Chicago fire

The Bulls are hot as the playoffs near, but does that make them a live underdog?

Updated: April 7, 2009, 11:52 AM ET
By Eric Neel |

Last April, the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks made the first round of the NBA playoffs surprisingly interesting. The Sixers, a 7-seed, took a 2-1 series lead over Detroit, pushing the perennial contenders to six games. And the eighth-seeded Hawks, who had finished the regular season eight games under .500, fought back from a 2-0 series hole to extend the Celtics to seven games.

Eric Neel | email

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Eric Neel is a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine.