All through the Chicago Bulls' injury-plagued season, coach Tom Thibodeau used the same phrase over and over again: "We have more than enough to win with." And win they did, finishing with a tie for the league's best record and the top overall seed in the playoffs. Alas, after Thursday's crushing 79-78 loss at the Philadelphia 76ers, the gaudy seed and another Central Division title is all Chicago has to show for its regular-season success.
The Bulls didn't have enough to win with, not with Derrick Rose out, not with Joakim Noah out, not with Carlos Boozer on the bench for the final 16:07 of the game. Rose and Noah are going to be back. Assuming better luck with their health, their best basketball days still lie ahead. That's not the case for Boozer, who wilted when the Bulls needed him most. Boozer made 1 of 11 shots Thursday. When the Bulls' third quarter run coincided with Boozer going to the bench in favor of Taj Gibson, that was the last we saw of him for the 2011-12 season.