With any good team, there comes the fact that they need a dominant player to survive.
What separates the Chicago Bulls from the rest of the league is the fact that, while they do have a primary scorer in Derrick Rose, they don't lean on him as much as those other teams lean on their superstars.
While the Bulls have been struggling with the injury bug lately, their play has not been stifled. Their defense is still ranked the best in the NBA, and not only are they beating teams, they are destroying them. They took down the Phoenix Suns by 21 points and demolished an underrated Cleveland Cavaliers team by 39.
All without Derrick Rose.
While other teams like the Heat and Lakers struggle to carry themselves through a game when they are missing a primary scorer, the Bulls just lower their heads and push forward without faltering. Even when they play with an eight-man lineup (a lineup without Derrick Rose) like they did against the Charlotte Bobcats on January 20, they somehow find ways to win.
Their secret: depth and chemistry.
The Bulls locker room consists of guys who are unselfish and talented; and there's a lot of them.
No matter who is injured, the Bulls have the depth and the talent to compete against most teams in the league. If Rose goes down for a couple of games, no worries, C.J Watson can come in and score 20 points.
And if he goes down?
Well, the Bulls have John Lucas III, who can step in and score 20 to 25 points a night; even Mike James can come in and produce close to a double-double like he did against the Bobcats with nine points and 10 assists.
If Boozer or Noah go down, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson can slide right in without any decline in production on the court, and an improved defense down low. And now, with Luol Deng suffering a wrist injury, there is no doubt that the Bulls will see someone step up their play to make up for a loss of a teammate.
When it comes to facing better teams in the playoffs, the Bulls bench depth is going to be one of the keys to winning games.
And not only will having a deep bench carry the Bulls to the top, the chemistry that exists within the organization is unmatched anywhere else in the league. Between the players, there is a high level of respect and they know that they play for each other rather than themselves.
The philosophy of Derrick Rose's humbleness and "team first" attitude must have rubbed off, much like the defensive mindedness from Tom Thibodeau has rubbed off on the Bulls as well.
The fact that they play for each other creates a group that has the intense drive to win a championship. And the fact that they always have a talented player on the court at all times means that they can run teams out of the gym and play shutdown defense.
This Bulls squad is highly disciplined, and behind their depth and chemistry, with a little help from Thibodeau, this team will go far.
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