Despite an overtime loss to the New York Knicks this weekend, the Bulls would have the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs if the season ended today.
The Bulls erased a 21-point deficit but lost, 100-99, in overtime Sunday at New York's Madison Square Garden. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose returned after missing the previous 12 games because of a strained right groin, but he appeared rusty in almost 39 minutes of playing time.
Rose scored 29 points but shot only 8-for-26 from the field. He also committed eight turnovers to go along with four assists, one steal and one blocked shot.
The loss dropped the Bulls' record to 43-14 with nine games remaining in the regular season. The Bulls' lead over the second-place Miami Heat dwindled to two games.
The NBA's playoff picture should come into greater focus this week.
1. Bulls, 43-14
2. Miami, 40-15 (2.0 games behind)
3. Indiana, 34-22
4. Boston, 32-24
5. Atlanta, 34-23
6. Orlando, 33-23
7. New York, 29-27
8. Philadelphia, 29-27
9. Milwaukee, 28-28
The Bulls will not have to wait long to try to avenge their loss to the Knicks this weekend. They will host the Knicks at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in their next game, which will be followed by a home game against the Heat on Thursday and a road game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.