This man is good at basketball. No, really.
It took me until tonight, when a seemingly devastating event occurred to the Bulls' roster, to understand that this Bulls team is for real. On a night where the Bulls best player, Rose, was held to a mere 6 points on 3-9 shooting, his teammates stepped up in a big way. The frontcourt for the Bulls was dominant with Boozer scoring 34 points on the night. Deng contributed his usual 19 points. Bench players like Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer made huge contributions. The Bulls are a team. With Boozer starting to find his niche on the team after missing much of the beginning of the year to injury, the Bulls will cause problems for everyone they play later in the year if they can all remain healthy. They may have missed out on "The Decision" of the summer, but the Bulls have found out that what they have this year is special. While beating struggling Toronto might not impress anyone, what we saw tonight is that this team is not just Rose; it's one entity playing under the impecable leadership of Rose and new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Yes, their record will suffer over the next 8-10 weeks. Noah has been a vital part of the Bulls roster this year building off a career best season last year with an even better one this year. However, the Bulls will be in the playoffs. I don't see a team in the Eastern Central that will catch them even with a depleted roster for part of the year. They have already established a 5 game lead. The NBA is a league where teams show what they've got in the playoffs, and when the Bulls are healthy, watch out.