Washington @ Chicago
The Bulls head into tonight's playoff opener against the Washington Wizards as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. They overcame significant hurdles to win 48 games and secure home-court advantage in the first round.
They lost Derrick Rose to a season-ending injury to his right knee in November after he sat out last season because of surgery on his left knee, and they traded away one of their top remaining players in Luol Deng.
Not only did the Bulls get by, they started to flourish just when it looked as though they might come apart. With 36 victories since Jan. 1, the Bulls led the Eastern Conference and captured the fourth seed.