Not since Houdini has one man escaped the chains of death—or, in this case, unemployment—like Vinny Del Negro. The Chicago coach has been on the chopping block every since he appeared on the Bulls bench, clipboard in hand. Things got so bad that in late December Del Negro was fired, just no one bothered telling him. But before he could join such forgettable Chicago coaches like Bill Cartwright and Tim Floyd, the Bulls turned things around, going 19-10 since, and saving their coaches job. For now.
The Bulls have reeled off five victories in their last six games, and seven of nine since the first week of this month. Albeit all of those wins have come against teams with losing records, as known as the majority of the Eastern Conference. Derrick Rose has given this team a reason to build upon the franchise, and while nagging injuries have limited last year’s Rookie of the Year, he is still capable of narrowly missing a triple-double, just like he did in Wednesday’s victory over Indiana. Luol Deng is also riding a hot streak, while Joakim Noah is just riding the pine;
ponytail farceitis plantar fasciitis has limited his minutes over the last ten games.
As for streaks, Portland has one of their own: The Blazers have taken the last six meetings between these two teams, including three in a row inside “The House That Jordan Built (With Jerry Reinsdorf’s Money).” That totally makes up for 1991-92.