It’s one thing to win a seventh game on the road against a higher seed, but to do it without their star player and two key role players has to be one of the most impressive feats pulled off in a Chicago Bulls’ uniform outside of anything in the Michael Jordan era.
Brooklyn came in as the heavy favorite against a depleted Bulls team missing Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. Nate Robinson had been hampered by an illness for the past few days and didn’t play at full-strength.
Joakim Noah took over the game with his 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, making him the team’s hero on a night where it looked like heroes would be on the other side of the court.
On paper, the Nets are the far superior team, especially with all of the injuries. With Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, that gives the Nets three all-stars and one extremely athletic veteran starter.
The Bulls won the series in seven games and silenced critics everywhere, including myself, that said it was highly unlikely that they would even find the second round.
Although a deep playoff run is also unlikely, anything is possible in the NBA and the Bulls are living proof of that.
It will be interesting to see if Rose and Deng decide to come back for their next series versus the Miami Heat. For now, the Bulls live to see another day.