The Bulls are one of the most complete teams in the NBA and have been successful without the NBA's reigning MVP, so expect them to get past the Philadelphia 76ers and even past the Boston Celtics/Atlanta Hawks despite Rose's ACL injury.
These Bulls are fighters, going 18-9 when Rose was out with his various injuries this season. They have beaten playoff-caliber teams like the 76ers, Hawks, the New York Knicks, the Miami Heat and even the Celtics twice without Rose.
Bulls' sharpshooter Kyle Korver said this best in a postgame interview to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson about Rose's injury.
"We have to pick ourselves up," Korver said. "We've played a lot of games this year without him. Maybe that was getting us ready for this."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau also has confidence in his Bulls despite Rose's devastating injury.
"He has had a lot of injuries this year," Thibodeau told Johnson. "It has been unfortunate. But we do have more than enough to win with. Whatever the circumstances are, we'll deal with it."
Thibodeau is right. The Bulls have a great basketball team with substantial depth and talent as they have achieved the best regular-season record for two consecutive years. This year, especially, was impressive because of key players like Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng and C.J. Watson also missing significant time.
The Bulls still have one of the NBA's best starting lineups with Watson, Hamilton, Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. All starters have playoff experience, and Hamilton has accomplished a fantastic postseason track record (20.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists in 121 games).
Watson has proven to be a very capable starter in Rose's place, averaging 10.9 points and 4.6 assists in 25 starts. Watson also works very well with Boozer on the pick-and-roll, getting Boozer into good offensive rhythms.
Backup point guards John Lucas III and Mike James have been effective for the Bulls this year and will continue producing.
The Bulls starters' are very talented and capable of leading the Bulls to victory. They still are way more talented than the 76ers and are deeper than the Hawks and Celtics.
If the Bulls make the Eastern Conference Finals, they will be closer to their goal and will give the Heat a run for their money. And if the Bulls beat the Heat, why can't Chicago win the NBA Finals?
There's a reason why these games are played, and the Bulls still have an opportunity for championship glory.
The Bulls will definitely not quit these playoffs and will play their hearts out.
Bulls fans, cheer on your team as Chicago will go far and might grind out a surprising NBA title.
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