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Chicago Bulls: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Bulls are on top of the Eastern Conference, but that might not be the case when you wake up Thursday. Forget the one seed...with 40 games to go, a top four seed and homecourt advantage could be slipping through their grasp. I'm Marshall Harris and this is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Still in First

The good news is heading into Wednesday's game with Cleveland, the Bulls remain in first place. That's despite not having Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Javonte Green, and Derrick Jones Jr. as of Tuesday. They will get some of those players back soon. But time is of the essence.

Running out of Room

That's because the bad news is only 2.5 games separate the Bulls and the next five teams. Their defense is in tatters. They've not only lost by an average of 20 a game during their season-long losing streak. They've given up 127 points a game over that stretch.

Division on their Tails

Here's where it gets ugly. The Bulls might not only lose first place in the conference but could be third in the division by the end of the week with their next two games against Cavs and Bucks teams breathing down their necks. Of the top five teams in the east, the Bulls have the worst net rating and point differential.

And while everyone's attention is on the defending champion Bucks, I'm just putting this out there...those upstart Cavs have the weakest strength of schedule the rest of the way. That could be the difference maker going forward. Not to go all coach speak on you, but add the fact Cleveland's already beaten the Bulls by 23 this season. And the next game...may very well be the biggest on the schedule.

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