2. Continued Strong Defensive Play
Although Derrick Rose is responsible for being the spark plug in the Bulls first half push, a lot of credit has to be given to the defense and the strong play they have been exhibiting.
Joakim Noah was the Bulls rebounding machine, however the defense has been managing quite well without him. That’s not to say he will be gladly welcomed back with wide open arms, but it’s proof the Bulls can operate without him temporarily rather than completely implode as was originally feared. Guys like Kurt Thomas, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson filled in huge shoes over the past months with Asik and Gibson putting career single game numbers against the Mavs and Asik exploding against the Raptors. Carlos Boozer also helps out on defense in his efforts to assist Derrick Rose. Tom Thibodeau deserves credit as well, because after all it is all his schemes and the players are put in at his behest. The defense has handled both the Celtics and Heat and have matchups ups against these two again. However the Bulls have gotten burned by the Celtics too and that was with Noah. If the Bulls are going to make a championship run, this strong defensive play needs to continue.