Bulls Stay Alive Vs. Sixers, Face What-Ifs

CHICAGO — There were hero moments to remember in the Chicago Bulls’ 77-69 victory that staved off elimination in Game 5 of their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night at United Center. In between the vast stretches of ugly basketball and scattershooting, that is.

Here were a few: Luol Deng hitting four 3-pointers, three of them to bail out the Bulls at the end of shot clocks. Taj Gibson, playing like a man possessed and, for a while, like the only Chicago player driven to keep their season alive. And Gibson later, after rolling his right ankle, returning from the training room to sub back in. He still was limping and wasn’t very effective, but what was he to do? The Bulls probably were out of crutches anyway.

But what a lot of folks exiting United Center wonder was, where was that gutsy effort a few games ago?

Like in Game 2, when the Bulls were at home and could have gained real control of the series? Or in Game 3, when they led by 14 points in the fourth quarter but rolled over late on Philadelphia’s court? Chicago wouldn’t be any healthier — MVP Derrick Rose still is headed to surgery with the torn ACL in his left knee and center Joakim Noah is only hoping against hope that this series might last long enough for him to play on a severely sprained left ankle.

That’s the big what-if that will hang over the Bulls until — unless — they dig themselves all the way out of the 3-1 hole they excavated for themselves in the best-of-seven set. What if they had responded the way they did in Game 5, only sooner?

At least Deng (24 points, eight rebounds) and Carlos Boozer (19 points, 13 boards, six assists) stepped up among the starters. Gibson was terrific until he hit the deck, with eight points, seven rebounds and, in his first 12 minutes, five blocked shots.

Philadelphia again sputtered badly in halfcourt offense. Imagine how worse its shooting would have been — 32.1 percent as it was, on 25 of 78 field goal attempts — if not for a 23-9 edge in fastbreak scoring. Jrue Holiday scored 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting and Andre Iguodala went 4-of-19 en rout to his 11 points. The Sixers get to go home now, but the Bulls will try to make Game 6 feel like Game 7 to them.


  1. Patrickmarc says:

    I have always said that Rose was playing with too much risk, too dangerous,
    and his body is going to pay for too much acrobatic jumps.
    The same for Griffin, and Wesbrook, one day they will pay.
    May be Lebron James too, even with his athlete body.

    Chris Paul Parker and Nash don’t play that way, and they should play for year

  2. Jordan Dillard says:

    I’m from Philly and I’m a fan of my team. Injuries are a part of the game. We are only in the position we are in because of their injuries. If the 76ers don’t win tonight the we lose this series. The way Boston is playing now it will be super tough for us. Truth is that team is still scary. Sixers just need someone that can score on a consistent basis. They have a bunch of guys that can give you 15-20 points but all of those guys are inconsistent. Here’s to wishing for some consistency tonight. Let’s go sixers!!!!!

  3. littleteapot says:

    Luol Deng has got to play like the best player on that team. Win or lose he has to prove he can shoulder the load when his team needs him.

  4. Can this series be done any sooner its bad to watch.

  5. Sixes Fan says:

    I know Sam Young hasn’t been with the sixes very long, but does anyone think he might be able to muscle up better to Gibson? Thad is just not getting the job done.

  6. ray says:

    I like how iggy sais that we shouldn’t degrade their wins because of the bulls injuries.
    what is that guy smoking…? off course we degrade their wins. the sixers are flat out a bad team
    who will get swept in round 2 should they make it there!

    • justplayball says:

      ……So why do all those other players on the bullls roster get so much money????? shouldn’t they just get the minimum and give the rest to their sstar???

    • justplayball says:

      …..Does ANYBODY remember that the 76ers backed into the playoffs and almost dropped out completely?? If the bullls were facing ANYONE else the series would be over!!

  7. marko says:

    For all the praise Thibodeau got for coaching the Bulls last two years, they are not very good offensive team. It’s all left to Rose’s individualism on offensive end, which can turn them in one-trick pony like last year against Miami. Or no-trick pony like this year. It’s not like they don’t have any good offensive players. Boozer was much better in Utah, but PF is as good as PG makes him be, and Korver could be Ray Allen caliber threat at the outside if only they have couple of actions drawn for him.
    Greg Popovic would do miracles with this team…

  8. 76ers says:

    bulls, had a lucky game and thats about it, dont worry, 76ers will win and whip celtics!

    • Josef says:

      Yeah I think 76ers will defeat bulls but celtics will whip 76ers Butt

    • jj says:

      76ers have no chance againts the celtics the 76ers bearly beat bulls without rose come on it should been like taking candy away from a baby plus how much does these 76ers have playoffs experience

  9. kennylee says:

    The Celtics are for sure heading to the ECF coz after they´re done with the hawks ther´s no way these bulls or 76ers r gonna stop ´em. Hope the heat will get all the way to the finals and claim the championship though. But i gotta say all these injuries are really hurting the feel of the playoffs. I really mean no disrespect but the prospect that this philly team is gonna get to the semis….. a joke and disgrace!!!

    • justplayball says:

      ….Maybe if rose didn’t think like he had to do Everything then he wouldn’t get hurt SO MUCH and would help the TEAM….. but alas , I forget it is about ‘how good I am’ ……not about how to make the TEAM win…..just go ask GM/Coach kobester!!!!!

    • justplayball says:

      Don’t count your chickens……..

  10. Raymart says:

    Please, Derrick Rose my only NBA player Idol next to Michael Jordan get well soon and play for the BULLS to stay alive until to The Finals…

    • justplayball says:

      ….IF rose gets REAL lucky he can sell underwear too!!!

    • justplayball says:

      ….just to get you BACK to reality ….. that jordan guy is a FORMER nba player…….. got it!! Now …..well let’s just say ‘Fruit-of-the-Loom” is still jealous!!!

  11. Matt G says:

    As a Brit it was great to see Luol back in business after what has admittedly been a terrible series for him overall, particularly compared to his awesome regular season. Let’s see what happens in Game 6.

  12. toki says:

    damn that face of the white mamba at the end….

  13. pads says:

    good win for the bulls! keep going…. if you win Game 6, i’m pretty sure you will win this series.

  14. don2 says:

    deng should step up for the bulls and for sure bulls will win it in game 7! let’s go bulls!