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Video: Luol Deng with the putback for the win

Mar 25, 2012, 12:47 AM EDT

The Bulls won a game over Toronto 102-101 that they probably should have lost by all accounts, not only for the fact that the Raptors outplayed them for most of the game and had about 700 things go against them down the stretch, but mostly because the Bulls were without two of their best players in Derrick Rose (understatement) and Joakim Noah (ejected early on for being Noah).

And despite getting killed on the glass all night, the Bulls pulled it out thanks to Luol Deng, who had an off shooting night, with an offensive rebound, the Bulls’ bread and butter. Observe. 

If the Bulls are going to win a title, it’s going to be off of plays like this. Their ability to crash the boards and finish off hustle plays is their biggest advantage. It means that when they aren’t winning with talent they can win with the scrap plays. The Raptors were on the second game of a back to back in overtime, and just didn’t have the legs. But Chicago had its own disadvantages, and got the win. That’s what great teams do.

  1. LilTmac2003 - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    That was indeed an incredible play by Deng.

    Rose and Hamilton were out for the game, and Noah was out for the entire 2nd half.

    Sure, Bulls hustle on plays and rebound well, but the reason they are so good is because they practically define the word “team”.

    For example, in the OKC-MIN game. The game went into 2OT with Durant and Westbrook scoring each over 40pts. While that is an amazing accomplishment, that’s not going to happen every game — let alone in the playoffs. Other people need to step up.

    In that game, the three other starters scored a combined 20pts — Mostly coming from Perkins (12pts) who had put-backs and not pure offense.

    Rose and Hamilton were out for this game. Yet three Bulls players scored over 20pts. As already mentioned in the article, Bulls pretty much had a bad game but still won.

    • juanandonly24 - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Sorry to rain on your parade, but it’s much more likely for Durant and Westbrook to score 20+ points each in the playoffs than the giant assortment of role players the Bulls have.

  2. asublimeday - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Go Bulls!

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    The Bulls win a game by the skin of their ass against the Raptors and PBT calls them “great”, and this is universally accepted as true. You won’t get any comments on this post that suggest otherwise. Must be nice.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      You’re right, it’s not like they just won a game without their two best scorers and the league MVP and are 12-4 without him… so yes, they suck.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Point is that they can do no wrong. They’re the Derek Jeter of the NBA. That’s not a bad thing. But let’s just say a certain other team beats OKC tonight on a tip in with .1 left. 75% of the talk with be about what that certain team wrong to make it such a close game. Or if god forbid they lose tonight, it will be an indictment on the entire organization in general (tip of the hat to Eric Stratton ’63).

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Also, you might mention that Toronto played without DeMar DeRozen and Jerryd Bayless.

      • philtration - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

        Kurt steps in for the burn!

  4. gmsingh - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    I don’t get it: which of the LEAGUE LEADING ten losses that the Bulls have is 1972… going to say was really indicative of how the Bulls play?

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      Once again, it’s not a comment on the Bulls. They’re legitimate. It’s a comment on how you will never ever hear/read anything about them other than in the most glowing of terms.

      • ummnah - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        well what is there to say bad about them? They’re the only team in the league that hasnt lost back to back games and have played without Rose for 16 games now and only lost 4. They play hard every night, have no egos, and no off the court issues so im not sure what bad you can write about. seems to me that you’re just a HATER

      • gmsingh - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:55 AM

        That’s funny, because most people say that about the Heat. The Bulls have had the best record in the NBA two years in a row now, with only one superstar player, Rose, who just happens to have been out for sixteen games this season. But you don’t see many stories about the Bulls, you’re more likely to see a story like “Did you see what LeBron just tweeted?” The NBA has become less about playing good basketball and more about stuff that makes you think “Who gives a crap?”

  5. glink123 - Mar 25, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    The fact of the matter is that the Bulls have managed to find a way to put up a league-best record of 40 and 10, and have done it without their starting SG for 35 games, and without their starting MVP PG for double-digit games (and counting), and without their starting SF and C for double-digit games. All the do is throw out warm bodies, share the ball, and bust their asses in defense EVERY single possession. No photo-op press conferences. No attention-seeking Hollywood moments. The most low-key coach in the league, with the most low-key MVP in history. The result is that non-Bulls fans have found a reason to universally *hate* this team for some reason. It really baffles me, to be completely honest. They have 10 guys averaging at least 7 ppg. That’s unheard of, but it’s a testament to the way they play as a team.

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