The 2006-07 Chicago Bulls finished with a record of 49-33 in the regular season and reached the second round of the NBA playoffs, making it their most successful season since the retirement of Michael Jordan, but nevertheless leaving some doubt amongst fans as to whether the team could compete for an NBA championship in the near future.
Whereas previous seasons under General Manager John Paxson focused mostly on allowing the young players which comprised the core of the Bulls' roster to develop, before the '06-'07 season Paxon made an expensive free-agent signing in the form of Ben Wallace. Many fans were excited about the veteran experience and star power Wallace brought to the team, though some questioned if he was the best fit for the team, as Wallace had always been known for his defense, and many believed that the Bulls' biggest problem was a lack of inside scoring.
The Bulls got off to a rocky start, posting a record of 3-9 in their first 12 games. The criticism by some in the offseason about the signing of Ben Wallace seemed to gain some validity, as Wallace appeared to show his age and was not always able to put up big rebounding numbers as he had been known for with the Pistons. However, as they had in the 2004-05 season in which they started 0-9, the Bulls performed better as the season went on and finished 49-33. The record was good enough to receive the #5 seed among the 8 teams qualifying for the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Bulls, however, lost their final game of the season to the New Jersey Nets which would have boosted them to a #2 seed and given them an easier path to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bulls opened the playoffs by defeating the defending champion Miami Heat in a 4-0 sweep. The Heat were hindered by a nagging injury to Dwyane Wade, but nevertheless most observed felt that the Bulls had outplayed the Heat in the series.
In the second round, the #1 seed Detroit Pistons quickly put a damper on the excitement of Bulls' fans by soundly defeating the Bulls in Game 1 of the seven game series, holding the Bulls to 33% shooting and only 69 points. The Bulls would continue to struggle, scoring just 87 and 74 points in games 2 and 3 respectively, and finding themselves in a 3-0 series deficit. The Bulls stayed alive by winning games 4 and 5, scoring triple digits in each game, but then suffered a 95-85 defeat on their home court in game 6 to end their season.