." I couldn't agree more.
One place where the Bulls aren't ranked second? The Eastern Conference standings. As of this writing, the team, which is 9-1 in its last 10 games, is tied for first with the Boston Celtics. The dreaded Heat are two games behind. You can follow all of the details regarding tonight's game against the Washington Wizards here.