In their previous two seasons, the Chicago Bulls squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
This season, the Bulls hold the first seed, going from underdogs to favorites.
"I know it's going to be different because everybody is going to be expecting us to win," Derrick Rose said. "But Thibs will have us ready."
That would be coach Tom Thibodeau, who said he doesn't plan to rest his starters over the final three games, since the Bulls are still chasing the San Antonio Spurs for the league's best overall record and home-court advantage through the NBA Finals.