Many thought with the absence of Derrick Rose, a slew of injuries, and a depleted bench, that the Chicago Bulls would mail this season in – chalking it up to a loss and wait for next season. But even with no return date set in stone for their MVP and key role players such as Rip Hamilton recovering from injury, here they are, winning games and making some serious noise in the east.
Not only did Chicago beat the defending champion Miami Heat in American Airlines arena last week, but they are also 3-0 against one of the hottest teams in the east, the New York Knicks, with two of those three victories coming in Madison Square Garden. The Bulls have somehow managed to withstand the tide as they continue to await the return of Rose.
Yes, they’ve had some head-scratching performances (insert loss to the Charlotte Bobcats here); but just when critics, bloggers and analysts alike are ready to question their ability to win without Rose, they go and beat the Heat and dismantle the Knicks.
But are the Bulls for real? Or are these just “lucky” wins?
Only the basketball Gods know how far the Bulls will go this season but they have all the pieces they need to continue to win regular season games. They play excellent team defense which gives them a chance to win any game, any night. They feature a frontcourt trio in Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson that, when determined to play with energy and effort, are very effective. There’s also Luol Deng, who has superstar qualities – pair all of that talent with tenacious defense, ball movement, and a chip on their shoulder, and you have the Chicago Bulls this season.
In spite of everything, they have played together, stayed motivated, and most of all, they truly believe they can win every single night. It’s this combination that has Chicago positioned perfectly to be a top-four seed in the east.
Will they win a championship this year? Probably not – but is it time to take them seriously? Absolutely – because if you don’t, they will indeed eat you alive.
Just ask the New York Knicks!