Bulls star shy of something special

Surely there will be those who credit the soon-to-be former Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro for the gutty run of a team that pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers as far as you could push a club in a series the Cavs still clinched 4-1 Tuesday night, with their 96-94 victory.

We all know the plotline by now. A team ravaged by injury, weakened by free agency and trade, touched by controversy and with their beleaguered coach's fate hanging by a thread, defied the odds to even make the playoffs. And indeed, the Bulls did surpass expectations in taking Game 4 against the Cavs in Chicago and coming a rimmed-out shot or two from extending the series to a Game 6.

But here's the thing, and the only thing that matters as the franchise moves from that good 'ol Point B to Point C. The Bulls were one great player short of having a realistic chance of not just beating the Cavs but actually challenging for the title. And they are now in position to do just that with approximately $21 million of walking-around money to go shopping this offseason.

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