No Luol Deng, no Kirk Hinrich, and the Bulls led this Game 7 from start to finish. They won fairly comfortably with a 99-93 score. Just...insane.
We all knew the Nets were a good matchup for this team and it was proven yet again tonight. They had every handicap they could ask for to win this series, but the remaining Bulls wouldn't let it happen. The biggest game was from Joakim Noah, who guaranteed a win in this game and finished with a line to back it up: 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks. He has improved every game this series, and brought out the best for last as he started out the game on fire on the offensive glass (7 in the game) and was an offensive go-to guy in the second half.
A huge game from Marco Belinelli, solid ones from Nate Robinson, Carlos Boozer, and Jimmy Butler. Unexpectedly decent contributions from Marquis Teague (!) and even Daequan Cook.
The biggest difference may have been just that Brooklyn did not bring it in this elimination game. Deron Williams had a decent game but could not dominate the action, Brook Lopez needed 20 shots to get 21 points, and Joe Johnson was a complete no-show.
The rest of their team just isn't very good. If the Bulls were healthy they'd have won in 5. If they had that guy Derrick Rose (RIP) they'd have won in 4 and each by 20 points. The Bulls had everything thrown at them this series, but a real opponent wasn't really one of them. They did their job and advanced, improbably facing the Miami Heat. It may be over quickly, and painfully, but at the least they just made Miami's run to the title a little less comfortable tonight.