Despite a roster that is extremely depleted by injuries and hurting from the trade that sent Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls are playing very well right now. After picking up a nice road win on Wednesday night against the Cavs, the Bulls have moved to a game above .500 at 21-20 on the season.
Bulls forward Taj Gibson led the way for the Bulls, scoring a career-best 26 points in the win. The Bulls’ lineup looks much different than it did in the season opener. Most importantly, star point guard Derrick Rose is out for the season, suffering a season-ending injury for the second straight year. Sprinkle in injuries to Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer as well as the Deng trade, and it is very surprising that the Bulls have played as well as they have in 2013-14.
Gibson made 11 of his 15 shot attempts and added five rebounds along with three blocked shots. It seems that the Bulls are a team that, no matter what happens or who gets injured, is able to find someone to step up anytime their number is called. Tonight, it wasn’t just Gibson — D.J. Augustin, essentially their third-string point guard, added 27 points of his own on just 14 shot attempts. He also dished out seven assists.
As for the Cavs? Well, they are playing at a level equivalent to a dumpster fire at this point. Hot garbage is what they look like on most nights. A team that has Kyrie Irving, Luol Deng, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters should not be a cellar-dweller in a terrible Eastern Conference.