Joakim Noah figured the Chicago Bulls would be preparing for at least one more game. Instead, they're picking up the pieces.
A first-round knockout by Philadelphia left the Bulls staring at a long, painful offseason that they certainly weren't anticipating when the playoffs began.
They were eyeing another long run. Instead, they're out early after a 79-78 loss in Game 6 and Noah was having a hard time absorbing that.
''The unfortunate part of this year is we didn't measure up against the teams we wanted to measure up against,'' Noah said Friday. ''I personally believe this group can compete against anybody and beat anybody.''
They didn't really get a chance to show it in the end, though.
They captured the No. 1 overall seed for the second straight year despite a long list of injuries, only to watch as Derrick Rose blew out his left knee in the playoff opener. That set a terrible tone for Chicago, and the Bulls became the second No. 1 to lose to the eighth seed in as many years ...