Friday, February 25, 2011

Bulls Stand Pat At Trade Deadline, Beat the Heat (Again) 93-89!

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls organization did everything in their power Thursday afternoon to trade for a SG without giving up any of their bigs. Chicago pulled off a trade on Tuesday night when they shipped James Johnson off to the Toronto Raptors for Miami's 2011 1st round pick. There was a lot of speculation that Chicago would use that pick in a trade. While there were rumors of possibly snatching up Courtney Lee, Anthony Parker or OJ Mayo, the first time in years, the Bulls didn't do a thing on the day of the trade deadline. Every team wanted either Omer Asik or Taj Gibson in return for a shooting guard but in the end, it was decided that they were both too valuable to the Bulls playoff roster to give up. The Bulls bench proved last night that Gar Forman was right about not giving up the depth at the four and five.

The Bulls were able to pull off a stunning victory over the Miami Heat last night, winning 93-89. Derrick Rose proved he was the MVP by tallying 26 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Luol Deng had a spectacular game challenging LeBron James and eventually hitting what would be the game winning shot. Deng finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Carlos Boozer had a decent game with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Dwayne Wade lead the Heat with 34 points and 8 assists. LeBron James ended the game with 29 points and 10 rebounds.

This was a must win game coming off of a tough loss to Toronto the night before. Chicago's defense was almost flawless in the 2nd half. There was no possible way to play better than they did other than cut back on the fouls. The Bulls are a second half team and whatever pep talk Thibs gives those guys must work. They're so motivated to win at any cost.

The Bulls second unit was what really helped win the game for them and exposed just how bad Miami's bench was. Chicago's bench outscored Miami's 22-2 and out rebounded them 20-2. It's nice to have players like Eddie House and James Jones come off the bench and hit an occasional three but when it comes to big man depth, Joel Anthony and Big Z's ghost aren't going to cut it.

Gar Forman was correct to keep Asik. He's a guy who plays with as much intensity and hustle as Noah and is so big that he disrupts other team's offense on a consistent basis. Deng, Boozer and Asik kept Bosh from scoring almost anything going 1-18 from the field. Bosh didn't just have a bad shooting night either, he had a hand in his face the entire game.

The Bulls do still have a hole at the two guard spot but if they can make up for it with their defense like they did last night, they might be okay in the playoffs. It's also possible the Bulls will play the buy out market and pick someone up like Michael Redd or Tashaun Prince if they become available. The D-League is also a possibility.

The Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in Milwaukee. Hopefully the Bulls can continue their winning ways. Go Bulls!