When it was announced Joakim Noah would miss the Chicago Bulls game against the Indiana Pacers, it would have been only natural for Bulls fans to become disheartened. After all, the Pacers had beaten the Bulls all three times they’d seen them this year, and had won three their last three games, even without David West. And yet, as they’ve done several times before, the Bulls shook off injuries and fatigue and improbably found a way to come out on top.
Nazr Mohammed started in place of Noah and came up with season-highs in minutes, points and field goals made. He went 5/7 from the field for 11 points and 7 rebounds in 31 minutes. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng did their thing, each posting one of their better performances of late. Deng had 20 points and 7 rebounds and Boozer chipped in 18 and 10.
Daequan Cook, who rarely plays due to his status as a “shooter” who can’t seem to make anything ever, chipped in 9 points in 17 minutes, but suffered a scary fall and had to leave the game in the fourth quarter.
Speaking of leaving the game, Nate Robinson committed a flagrant foul in the second half on a Lance Stephenson breakaway and was ejected for it. Marquis Teague came in for him and played well, although Kirk Hinrich replaced him for crunch time.
Ultimately, this is a great win for the Bulls. Even with David West still out for the Pacers, the Pacers are no joke. And since the Bulls were missing Noah — and Derrick Rose, obviously — it probably evens out. Noah will have to miss tomorrow’s game with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Mohammed, Boozer and Taj Gibson all having solid games makes that feel a little less terrible.
All in all, a good win. Now on to the next one.