Shepkowski: Number 1 Seed Not A Must For Bulls
By Nick Shepkowski–
After last nights loss in Atlanta the Bulls fell to just 15-14 on the road, a record that could very possibly fall under .500 with trips to Orlando and Miami in the coming days. Despite the road struggles for the Bulls, recent history tells us that getting the #1 seed and the home court advantage that comes with it are not a must for this team.
Over the last nine seasons only twice has a #1 seed won the NBA’s Eastern Conference with Boston doing so in 2008 and New Jersey accomplishing the feat in 2002.
In fact, not only has home court advantage failed to produce the conference champion more often than not in recent years, but multiple teams have had their own road issues in route to winning the eastern conference.
As recently as 2007 we saw the Cleveland Cavaliers win the east despite just a 20-21 road record in the regular season and having to get by #1 Detroit in that years conference finals.
In the summer of 2006 the Heat finished just one game over .500 on the road before winning their only NBA Championship from the two-seed in the east.
Previous to that we saw each the Pistons and Nets both win back-to-back conference titles despite going only a combined 80-84 away from their home floors in the years each went to the NBA Finals.
In all likelihood the Bulls aren’t going to enter the playoffs as the number one seed. They sit three games behind Boston and another game and a half behind the Heat. Perhaps the Kendrick Perkins trade causes a slight Celtics collapse and maybe the “big-three” in Miami run out of gas because of the minutes they’re being required to play, but even if neither do, hope shouldn’t be lost.
The Bulls road struggles this season may make it seem like they have no hope winning a conference championship without home-court, but recent history suggests otherwise.