Bulls Week 4 In Review – The Walking Wounded

Posted: January 24, 2012 by Mauricio Rubio Jr. in Basketball, NBA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2012 is clearly the year that everyone gets hurt in the NBA. Stern can only blame himself and the player’s union for the rash of injuries that is currently overtaking the league. This is a funky NBA season, and nothing really shows that more than legit concerns in Golden State over the Kwame Brown injury.

So it would fit to form that our own Bullies would run into a rash of injuries that would severely cripple the team and flush them out of first place in the conference. Except that it didn’t…because the Bulls are very deep.

Think about it, Scal is getting meaningful burn, Asik started and played 39 minutes in a game, Rose missed 5 games in a row, Luol Deng went down with an injury, Korver was asked to play serious defense on players faster than he is, Boozer was playing center, half the frontcourt twisted their ankle, seemingly on the same play, and through it all the Bulls collectively shrugged and won 4 out of 5 games.

That’s not normal. You aren’t supposed to lose half your team and thrive. The schedule definitely helped, the Bulls ran through Charlotte, Cleveland and Phoenix before getting Rose back for the recent Nets game. It also was a relaxed schedule, or as relaxed as this NBA season will allow. There was only one back to back thrown in there.

Yet, there the Bulls sit, atop the conference and undefeated at home, poised to once again snatch that one seed. Honestly, it all hinges on the Luol Deng injury. #9 is the best defender the Bulls have, he is a perfect cog in the Thibs defensive machine. Deng is also a reliable 3rd scoring option, and his jumpshot does have the tendency of loosening up the defense in the paint allowing Rose to drive in and play 21 with the opposing team. Deng has a wrist injury, he doesn’t expect to miss any significant time unless he opts for surgery, and that should concern Bulls fans. If this guy is out for a few months, the Bulls are in a tough spot.

The MVP is already playing through turf toe (that they won’t ever say is turf toe), and you’ll be taking away Thib’s blankie. Carlos Boozer can make all the sweet love to undersized PF’s that he wants, his offense will not be covering for the loss of Deng’s defense. It will manifest itself in very subtle ways. Brewer does a good job at the 3, but he’s not 6’9 like Deng is. The Bulls have thrived so far, and they are an elite NBA team, but the Deng/Rose combo is important in Chicago, and the injury to Deng hurts. It’s a rough season, and our iron man is finally missing time. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bulls respond to his absence.

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