After a tough loss at the hands of the hated Miami Heat that looked far too similar to the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s hard to be optimistic about the Bulls chances later on in the season. However if you look past the surface, you see that things are far from hopeless.
The Bulls were playing with ridiculous injury problems. Derrick Rose is still battling turf toe, Rip Hamilton is dealing with his pulled groin, Taj Gibson just came back from a sprained ankle, and that doesn’t even count that we were missing our second best player in Luol Deng AND backup point guard in C.J Watson!
From this game, you have to take more positive than negative. Joakim Noah had an outstanding game with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. He showed that he really is a player who will cause Miami all sorts of problems in the playoffs. The Bulls were also able to contain Wade effectively, so we can see that the last playoffs likely was not a fluke in terms of containing Wade.
The Bulls were also able to hold the Heat to 41% shooting without arguably their best defender on the floor. When Luol Deng comes back, they will have yet another guy that they can throw at LeBron, and that can never hurt.
The one concern that you have to have is that Rose was ineffective when LeBron switched onto him, and that is something that we will have to keep an eye on when the Bulls play the Heat again. However knowing that the Bulls had so many injuries going against them, and that they were playing on the road, and STILL had a chance to win at the end has to be encouraging for Bulls fans.