Column: Bulls hustle to wins
It's amazing how far effort can take a team in the NBA. It's hard to argue that another team plays the game harder than the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have the best defense in the league, only allowing a league low 92.2 points per game. Chicago knows that if they are going to win a game it starts on the defensive end. The Bulls only score 93.1 points per game, but that has not stopped them from surging to claim the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference after a shaky start.
Joakim Noah, who is the heart and soul of the team, has lead Chicago after Derrick Rose went down with another season-ending injury. Noah is having the best season of his career from both a scoring and rebounding perspective. He also makes the effort plays that may not always show up in the stat sheet. His brilliance was on display Sunday during the overtime thriller against the Miami Heat. Noah has the ability to inspire his teammates on the defensive end where they take a great deal of pride in stopping their opponents.
Noah may not ever lead the team in scoring, but he can certainly do it all from the center position. Noah is an exceptional passer for a big man; he is averaging 4.9 assists per game this year, including two double-digit assist performances during the month of March.
Noah provides the post presence for Chicago that is necessary to compete with the Heat. However, this team is still faced with the same problem they have always had against their rival. Chicago just does not possess the scoring necessary to win a series against Miami. Chicago's defense will always keep them in the game but they will be challenged to put games away during crunch time. It is clear that the two teams do not like each other, so a seven-game series between the two come playoff time is sure to not disappoint.
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