The Chicago Bulls were noticeably tired on the second game of a back-to-back. The Bulls lost a close game to the Brooklyn Nets the night before and many were not sure the Bulls would be able to come out with a lot of energy against the Atlanta Hawks.
However, the Bulls showed true perseverance as they beat the Hawks 93-76 on Saturday night. The Bulls were once again without Kirk Hinrich, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Derrick Rose. Despite missing so many players the Bulls dug deep and got big efforts from everyone on the team.
Forwards Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson all had double-doubles as the Bulls cruised to a hard earned win. In their latest victory the Bulls showed that they are clearly one of the top teams in the NBA and one of the deepest. However, it has been the same formula that has led the Bulls to a 29-18 record this season.
Every night the Bulls come out and play hard defense and rebound the basketball. Many teams in the NBA play good defense and rebound the basketball but there is another factor as to why the Bulls have been so successful. Not many teams in the NBA come out and play as hard the Bulls night in and night out. The Bulls hustle more than any other team in the NBA and it is that kind of play that will take them far.
If and when the Bulls get their entire roster healthy they should be considered favorites to win the eastern conference and dethrone the Miami Heat. However, it will be all about timing because it is extremely difficult to have every player on a team healthy at the same time. Then again, head coach Tom Thibodeau preaches a “next man up” philosophy and the Bulls’ players have really responded to that.
Tonight the Bulls showed heart and determination and they just wanted it more than the Hawks did. If the Bulls can get healthy and play with the same kind of demeanor they should be considered favorites to win the championship this year.