Hope in the Windy City
When Derrick Rose went down with a major injury (again), it looked like Chicago’s season was over. The Bulls squad would be unable to get the job done due to Rose’s absence, and many people even thought the Bulls should tank for a draft pick. When Chicago traded Luol Deng to Cleveland, things starting looking especially dark in the Windy City.
It was time for someone to step up.
For the majority of his pro career, Joakim Noah hasn’t done anything too spectacular. The center’s success at the University of Florida has outweighed his production in Chicago, but he’s beginning to break out of his shell.
No, he doesn’t light up the scoring department, but Noah has been the main piece of the Bulls’ puzzle. Over the past ten games, Noah has averaged 14 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game. In Chicago’s huge win in OT against the juggernaut known as the Miami Heat, Noah recorded 20 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 blocks.
D.J. Augustin – what a surprise. No one expected Augustin to play at the level he has been; in fact, many NBA fans laughed at the thought of Augustin replacing Rose. When you look at his 11 PPG, it doesn’t appear that he’s been all that great, but in big games, D.J. has been exceptional. The little man dropped 22 on Miami, knocking down 4 of his 6 threes, leading Chicago in scoring.
I would be very, very shocked if Chicago actually won the NBA Finals, but they sure have turned this year around. The Bulls are dead last in the league in PPG, but their defense is ranked first in points allowed. If Chicago can add an offensive threat such as Carmelo Anthony and have a healthy Derrick Rose, the Bulls will be serious title contenders.