The Chicago Bulls, with all their injuries, were clearly overlooked as to who was going to put a stop to the Miami Heat’s win streak. Several NBA analysts assumed the best team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs, would do the trick. But, the Chicago Bulls were on a mission to end that streak and remind the NBA that if they wanted to, they could beat anyone in the league. This game was like a heavy weight fight, in which, the underdog surprises everyone and earns the victory.
No Joakim Noah. No Marco Belinelli. No Richard Hamilton. And no DERRICK ROSE!
Somehow the Bulls pulled it off to what seemed to be the impossible, as the Miami Heat literally rolled over teams for 27 times. It was obviously impressive, but all great things do come to an end. The Bulls got off to a great start with a 11-2 lead in the first 3 minutes of the first quarter. For the most part, Chicago played good, solid defense. Kirk Hinrich played like a true tough guy. Hinrich even had the guts to stand in front of LeBron James as he was running full speed in a fastbreak. No one else is brave enough to do that. Hinrich also wrapped up James with a bear hug to prevent him from scoring easily. Naturally, Lebron and company complained, but it did work. The theme last night was: Don’t allow easy baskets. Clearly.
The Chicago Bulls had great ball movement. As a team, the Bulls had 27 assists. They also out-rebounded the Miami Heat, 43 to 31. With the absence of Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng both had great nights stepping up, offensively. Carlos Boozer, in 39 minutes, 21 points and 17 rebounds. Deng was 4/8 (50%) from the 3 point line. He finished the game with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in 44 minutes. Jimmy Butler was 6/10 (60%) with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. Taj Gibson and Nate Robinson were big off the bench. Robinson finished with 14 points and 3 assists. Gibson contributed 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. It may not seem much, but he was certainly there when the Bulls needed a bucket or a critical rebound.
Chicago got under Miami’s skin. Of course, the Heat complained all night to the refs about the Bulls being too rough. Blah. Blah. Blah. Lebron James got a…FLAGRANT FOUL. Taj gave him a good hard foul and James retaliated against…Boozer. This game told more about the Bulls than the Heat. It showed that the Bulls are very well capable of beating anyone despite having a boat load of injuries. The Bulls are tough and they buy into what Coach Tom Thibodeau is teaching them. Sure, some don’t always agree with Thibodeau’s coaching methods, but he can get the job done.
After having a lackluster third quarter, the Bulls fought hard in the fourth to win 101-97. Chicago will get a little rest and face the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at 2pm ET.
Check out the highlights below: