Yesterday’s thrilling overtime win against the Toronto Raptors gave the Chicago Bulls a league high 40 wins; they are the first team to accomplish the feat in this lockout season. Luol Deng hit the buzzer beater as time expired and the Bulls were able to pull off a win in a game that the Raptors gave them all they could handle. More importantly, that buzzer beater secured a playoff berth for the Bulls; making them also the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season. The Bulls have been on a tear this season and no one should be surprised that they own the league’s best record. However, it is quite impressive how the Bulls have been able to rack up so many wins this season. The Bulls have been plagued by so many injuries during the shortened season that it is downright extraordinary how they have been able to win so many games.
Including yesterday’s victory the Bulls have now been without their MVP point guard, Derrick Rose, for 16 games. I’m not sure there is any team in the NBA that could have so much success without their star player for so many games. Furthermore, new acquisition Richard “Rip” Hamilton has only played in 16 out of the Bulls’ 50 games so far this season. Hamilton was the big name free agent the Bulls signed in the offseason and many thought that he would be the answer to ease Rose’s nightly load. Unfortunately, Hamilton has not been able to stay on the court due to injury and who knows when he will be back. Not to worry Bulls’ fans, the Bulls have been doing just fine without Hamilton and Rose and their bench has been stepping up in a big way. The Bulls’ depth is such a luxury for them because they have been able to win games while Rose and Hamilton take their time resting their injuries.
With only 16 games left in the regular season for the Bulls they are in the home stretch and they are sitting comfortably atop the NBA standings. It is crucial that the Bulls don’t let up with so few games left because it would be a great advantage if the Bulls are able to secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Hopefully come playoff time everyone will be healthy and the Bulls will have their full arsenal of weapons… then again they have been doing just fine with whoever steps on the court and are proving that they can win with any of their players.