Sunday , Jan , 28 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls better bring their best

(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls are back in the swing of things with
three straight wins and a first-place tag in the Central Division.

The Bulls currently sit atop the division tied with Cleveland and Detroit, but
have their minds set on an upcoming seven-game road trip against the Western
Conference. Chicago’s future just got a little darker with the loss of center
Ben Wallace to a hyperextended knee.

Wallace went down late in Saturday’s win over the Miami Heat and had to be
helped off the court. He is expected to undergo an MRI on Sunday, and is
averaging 6.5 points and 10.1 rebounds this season. Wallace’s presence in the
middle will certainly be missed if he is unable to make the road trip.

It has been rumored Wallace wants to play alongside Memphis Grizzlies big man
Pau Gasol, who allegedly said he wanted to be traded. It was also reported
that Memphis is interested in dealing with Chicago for either Ben Gordon, Luol
Deng or Kirk Hinrich for Gasol.

The Bulls are off to their best start (26-19) since the 1997-98 championship
squad opened the year 31-13. Chicago went on to an NBA-best 62-20 record
that season and captured the sixth title in team history.

In order to achieve another title, the Bulls must play better on the road.
They are 6-13 as the visitor this season and have a tough schedule ahead with
games at the Clippers, Sonics, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Kings, Warriors and Suns.

If only Chicago could play at the United Center all the time. Chicago is 20-6
at home this season with a 15-1 record against Eastern Conference foes. The
Bulls’ only home loss to a conference opponent this season was versus New
Jersey on January 11.

Meanwhile, Deng has reached double figures in scoring in 42 of the 45 games
this season, while Gordon has scored 20 or more points in 23 of his last 27
games, including a pair of 40-plus point performances.

CHI