The Chicago Bulls’ first playoff series since the 2016-17 season will come against the reigning champions.
After Milwaukee tanked their way to a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this afternoon, all the Boston Celtics needed to snatch the No. 2 seed was to beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Considering Memphis also opted to rest a heavy load of talent, Boston went on to accomplish this task with ease.
The Bulls now draw arguably the least-desired opponent on the board, and it feels like the icing on an anchovies, mayo, and pickled pigs’ feet cake. But, hey, I guess that’s what you get for going a dismal 7-15 after the All-Star break, right?
I know the Bulls were set to draw a challenging opponent regardless of how today’s games ended up. I mean, who even knows if playing the Celtics or 76ers would truly lead to a more productive series when we consider how this group has recently played. Still, with that said, I was knocking on every piece of wood in my home that the Bulls would at least avoid Giannis Antetokounmpo and Company. Not only are they one of the most talented teams in the East, but they are clearly one of the most experienced. For a Bulls unit that lacks dependable defensive size in the frontcourt and will stroll into the playoffs for the first time as a collective unit, this presents quite the imposing obstacle.
Now, pushing some of that negativity aside, being the team that has to face Goliath at least means you have absolutely nothing to lose. The Bulls can tap into that “nobody believes in us” mentality that worked so well for them earlier this season. Not to mention, there isn’t quite a better way for a new team to understand exactly what it takes to succeed in the playoffs than to face the squad that did it best last season. As long as the Bulls play as hard as they can – win or lose – this should present an incredibly valuable learning experience for the franchise moving forward.
Look, I know this is pretty darn annoying, but at least the Bulls are back in the playoffs! We also can’t deny that between the proximity, an old friend in Bobby Portis, and the Grayson Allen saga, there will be no lack of storylines over the next couple of weeks. At the end of the day, I’ll still head into every one of these games with a smile on my face … I’ll just have an Old Fashioned or two standing by.
Anyway, before the first-round tips-off, we got Play-In games!
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 10, 2022