Bulls Even Series at 1-1

The Chicago Bulls managed to do what all road teams want to do in the playoffs – a split. The Bulls played a game that was more their style and grabbe a 90-82 victory in Brooklyn to send the series back to the United Center knotted at 1-1. The 82 points were a testament to the stellar defensive scheme of Tom Thibodeau put in place, and the fact that star Guard Deron Williams had only 8 points and 10 assists.

The Bulls’ Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson scored a combined 38 points, but the effort off the bench and up and down the lineup was the key to Chicago’s success. Joakim Noah did manage a double double in the game, but his 4 turnovers led all players on either team, which is something he’ll have to fix as the series goes deeper.

If the Bulls can manage to keep Deron Williams at bay for the better part of the series they should have no problems dispatching the Nets in 6 games to move on to the Conference Semifinals. The key again is getting those contributions up and down the lineup like they have all year. When the bench is contributing like it did the Bulls are an extremely competitive team. The Bulls got 33 points off the bench which did narrowly outscore the Nets bench, but it had to have been the overall effort of the team as a whole that really stymied Brooklyn. Expect this series to get a little more testy as the series shifts back to Chicago on Thursday as Brooklyn will try and irritate Chicago on their home court.