The Bulls' next best hope

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
1:27
AM CT


CHICAGO -- With the Chicago Bulls on the brink of a season-ending collapse, Luol Deng stepped up and showed he has more than enough ligaments to shoot with.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Tom Thibodeau Coaching Robot’s mantra, “We’ve got more than enough to win with,” you probably didn’t laugh at that joke. If you’re sick of hearing Thibodeau say those words after the soul-crushing loss of Derrick Rose and a mind-numbing three-game losing streak, you probably winced at it.

But ThibsBot doesn't lie. Or if he does, he believes it. The losing streak is over and despite another late Ankle Moment, the half-dead Bulls are still alive in their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers after a non-artful 77-69 win at the United Center on Tuesday night.

Just when everyone had finished their obituaries.

Deng, hampered for more than half of the season with a torn ligament in his left hand, has battled through pain to try and erase any lingering, if not misguided, notion that he’s a soft player. But it wasn't just about Deng's reputation. He wanted to play, rather than get surgery, because Deng knew this was going to be a special season. And it almost was. Now the O'Brien Trophy is out of reach, but the Bulls want to keep playing out of stubborn pride. Forget the beach, give them Philly and then Boston or Atlanta.

Read the entire column.

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.2
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.8
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5