April 24, 2013
Chicago Bulls defeat the Brooklyn Nets on game 2
Perhaps the Bulls could still win in the postseason without their biggest star, Derrick Rose.
By Stephen Lars
The Chicago Bulls have been struggling with many injury issues this season. We all know quite well that their biggest player, Derrick Rose, is out indefinitely, and has been so for the entire season. Now, considering what we have learned so far, it is clear that he might not be back for the playoffs. Joakim Noah, the Bulls 28-year-old center, has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for a couple of weeks now. He was in so much pain, that in game 1 of the 1st round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets, Noah could barely run on it. And the Bulls lost that first game at the Barclays Center in New York 89-106 in a complete blowout. Now, on game 2 of the series, Noah knew quite well that his team would need all he’s got for this matchup. And battling through the pain, and limiting his minutes to only 25, Noah delivered. He finished the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds, including three very important baskets in the fourth quarter.
The Chicago Bulls have been struggling with many injury issues this season.
He was certainly a vital component in the Chicago Bulls effort to take a 90-82 win on Monday night. The Chicago Bulls head coach, Tim Thibodeau, was quite excited to see that display of courage from his player. "I thought overall, I thought Jo (Joakim Noah) was very rusty in the first game but willed it, and I thought he willed it again tonight and we needed every bit of it," Thibodeau said in the postgame press conference. "To me, it's obvious we're a much better team with him on the floor." There is certainly no doubt about that. Considering that Rose is gone, Noah is now a vital component in the Bulls game flow.
But it was not all about Noah. Truth be said, beating the Brooklyn Nets required a solid team effort and the Bulls delivered. Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Luol Deng, who had had a very poor performance in the opening game of the postseason, redeemed himself with 15 points and 10 boards for the Bulls. And that’s the kind of effort these guys are going to have to put out in order to beat the odds and make it into the next round.
Brook Lopez guided the home team efforts with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Point guard Deron Williams chipped in with 8 points and 10 assists, but we have to insist that his performance was certainly not at his finest. As a matter of fact, the whole team seemed to be a bit off on Monday. The Nets shot 35% from the field, certainly not a playoffs worthy effort. And it’s not like their long distance shooting was any better either. The Nets were only 4 of 21 from the three-point range. Sure enough the Bulls worked very hard to improve their defense and that brought down the Nets percentages. But still, it was not a good game for Brooklyn. "We didn't get stops, which was the key for us because then we couldn't get out and run like we wanted to," Williams said to the press before walking away to the locker rooms. "We have to do a better job defensively next game. I've got to do a better job of everything really. This was a bad one for me."
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.