It never should've been that difficult, but the Bulls finally put away the dogbreath Charlotte Bobcats at home Monday night.

At least they didn't lose, right? The Bulls dumped a game to those Charlotte chumps at home earlier this season, and that has been part of their vexing stupidity of losing to bad teams, mostly at home, then beating Miami in Miami and Boston in Boston.

But Michael Jordan's former team beat Michael Jordan's current horrific team, and then you look up, and whoa, suddenly the Bulls are a power in the Eastern Conference. No lie. True fact.

The Bulls lead the Central Division. They stand just one game behind the Knicks for the second seed in the East. They woke up this morning just 2 1/2 games behind the defending champion Heat for the top spot in the conference, although I don't think the Heat are trying that hard.

These Bulls still don't have Derrick Rose, mind you, but yet, they own the third spot in the Eastern Conference. Here's what that means: The NBA needs a new Eastern Conference. More on that later.

First, let me say some nice things about this Bulls team that tries so hard that you just want to pet it. These Rose-less Bulls are making a case for fundamental basketball. They are smart and selfless, give or take Nate Robinson.

They guard and rebound, even if it's because they're afraid that Tom Thibodeau will take a piece of paint off their backsides.