Bulls prove mental toughness to survive in the playoffs, as they end yet another win streak Thursday night.
Despite having no Derrick Rose and struggling to put a real consistent season together, the Chicago Bulls proved Thursday night that they were ready for a playoff battle, after defeating the red hot New York Knicks in overtime 111-118.
The Knicks had won 13 games straight coming into this, and had Carmelo Anthony averaging over 30 points a game in the process. While he once again lit up the box score with another 36 points, he was met blow-for-blow by Derrick Rose’s replacement Nate Washington, who had 35 points of his own.
British forward Luol Deng scored 16 points, while Jimmy Butler added 22 from the bench, in what was a hard-fought and emotional win for Chicago.
Having lacked the consistency of previous yeas, which had seen them be the number one seed in the Eastern Conference two years running, the Bulls have limped into the post-season as the fifth seed.
While some may say they will not stand a chance against teams such as Miami, Indiana and New York, this kind of win in front of a sold out United Center, the Bulls have shown that they are ready to play.
This isn’t the first win streak they have ended this season either, as they were the team that bullied and roughed up a Miami Heat team who had won 27 games prior to this meeting. The fashion in which they beat the LeBron James-led Heat was a testament to a hard nosed defensive scheme that really puts pressure on players to score from the perimeter.
As the playoffs draw nearer, and Derrick Rose’s return still up in the air, the Bulls may have got hot at the right time, and what was once an unlikely playoff run, may now become a reality.