Mo Williams pulled a Devin Hester. Ridiculous. He burned the hell out of Rose off the dribble early getting to the rim and setting up others for dunks and scoring himself. Later he went Ben Gordon on us, reigning down fire from behind the arc, hitting a couple crazy threes.
While some could say the Cavs without LeBron are nothing, but quite honestly, after watching them tonight, I think the Cavs without LeBron would probably be sitting with a better record than the Bulls right now if they had Jamison all year. Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison are borderline stars while Zydrunas and Verejao are solid front court players.
LeBron's absence didn't really make this a game a gimmie, it just turned a hopeless game into a game the Bulls had a chance in, and they did enough to get the win.
Derrick Rose had moments of dominance on offense with his ability to get to the rim. Kirk Hinrich's shooting really was instrumental in the Bulls winning this game. In fact, you could argue that in the past three games, the Bulls have gone as Kirk has gone more so than anything else [not a particularly comforting thought for the next four games].
Luol Deng had a solid night as well and was a few gaffs away from having a really great night.
All that said, the hero of the day for me was Joakim Noah. He hit a 20 footer to give the Bulls the lead late in the game, then when the Cavs took the lead back, he came in and got an offensive put back dunk to give the Bulls the lead again. He had 15 boards, 17 points, four assists, four blocks, and gave the Bulls the lift they really needed.
He even knocked down several jumpers when teams left him alone on the perimeter. Noah's improvement in this area is significant, and while his release speed is poor enough that he'll likely never be a great pick and pop player, his improvement will still improve spacing for the rest of the offense.
On top of all that, when the Bulls were trying to throw the game away by missing foul shots at the end of the game, Noah was the guy who tapped Rose's miss to Hinrich giving the Bulls the offensive board to seal the game.
It wasn't pretty, but the Bulls got the job done. They sit tied with the Raptors [though they lose the tie breaker] while each team has four games to play including the one head to head matchup where the winner will almost certainly take the final playoff spot.