When the going got tough for the Chicago Bulls, they needed some help from somewhere, and that help came in a big way from their starting frontcourt of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Playing against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, the Bulls needed to bounce back from a loss to the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers. And they did… In a big way. Led by a Triple-Double from Joakim Noah, the Bulls cruised to a 93-82 victory. Noah had 23 points, 21 rebounds, and 11 blocks and 3 steals en route to victory. Boozer posted another solid effort as he added 21 points and 12 rebounds. All this has been done after very effective backup power forward Taj Gibson was lost to a sprained MCL.
He is expected to be out around four weeks. Richard Hamilton has also been out with back spasms.
The Bulls continued their strong play against the Brooklyn Nets the following night when the frontcourt played strong again. Noah had 21 points and 10 rebounds to along with 5 assists. Carlos Boozer also posted a strong stat line of 20, 8, and 5 steals.
When the Bulls played the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, they held the game close the whole time. They had a game tying three point attempt by Marco Belinelli with less than 10 seconds, and got the ball back, before turning it over. Constantly being complimented by Doris Burke of ESPN, Joakim Noah posted 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Boozer was given some time to rest, as he only played 17 minutes. Chicago was also without Kirk Hinrich for this game.
This was also Derrick Rose’s first game sitting on the bench this season, and Coach Tom Thibodeau would later declare him as day-to-day. If Rose were to come back this season, the Chicago Bulls could pose a threat to Miami and the Pacers in the East, assuming he could return at full strength. The Bulls have already proved their ability to stick with the best teams in the East.