In the past two weeks, the Chicago Bulls have shown that they can overcome the injury bug with their tremendous depth. While many of the players we have seen play in place of the normal rotation guys may not be as entertaining to watch, it tells us how good the Bulls truly are. For instance, on Saturday night, a game in which the Bulls were without Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, they defeated Bobcats with ease. Fourth string point guard Mike James, who had not played an NBA game since 2009, scored 9 points and had 10 assists in a limited 16 minutes for the Bulls on Saturday. Another guy who has stepped up when the Bulls truly needed him is Carlos Boozer. In the five games that Rose has sat out, Boozer has averaged 20.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game showing that he still is an elite power forward in the NBA.
Late in the game on Saturday, the Bulls catalyst, Luol Deng went down with a left wrist injury that will most likely sideline him for tonights game, but shouldn’t be a lingering issue. With Ronnie Brewer, Rip Hamilton and Kyle Korver taking his place against the lowly New Jersey Nets, and the possible return of Derrick Rose tonight, the Bulls should be fine. Even with all of the injuries the Bulls have had in the past couple weeks, it is unlikely that the Bulls will pick up another big man for insurance to avoid the luxury tax as reported by the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson on Sunday night. Although Rose will be a game time decision tonight, I believe it would be wise for him to continue to sit, at least until Wednesday when they play a surprisingly good Pacers team or even until Sunday when they play the Miami Heat.
Injuries will be the theme of the 2011-2012 season due to the shortened and condensed season, but the teams with depth, such as the Bulls, will be the ones to come out on top.