Monday , Dec , 05 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls ready to climb out of cellar

(Sports Network) – Despite an 8-7 record that would be good enough to lead the
Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division, the Chicago Bulls are mired in the
tough Central Division cellar. Still, they are just a 1 1/2 games out of
second place and look to move up in the standings this week.

Chicago has won five of its last seven games. On Saturday, Rasheed Wallace
scored 26 points to lead the division-leading Detroit Pistons past the Bulls,
92-79, at the United Center. Detroit has beaten the Bulls in 20 of the last 23
meetings, and in addition, the Pistons have won 11 straight games in the Windy
City.

Luol Deng had 18 points in the loss to Detroit for the Bulls. Mike Sweetney
contributed 15 points and eight boards, while Ben Gordon had 13 points off the
bench in defeat. Sixth-man Gordon leads a balanced attack that has five
players averaging more than 11 ppg.

This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. Last year
they each won on the other team’s home floor. After the game with Dallas, the
team will go on the road for two of the next three with trips to Orlando and
Washington.

Deng is averaging 23.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the last two outings. Kirk Hinrich
is shooting just 6-for-24 over the same time period.

Tyson Chandler stated that his sprained ankle felt fine after Saturday’s loss
to Detroit, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Just a little sprain; I’ll be
fine,” he said.

CHI