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Chicago Bulls Players We Should Be Discussing Instead of Derrick Rose

MIAMI, FL - MAY 06:  Nate Robinson #2 of the Chicago Bulls reacts after scoring against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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James Tillman IIIAnalyst IMay 8, 2013

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah recently came to the defense of his injured teammate Derrick Rose by advising critics to back off, more or less (via ESPNChicago.com).

While Noah's sentiment was an accurate one, it was not for the reasons you may think. The reason why critics in the media should stop asking questions about Rose is because the focus should be on the players who are actually on the court.

Here is a short list of some of those players just to name a few.

 

Carlos Boozer

It is no secret that Boozer has not played well in the postseason since joining the team prior to the 2010-2011 season.

In spite of that trend, Boozer posted averages of 17.6 points and 10 rebounds in the seven-game series against the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.  

Although he managed to score just six points and grab seven rebounds in Game 1 against the Miami Heat, Boozer is still an important piece of the equation and his scoring and rebounding will be crucial if the Bulls are going to continue to have success in the postseason.

 

Jimmy Butler

Everyone is aware of how the second-year guard has blossomed during the regular season, but he has also played at a high level in the playoffs as well.

Taking a page from Luol Deng’s book, Butler has played every minute of the last three games and has guarded the likes of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and LeBron James.

While James did tally 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Game 1, Butler made him work hard for his points while scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

Not only is Butler proving that he can log heavy minutes along with playing solid defense, he is also showing that he can be an additional scoring option as well.

 

Nate Robinson

Robinson has been an offensive spark plug for the Bulls all season and has an uncanny ability to deliver regardless of the circumstances.

In an opening-round Game 6 loss to the Nets, Robinson was vomiting on the bench at times during the game, but still managed to score 18 points and hand out four assists.

To go along with that, Robinson took a nasty spill to the floor in the series opener against the Heat, but returned to score 24 of his 27 points in the second half to help Chicago edge Miami, 93-86.

With Chicago missing two of its best players at their positions in Deng and Kirk Hinrich, Robinson’s contributions could not have come at a better time.

 

Joakim Noah

I cannot say enough good things about the former Florida Gator.

Noah’s status was doubtful when the playoffs began (via NetsDaily.com) and he played just 13 minutes in Game 1 against the Nets.

As the series progressed, Noah's play continued to improve and he helped the Bulls post the franchise’s first-ever Game 7 road win, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds—not to mention six blocked shots as well.

Although Rose is the best player on the Bulls' roster, there is little doubt that Noah has become the emotional leader of this ballclub.

In the final analysis, it is understandable why the questions about Rose not playing continue to be a topic of conversation. After all, he is the franchise player and his presence on the court would make the Bulls a better basketball team.

However, instead of continuing to focus on the player whose return never materialized, our attention needs to be geared toward the players who are leading the Bulls on an improbable postseason run.

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