COMMENTARY | If you looked at the Chicago Bulls' line-up before the start of their game against the Miami Heat on March 27, you would not have been impressed. There is nothing at all intimidating, on paper, about a Bulls squad missing All-Star Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli, Richard Hamilton and of course, one of the best players in the league in Derrick Rose. There was no way they should have prevented the Heat, who were on a 27-game win streak, from reaching number 28.
Perhaps someone should have told Chicago that they had no chance-- Because the makeshift starting-five of Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler, Nazr Mohammed and Carlos Boozer came out with guns drawn. But we had seen this before. The Heat have been challenged to start games, but teams such as the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers were unable to finish them off. Certainly spectators, and perhaps even the Heat themselves, thought they would come back in the second half and dominate such a severely undermanned team the way that they should.
However, this never came to fruition. Every player that entered the game, from Nate Robinson to Taj Gibson brought the same competitive fire with them. From start to finish there was no loss of intensity. They wanted this and they got it. Better yet, they took it. Although quick to point out that a championship is the only goal, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have been very forthcoming about the meaningfulness of their streak and potentially making history. So, it is not as if they did not try. The Bulls just tried harder.
It is really not much of a surprise that a short-handed Bulls team would snap the highly publicized winning streak of the Heat, who were at full-strength. They play hard, especially hard against rivals. Of course, there have been some rough nights and games where the Bulls come out looking as though they have no business on a basketball court. But the team's losses are almost never due to lack of effort, but rather, lack of talent.
Tonight, effort won. Effort took talent's cookies.
Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
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- Chicago Bulls
- Miami Heat
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