The Chicago Bulls suffered a tough loss at the hands of the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday, falling at home 89-82. The Bulls struggled to find a go-to-guy whom they could rely on to take the game over late. Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton all struggled from the field, and had no superstar available to bail them out.
Tom Thibodeau defended his team, pointing out that Derrick Rose is not the only member on the current Chicago squad to hit big shots:
"It's not just Derrick," Thibodeau said. "Luol (Deng) has hit a number of big shots for us, Kyle (Korver) has hit a number of big shots for us. Of course Derrick has as well, but the game dictates who's going to take the shot. So if there's a double team, someone else has to step up and take the shot. Carlos (Boozer) has made a number of big shots, Rip (Hamilton) has made a number of big shots throughout his career so we have a number of guys that can make big shots."
Thibodeau's quote suggests that the team will need different players to step up without Rose, depending on whomever is having the best shooting night, or whatever option the opposing defense gives them. This Bulls team has a lot of experience playing in the NBA and with each other, which should aid them when trying to find the right roles for each player down the stretch.
Chicago should get a chance to test it's crunch-time performance tonight, as they welcome the 2-0 Orlando Magic to the United Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. CT, with the game airing on CSNC.