Bernstein: Bulls’ Final Record Nice, But Meaningless

By Dan Bernstein–

Great year, guys.

62 wins, the top seed in the Eastern conference, the NBA’s best overall record and home-court advantage all the way through the playoffs, after an all-out performance by a roster laden with useful players.

Here are your regular-season awards. Get lined up over there and we’ll hand them out. Derrick? MVP – here you go…heavy, careful…who is Maurice Podoloff ? Not sure. Tom, Coach of the Year…ok, just what you always wanted, a paperweight with a bronze Red Auerbach on it. Executive of the Year for, umm, you, Gar? Pax? Ok, technically Gar but really Pax? How about Gar gets it in the odd-numbered months, Pax the others. There. Good.

Now go win something.

These last several months have been grand entertainment, indeed. First came the firing and hiring a coach, then the summer free-agent free-for-all and the scramble to cobble together a team. A bona fide NBA superstar arrived, evolving more swiftly than many could possibly imagine, and now is the first Bull on the cover of Sports Illustrated since that other guy. We have seen defense, rebounding, effort, awareness, and the kind of endearing, humble confidence not often found in an environment marked by swagger and chest-pounding bravado.

Your record is 0-0. You need sixteen wins for the real hardware – 14.5 pounds of gold-overlaid silver and named after a former league commissioner. These victories are harder to get, and are more important than those precious 62.

(The NHL, it should be noted, does have a special award for what you have already accomplished. It’s called the Presidents’ Trophy, and it has been given since the 1986 to the team with the best record in the regular season. Some of its winners win the Stanley Cup, while others lose in the first round. Teams don’t like talking about it, just as you didn’t want to discuss your win total with reporters after the game last night. Nicely handled.)

Expectations have ratcheted up so quickly that it’s easy to forget how the regular season used to be when it began with the realistic prospect of title contention from the outset – a workmanlike trudge through the obligations of the schedule, 82 games of ice bags and airplanes before it all got going for real.

This year was unlike any other in team history. After seeing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh form their unholy alliance, you were placed by consensus squarely in the conference’s playoff mix, but still also behind the Celtics and Magic. Few saw this coming, this afterburn to the very top of the standings, with an untested, rookie coach in charge and major injuries to key frontcourt players.

The understanding of what’s now at stake is catching up with the fans as Saturday’s opener against the Pacers awaits. These two days – as images of Danny Granger and Tyler Hansbrough flicker before your eyes in Deerfield while Thibs gravel-growls defensive rules – will allow long-neglected feelings to fire up once again across Chicago.

You can win the NBA title, this year. And we know it. We’ve been watching, sharing sideways glances with each next defensive stop, raising eyebrows after another aggressive box-out, and nodding with understanding and appreciation as Rose has imposed his will at the end of games.

The last six months were a joy. Thanks for all of it.

Make it matter.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  Bulls Final Record Nice, But Meaningless

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>

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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Not meaningless…the road to the NBA Championship goes through the UC.
    Home Court is a big deal.

    • bronzo

      Absolutely Larry you can’t minmize home court advantage…it matters..Now if you’ll excuse me im going to go throw up again over the White Sox…

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Oh, the Sox bullpen….I just wanna stick my head in the oven…….

      • AT3374

        Someone call PETA cause the White Sox are killing dogs again with their bad bullpen

    • robert flagg johnson

      My god….you get an A for finding a way to state the most obvious of realities in pro sports-you cant win a championship during the regular season-in under 20 paragraphs. Geez….no kidding? And having listened to your radio show, I concede that you probably are some one who can claim great authority and credibility when it comes to recognizing that which is “meaningless”.

      • Spoon

        It took you an entire paragraph to say ‘i dont care’… pot, meet kettle.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        With “The Tiny One” wasn’t it pot meet digestive tract?
        Quick, get the Mayor of Skokie on the phone.

      • Pulseczar

        No one forced you to read it.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Translation: “I like to listen to radio I don’t actually like. Then I seek out the blog of the host I dismiss as meaningless, and attempt to box clever when insulting the host.
        Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat dinner at PF Chang’s even though I hate Asian food and complain to the manager, watch a movie starring a cast I can’t stand and ask for a refund 20 minutes in, and afterwards have an ice cream sundae even though I’m lactose intolerant.”

    • AT3374

      True but the payoff is winning the Championship at the end .
      First round I’m not really worried about . Pacers should get at least a game but series will be on by the Bulls .

      Next round verses Miami or Boston will be tougher but still confident Bulls will pull through .

      Finals ..up in the air depends on who they play

      • AT3374

        BTS and Chet , thanks got A LITTLE a head of myself

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Totally agree with you AT3374.
        I see the home court advantage as a very nice first step to the Championship.
        Yet as Chris pointed out, in recent times that advantage has only resulted in a ring 20% of the time.
        I’m just praying for no injuries to DaBoo, and that DRose doesn’t run out of gas.

      • big time sucker

        NEXT ROUND AGAINST ATLANTA OR ORLANDO, good thought but please be familiar with the facts. they don’t worry about boston or miami until eastern confrence finals

      • Chet Coppock

        Hey AT3374;

        To win a NBA title, you need to win 4 rounds. KNOW THE GAME BUD!

  • Denver Deadite

    How about them ‘Hawks? God that was depressing.

    I’m going to miss game 2 though tomorrow night. I have another sporting event to attend, and it isn’t the Cubs/Rockies game.

    I have to give it to Mac a bit today. Yesterday, he was scoffing when Florio corrected him about soccer being the most popular sport in the world. Soccer is not only the most popular sport, but other sports are a far distant 2nd. Billions of people play soccer all over the world; football is played in North America, and an NFL-backed league failed in Europe. Sorry, Mac, you don’t get to scoff at that.

    Spiegs mentioned basketball being #2. He may be right. But baseball is certainly up there – at least it also has a successful league in Europe, and is played throughout Latin America. Even cricket – India’s biggest sport and played throughout Europe – is likely a bigger team sport world-wide than football is.

    According to an article I found, they estimate that cricket is in fact the #2 team sport in the world. I can’t fault their logic: 1.5 billion people on the Indian-subcontinent. #3 is basketball, #4 is baseball, #5 is rugby. American football comes in at #9, behind ice hockey.

    So, aside from cricket, why are all these sports so popular? I point to the lack of equipment as a major reason. Soccer only needs a ball. Baseball only needs a ball and bat. Basketball only needs a ball and hoop of some kind.

    While football can be played without helmets and padding, it usually isn’t. An odd-shaped ball, compared to a round one, also is a factor.

    • Denver Deadite

      Doh, meant to say that baseball has a successful league in Japan, not Europe.

    • Spoon

      Why doesnt he get to scoff at a sport that he doesnt like just because it’s popular? Is popularity the basis for all opinion? Do I need to go buy a Justin Beiber album later today too? Clearly it’s a popular sport, but why does that matter?

      • Denver Deadite

        I don’t know what Mac thinks of soccer as a sport. I really don’t know if Mac was scoffing because soccer is so popular, or if he is ignorant of how popular soccer is compared to American football.

        And no, you can’t scoff at Bieber’s popularity either. It’s a sad indictment of the human race that anybody knows his name at all, but it is what it is.

      • Spoon

        I love when my responses get eaten! :(

        I took it as a ‘LOL SOCCER’ reference, personally. Not that he was unaware. You’d almost have to live in a cave to be unaware of that.

        Suprising to see Cricket so high up the list, had never heard much of it till we had an Australian guy start at my old job.

    • Pulseczar

      Football only needs a ball too. We played countless tackle games in an open field or between yards growing up. Even two-hand touch in the streets.

      I’d argue it was harder to find a bat and mitts to play baseball or a hoop to play basketball. At least when I was a kid in late 80s/early 90s Bartlett.

      People are going to like what they will. Sometimes it’s regional. Sometimes it’s cultural. Sometimes there’s no explanation for it.

  • 2nd Half Adjustments

    A beautiful ode to the quest for the title. Bravo.

  • meesohawnee

    Calling Dr. Howard Dr. Fine Dr. Howard…. And the Blackhawks. … Please report to the Mayo Clinic for your scheduled heart transplant..
    Damn Where is Orval Tessier when ya need him?

    • big time sucker

      i don’t know, didn’t they pretty much outplay them from the second goal on. sometimes goalies get hot, the hawks gave him everything he could ask for and he responded. 7 game series, lots of hockey left a lot can happen, i still say vancoover in 6 and maybe that will be better for the hawk because they won’t spend offseason boozing, they will spend offseason training and next year should be a lot better.

  • Beverly Brewmaster

    Yesterday’s hockey game was nothing to get TOO worried about. The Hawks played like doo-doo on a stick for the first ten minutes, but settled down nicely after that and were the better team for the final 40. But for the grace of the goalposts it easily could have been tied after regulation, and losing your first game on the road is certainly nothing to panic about (particularly given the history of this rivalry).

    That being said, there were two things to be concerned about. The first is team toughness. No, I’m not talking about dressing John Scott (seriously, that’s a horrible idea for a ton of reasons), but we need guys like Seabrook and Bickell to lay the lumber. And I don’t want to hear anything about missing Byfuglien… He had 215 hits last season; Brouwer and Bickell combined for 440 this year and can easily pick up the slack if they choose to do so. However, Brouwer’s number of hits last night? Zero. I know he’s coming off an injury, but that’s gotta change.

    The second issue that I’ve been harping about all season is forwards have to play better D. They let Vancouver’s D-men tee it up from the blue line all night (you saw how Sharp got burned when he got caught in the corner) and that’s gotta stop. For those clamoring for John Scott, THIS is why that’s a horrible idea; you think that dude’s gonna catch up to ANYBODY? You can’t hit what you can’t catch.

    Sorry for the novel, but my bottom line is most of the Hawks’ issues are correctable. They just need to land a big blow in game two; if they do, I like our chances.

    • Denver Deadite

      The Canucks hit the post several times as well.

      So, the fact that the Canucks only had to be better than the Hawks for 10 minutes out of 60 is something to be seriously concerned about.

    • Greg Olsen's Skill Set

      Yep, last night was a bummer, but the last 40 mins were encouraging. I agree that the forwards need to play better D, and also do they need to get back on D, did you notice all of the odd-man rushes from VAN? Seriously, every time they reclaimed the puck and pushed it through the neutral zone, it was like a Canuck jumped out of the penalty box to join in on the stampede.

      Other than that, I think the Hawks will right the ship in Game 2…all it’s gonna take is an early goal to put the pressure on Luongo. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

    • bronzo

      Bev I think you missed your calling …you would have made a hell of a sports writer…Your analysis is spot on

      • Beverly Brewmaster

        I don’t know, bronzo… Guys like Jay Mariotti, Skip Bayless and Woody Page set the bar pretty high. ;-)

    • bronzo

      Those three are like the Larry, Moe, and Curly of sportswriters…LOL

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I know, BevBrew would need to go to @sshat school to join the likes of Jay, Skip and Woody…or get a frontal lobotomy to compete with Phil Rogers’ baseball insight.

  • Ray Young

    Hey Dopey Dan, they needed that meaningless record to get to the playoffs. It means everything. Now go back to being your meaningless self.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Ummm… No. 37 wins was needed to “get to the playoffs” (your words) this season in the East. Pick up a paper and look at the standings. That means Derrick Rose & co. could have mailed in a quarter of the season.

      The fact that they had clinched home in the East with four games to go was part of what was so bothersome to me about the Orlando game. Rose was on the floor off his feet far more than made me comfortable. Home court advantage throughout the playoffs? Yeah, it’s nice… but not exactly a guarantee… or a position with a definite track record of success.

      Best overall record last 10 years:
      2010- Cleveland
      2009- Cleveland
      2008- Boston (c)
      2007- Dallas
      2006- Detroit
      2005- Phoenix
      2004- Indiana
      2003- San Antonio (c) / Dallas -tied
      2002- Sacramento
      2001- San Antonio

      2 out of 10- not exactly divine right. I live in an area where the Steve Nash “seven seconds or less” era is revered, and resulted in an enormous number of regular season wins, but not so much as a Finals appearance. So what does their “success” mean? Roleplayers get commercials for lasik surgery, car lots, and furniture stores. Marginal players get bloated contracts elsewhere. In other words, nothing. That’s why I laugh at fans that talk about the Suns of recent vintage with reverence. It’s like talking about the Knicks teams of the 90’s- in other words, sad.

      62 wins means nothing without the ring.

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        No reply, eh, Chet?

      • AT3374

        Agree 100 %

      • Beverly Brewmaster

        One easy way to filter out some of that noise is defense. Looking at your list (and omitting ’01, since ESPN only has Hollinger stats starting in ’02), four of the ten teams listed WEREN’T in the top five in defensive efficiency: Dallas in ’03, both Suns teams you discussed above (20th in ’05 and 15th in ’07, by far the two worst defensive teams on the list) and Cleveland last year. So if you look at teams who finish with the best record AND have a top-5 defense, they win the championship 33% of the time (the ’08 Boston squad was #1 in defensive efficiency, and the ’03 San Antonio champs were #2). In fact, in the last nine season, six champs have been either #1 or #2 in defensive efficiency, so it would seem that’s a better predictor of winning a championship. Fortunately for the Bulls, their defensive efficiency, like their win total, is tops in the NBA this year.

      • Chris in Scottsdale


        Your ability to cut the chaff from the wheat is outstanding. Love the analysis.

        In any event, over time I guess I’ve just gravitated toward the philosophy that success should be measured in championships… and Suns fans out here HATE that with a passion, because I basically tell them that their last 6-7 year stretch wasn’t a success.

        I think it’s the Cub fan in me that has helped me wholeheartedly welcome that mindset :)

      • Chet Coppock

        Chris in Scottsdale;

        Are you seriously comparing this Bulls squad to previous Mike D’Antoni coached Suns teams? That;s totally two different coaching styles. Thibs preaches defense, D’Antoni ignores it. I wish you knew this before you wasted your time on that long winded post.

      • Chris in Scottsdale


        Pay attention. I’ll type slowly so you can keep up.

        At no point did I differentiate in regards to coaching styles. The blog entry is not in regards to a celebration of the Bulls’ defensive efficiency now, is it? No. It’s the fact that the 62 wins and the home court that come with the best regular season record are the recognized aspect of the season that should not yet be celebrated.

        That has already been covered, very well I might add, by Beverly Brewmaster.

        Show me, chapter and verse, the rule that dictates that being tops in defensive efficiency is used to designate home court advantage in the NBA playoffs. I dare you. You can’t.

        There’s a strong correlation, but by no means is it how the home court is determined. Wins and losses are. Record is. That was the point of the post.

        I wish you showed you actually knew something about sports in general- as opposed to failed attempts to try and refute points not being made, which you apparently have covered in spades. Learn to read.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    Love it.

    Don’t mean a thing without the ring.

    Kind of funny when you think about the two UC residents. On one hand there are the Bulls, ascending to the pinnacle of their sport faster than anyone expected. On the other, the Hawks have come down from last year’s high quicker than hoped and backdoored their way into the playoffs. I know it was a mashed-up scenario between 5th and 10th for the last few weeks, but when it all came calling, they didn’t make the playoffs on their own terms.

    In any event, last night’s game was frustrating, but not the recipe for panic sauce. At least they had some chances, and hopefully history holds suit and some of those chances turn into goals… and that Luongo short-circuits. Yeah, it’s a tall hope, but not unrealistic.

    I wonder how this is looked upon in Vancouver. Are their fans of the mindset that they’re ready to ascend over the team that has provided them with a recent roadblock, or do they get a case of the yips when thinking about the Blackhawks as optimistic fans might think here?

    • Spoon

      I would think winning the first game of a series vs the Hawks wouldnt give them a whole lot of confidence based on past history, at least.

  • The Truth

    Soccer smells bad to Americans.
    The Blackhawks don’t have a snowballs chance in hell.

    • Pulseczar

      I’m American and European football (soccer) is by far my favorite sport.


      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        Yeah, but HE’S GAY!

      • The Truth

        Yeah but, you’re a loser.

      • Pulseczar

        … says the anonymous guy insulting strangers on the internet.

  • meesohawnee

    Well done Bev Brew but for once i have to disagree. Desire is internal. Physical play is reflected on that. Either its there or its not. You cant correct the “want”. Which is probably rather be at Cog Hill it looks like to me. Vancouver wants it more and even a non hockey eye can see that. All season.

    • AT3374

      It’s just one game . Too early to talk about who wants it more . The Hawks will tie this thing up and then we’ll go from there .

  • Watching2011

    anything good to say? ever? moron Bernstein

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Just because you’re satisfied with regular season hoo-hah doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Quick- who had the best record in the NBA the year the Boo won their first championship?

      Wasn’t the Boo. Wasn’t the Laker. It was the Blazer.

      What’s that worth? A trivia footnote.

      Go follow the Chargers, Magic, and Twins if you get your rocks off from regular season accolades. Go play fantasy sports or something.

      If the Bulls don’t win the championship the ’10-’11 season would have to be considered a disappointment, and 10 years from now most people won’t remember they won 62 . In any event, nobody will care.

      Ask Alex Ovechkin or any Capitals fan about how successful last season was.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    SHARK…we need your help!

    Any truth to the ugg-lee rumor that Murph (clap clap) will be back on with Fred each Sunday morning on Booyah 1000.

    Wow, talk about a gathering not to be confused with a MENSA meeting.

    • bronzo

      I read that in the Trib this morning Larry…if there is anybody on the air i detest more than Fred Hubner (aka Mike North’s lackey) it’s maybe Mike Murphy. Hubner used to actually talk Fire Soccer???

      That would epic bad radio…I really enjoy Hit and Run on Sunday mornings

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I think that I’d rather trot over to the glue factory than listen to those two.

    • Pulseczar

      That was the weekday SCR morning show before Mike North moved to mornings. Yeah, it was bad.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Yup, that show was the effin’ train-wreck of stupidity and boredom that introduced me to Mike & Mike.
        Can you imagine a show so bad that M&M are preferable?

        (Yup…Mike Nort).

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Was that what originally replaced “The Bear and The Bull”? I’m trying to get my timelines straight.

    • SHARK
      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Thanks SHARK…you are the best.

  • Bernstein: Bulls’ Final Record Nice, But Meaningless | Cricket World Cup

    […] end of the playoffs, after a relentless performance by a squad full of useful players. Read more on CBS Chicago Hussey to bat in the time it can Australia batsman Mike Hussey says he has no plans to retire […]

  • The score blows

    ok, maybe 15yrs ago wscr was the new thing, now they old and in the way…. pull your pants up from your ankles and move out your parents house losers…. ROTFL……

  • Hey Horse A_S_S

    where do u think “greenie” came from?? WSCR, u probaly jus exiting moms birth canal at the time…. gosh your a chump !!!

    • Larry

      What about his a chump?

      • Murphs Upper-Lip


  • DaMaNaa

    I love how everyone trashes Murph, but guess what, Murph has the highest rated show on THE SCORE EVERE. You dolts love your Boers and Berstine, but they never come close to MURPHS ratings.

    • bronzo

      Yeah that 10-2 slot is real popular…while most of us are at work…

      Who were his sponsors??

      I would like to see those numbers I’m calling bull sh#@ right now.

    • Pulseczar

      It looks like these last three posts were from the same person changing his/her name then posting inanity. Clever.


    For a team that’s won 62 games and will have home court advantage as long as they last, why do I get this feeling that the Bulls are underdogs as the NBA Playoffs tipoff this weekend? I keep hearing teams such as the 2-time NBA Champion Lakers, Heat and even the struggling Celtics among the teams that may prevent the Bulls from hoisting a 7th Larry O’Brien Trophy in June. I’m definitely looking forward to Saturday afternoon and Game 1 of what should be no more than a 5-game series vs. the Pacers in Round 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. As well as Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls have played this season and Derrick Rose about to become the youngest NBA MVP in league history, I don’t know right now if this Bulls’ team is ready to bring home a Championship. I do know this much…Here’s hoping this Bulls’ team has a long run in the NBA Playoffs, can take some of the heat off what appears to be a long summer for both of our local baseball teams and can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals at least. Anything short of that in my opinion will be quite a disappointment. It’s been a great story to this point, and I hope it doesn’t turn into a pumpkin come midnight.

  • Ray Rayner's Tie Dye Jumpsuit

    I listened to Score mornings IN SPITE of Murph not because of Murph. John Dewan was about the only reason to listen.

    • Pulseczar

      I cannot fathom the demographic to which Mike (clap clap) Murphy’s awful show was targeted. And if such a demographic exists, if they feel insulted for being thus targeted.

      • Glockster

        People who love chicken and moustaches? Both of them probably listened.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        So, Wade Boggs was obviously a fan.

      • Pulseczar

        Don’t forget the dated, unfunny sound drops.

        It’s great radio hearing a host interact with a caller or interviewee by saying, “uh huh” in response to every third word uttered by the caller or interviewee.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    nice c.r.a.p. from Mr. Pouty Pants.

    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      What are you doing listening live LHA? Thought you are normally in the middle of your “BMW” trip this time of day…

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        Thanks. Officially be in second place today if it wasn’t for my long “Irish Fest” night a while back… Sorry, Bruce, I know, I know…

        Bruce Weber: “Who cares?!?”

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        early day

        you are doing great with Tske-3

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