Only twice in NBA history has the Eastern Conference's #8 seed defeated the #1 seed, and both instances occurred in lockout-shortened seasons. The eighth-seeded 76ers followed in the footsteps of the 1999 Knicks last night, knocking off the top-seeded Bulls to advance to the second round. Of course, against a Chicago team that was missing Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the Sixers' victory didn't feel like a huge upset. Still, the East's top regular-season team has been eliminated and is looking ahead to the offseason. Here are the latest Bulls updates:
- Noah and Carlos Boozer insist that the Bulls can win as currently constructed and hope the roster remains intacts, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
- Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Bulls, despite their devastating injuries, have created a hard-working identity that the city can, and should, embrace.
- GM Gar Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson told Ronnie Brewer that they'll do all they can to bring him back next season, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago. Brewer has one non-guaranteed year worth $4.37MM remaining on his contract.
- In a piece for ESPNChicago.com, Friedell writes that Carlos Boozer isn't a trade candidate since "no one wants to deal with that contract." Amnestying Boozer is also unlikely, says Friedell.
- SI.com's Zach Lowe takes a more in-depth look at why using the amnesty clause on Boozer doesn't make sense for Chicago unless corresponding moves are made.
- The Bulls will look to rebound next season, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, noting that the team plans to match offers for restricted free agent Omer Asik this summer.
- Sam Smith answers readers' Bulls-related questions in a massive mailbag for Bulls.com.