5 Reasons for the Chicago Bulls' Fast (Decent) Start
The Chicago Bulls are off to a fast start, owning a record of 5-6. Okay, a 5-6 record may not be anything to brag about, but it's not too bad, considering that Derrick Rose is yet to play a game this year.
Rose—one of the best basketball players on the planet—is recovering from knee surgery and should return sometime after the All-Star break.
And plus, you can't expect a lot out of the Bulls this year, as their bench simply isn't as great as the "Bench Mob" was the past two seasons.
So what are the reasons for Chicago's decent start?
Let's go ahead and get to them.
Stats used in this article were accurate as of 11-21-2012.
Defense, what a surprise, huh?
As long as coach Tom Thibodeau is around, the Bulls will be a decent defensive team. That's not an opinion, it's a fact.
This season, the Bulls' D hasn't been as suffocating as it was the past two years, but it's still respectable nonetheless.
The team currently owns a defensive rating of 102, which is 10th–best in the league.
In addition, Thibodeau’s squad has held opponents to an average of just 94.2 points per game and a meager 33 percent from beyond the arc.
Defense has clearly kept the offensively-challenged Bulls in games throughout the young season.
All-Star Type Play from Joakim Noah
Bulls center Joakim Noah has never made an All-Star team in his professional basketball career.
Things may certainly change this season, though.
Noah is having an exceptional year for Chicago thus far. The former Florida Gator is averaging 14.8 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and 1.3 steals per contest.
He looked spectacular on opening night versus the Sacramento Kings, producing 23 points, 10 boards, five steals, three blocks and three assists.
Noah, who has emerged as the ultimate stat-stuffer, is one of the Bulls' most valuable players.
Luol Deng Stepping Up
After it became apparent that the injured Derrick Rose would miss most of the season, the Bulls were in need of a go-to guy in his absence.
So far, Luol Deng has been that guy.
An All-Star for the first time last year, Deng has carried the Bulls, putting up a team-high 18.1 points per game this season.
No, he can't light it up like a Kevin Durant or Kobe Bryant, but he does provide the team with solid scoring punch from the small forward spot.
Deng should hold down the fort as "The Man" until Rose returns to the hardwood.
Nate Robinson Serving as a Spark Plug off the Bench
When the Bulls signed Nate Robinson in the offseason, they figured they were getting a quality bench player.
And well, they were right.
Robinson has been just what the doctor ordered, leading Chicago's second unit in scoring with 12 points per game.
The three-time slam dunk champ is having one of the best seasons of his career, emerging as the perfect spark plug off the bench for the Bulls.
There's a possibility that Robinson will finish the year as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
Occasional Good Performances from Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer? You mean that guy who averages just 13 points per game?
Although Boozer has had a few games this year that he'd like to forget about, he has also had a few nice performances.
He started the season off with 18 points against the Sacramento Kings and 19 versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And later on, in a road win against the Phoenix Suns, Boozer put on a show with a season-high 28 points and 14 rebounds.
While he's extremely inconsistent and not the same player that he was with the Utah Jazz, Boozer can get the job done sometimes.
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