Last year’s MVP, Derrick Rose, is in a suit. Luol Deng is in the hospital. And Kirk Hinrich can barely walk. Lesser teams would have given up already, but this Chicago Bulls team does not know the meaning of the word quit.
No one really gave the Bulls a chance in their best-of-series series against the Brooklyn Nets, and I’m starting to think that’s just how the Bulls like it. As, night after night, a new player has stepped up for the Bulls, tonight’s unlikely hero was Marco Belinelli, with 24 points. Joakim Noah, dealing with crippling plantar fasciitis, dismantled the Nets to the tune of 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Carlos Boozer chipped in with 17 points and 7 rebounds of his own, while Jimmy Butler played the entire 48 minutes, showing off some of the grimiest defense in the NBA as the Bulls knocked off the Nets 99-93 Saturday night.
The Bulls now move on to face the reigning NBA champions, the Miami Heat, in the second round of the playoffs.
The Bulls may be without their stars, but they have all the heart in the world.
(Hi Rhianna , whose concert was scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed to Tuesday night after the Nets forced Game 7.)