Matt Peck of CHGO joined “9 Good Minutes” on WGN News Now, an online talk show that features local journalists discussing a wide variety of Chicago sports topics.

TORONTO — Getting back to postseason play hasn’t been the celebration it was a year ago for a franchise that is looking to return to the top of the National Basketball Association.

While fans weren’t naive to the fact that the team needed work in April 2022, winning 45 games and returning to the playoffs was something to feel good about. It was a small step back to respectability after a mostly forgettable Fred Hoiberg and Jim Boylan era that saw the team miss the playoffs for four-straight campaigns.

But an inactive offseason started turning the tide more towards the negative and that only continued into an inconsistent regular season. Never were the Bulls over .500 after November 2, never winning more than three games in a row over the 82-game slate.

Great efforts against some of the NBA’s best were often followed by lackluster performances on other nights as the team hung around the cut-off of the play-in tournament most of the season. Thanks to a 14-9 finish after the All-Star Break, the Bulls were able to get the last spot in the postseason – the tenth – which lands them in an elimination game Wednesday night against the Raptors in Toronto at 6 p.m. central time.

If they win that, then knock off the Heat in Miami on Friday, then it’s the top-seeded Bucks who will await them in the Eastern Conference first round series.

The amount of confidence in the group isn’t that high for many, and even a few Bulls’ rooters who might prefer the team take their chances in the lottery. Those, of course, are slim, since they’d need to land in the Top 4 to keep the first round pick they traded to Orlando in the Nikola Vucevic deal in March 2021.

All of these are on the mind of Bulls’ fans as they get ready to watch their team in action Wednesday – and Matt Peck of CHGO will have his eye on the play-in contest as well.

The host joined “9 Good Minutes” on WGN News Now to talk about the Bulls’ regular season, the play-in tournament, and what could be ahead in what promises to be an interesting offseason.

You can watch Matt’s discussion with Larry Hawley in the video above.