The GWHH Definitive Guide to the Post-MJ/Scottie Bulls Postseasons (Pt. 2 of 2)

If you missed Part 1 of my 2005-2013 Bulls Playoff Guide, click here. Let’s keep it rolling with a few other categories, starting with…

The Best 2005-2013 Bulls Single Game Playoff Performances

Let’s break this down All-NBA style.

1st TEAM

GUARD – Derrick Rose, 2011 second round, Game 3 @ Atlanta (box score)

Bulls 99, Hawks 82 — Rose: 44 points, 7 assists, 5 boards

Rose has had a few great postseason performances, but this one is the tops because…

* It’s his career high in points.

* It gave the Bulls a 2-1 series lead.

* It was a road win.

* The Bulls won the series.

* He was efficient: shot 59% from the floor, 57% from three, missed one free throw out of nine, committed two turnovers and one foul.


“He’s tough to cover anyway. But when his jump shot is falling, he’s the MVP.” — Hawks point guard Jeff Teague

“I just wanted to get my groove back. Knock it down. That’s all I was trying to do.” — Derrick Rose

GUARD – Nate Robinson, 2014 first round, Game 4 vs. Brooklyn (box score)

Bulls 142, Nets 134 — Robinson: 34 points off the bench and the game’s high scorer

You could take either of my second team guard performances here and I wouldn’t argue too much. Nate gets the call for me because, again, the Bulls won the game and the series. The runner he nailed to give the Bulls a two-point lead with 1.7 left in the first overtime finished a stretch of 27 points in 15 minutes. (My postgame column.)


“I always think I’m on fire, kind of like the old school game NBA Jam. You make a couple in a row, the rim’s on fire. You shoot the ball, the ball’s on fire. I feel like that at times — all the time. Whenever I’m in the game, I just play with a lot of confidence. You kind of have to lie to yourself and feel like you can’t miss.” — Nate Robinson

FORWARD – Luol Deng, 2007 first round, Game 1 vs. Heat (box score)

Bulls 96, Heat 91 — Deng: career playoff high 33 points on 64% shooting, 8 rebounds

After missing the playoffs his rookie year and averaging only 10 points per game in the 2006 playoff loss to the Heat, Luol Deng — the team’s second leading scorer in 2007 at 18.8 ppg — broke out in Game 1 with 33 points in the Bulls’ five-point win over Miami. I touched on the impact of this performance in Part 1, and unfortunately there isn’t a good highlight reel of this game online, so here is a compilation of Bulls highlights in the four-game sweep:


“This game was really big. Now that we have the lead, most of the time the team that loses has to adjust. We did a lot of things today that worked for us.” – Luol Deng

FORWARD – John Salmons, 2009 first round, Game 6 vs. Celtics (box score)

Bulls 128, Celtics 127 — Salmons: team-high 35 points on 59% shooting and five threes… played a game-high 60 of 63 minutes

Though everyone remembers Joakim Noah first and probably Derrick Rose second, the unsung, under appreciated Bulls hero of the classic triple overtime Game 6 win over the Celtics was John Salmons, who scored 16 points in the first quarter en route to a team-high 35. He was clutch late, too, with 14 points combined in the fourth quarter and the three overtimes. He’s one of seven Bulls since 1986 to hit at least five threes in a playoff game.


“As tired as I am, I won’t be able to sleep.” — John Salmons

CENTER – Joakim Noah, 2013 first round, Game 7 @ Nets (box score)

Bulls 99, Nets 93 — Noah: 24 points on 71% shooting, 14 rebounds, 6 blocks

The greatest playoff game Joakim Noah ever played — and I’ll include his 2006 national championship game with Florida vs. UCLA. Noah played Game 7 in Brooklyn practically on one foot. It was one of those defining “he-would-not-let-his-team-lose” games.


“Noah, like I said, he’s a warrior. He battled through his injuries and just had a monster game. We really had no answers for him down low tonight.” — Deron Williams

“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.” — Joakim Noah

2nd TEAM

GUARD – Ben Gordon, 2009 first round, Game 2 @ Boston (box score)

Celtics 118, Bulls 115 — Gordon: 42 points on 58% shooting and six threes

Gordon’s most memorable moment of the series came two games later when he hit a game-tying three at the end of double overtime in Game 4 and proceeded to grab his junk, but his 42-point performance in Game 2 and the shootout with fellow former UConn guard Ray Allen was the best all-around game.


“It felt like we were at UConn in the summertime playing pickup. (Allen) is a great shooter and I knew he would break out eventually.” — Ben Gordon

GUARD – Derrick Rose, 2009 first round, Game 1 @ Boston (box score)

Bulls 105, Celtics 103 — Rose: 36 points, 11 assists in playoffs debut

Doesn’t get much more electric than a 20-year-old rookie point guard leading a .500 club to an overtime Game 1 road win over the defending champs by scoring 36 points and tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s rookie playoff debut scoring record. No, no it doesn’t.


“(Rose is) poised beyond his years. He already carries himself like a veteran out there. He had a phenomenal game tonight, to say the least.” — Ben Gordon

“I hope this is a wake-up call. I hope we realize that the Bulls, they’re not just a team that’s happy to be in the playoffs. So hopefully the guys will wake up and realize this is reality. We’ve better come to play.” — Paul Pierce

FORWARD – Andres Nocioni, 2005 first round, Game 1 vs. Wizards (box score)

Bulls 103, Wizards 94 — Nocioni: 25 points and 18 rebounds in his playoffs debut

It wasn’t quite Rose’s 36-11, but Andres Nocioni’s 25-18 in his playoffs debut — while starting in place of the injured Deng — was brilliant. Unfortunately, I can’t find video. Fortunately, I wrote about it here.


“We played a great game, but it’s just one game. I need to forgot this game and think (about) the next game.” – Andres Nocioni

FORWARD – Jimmy Butler, 2013 first & second round, Game 6 vs. Nets, Game 7 @ Nets, Game 1 @ Heat (box scores)

Butler: three straight 48-minute games

I’m cheating a bit here and taking Jimmy Butler’s streak last year of three consecutive 48-minute playoffs games. He’s the only Bulls player since 1986 with such a streak, and he did it while defending Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and LeBron James.


“It’s all about being tough. We’re always going to be the underdogs and we take pride in that. Everybody can overlook us, but we feel like we’re good enough to hang with a lot of these teams.” — Jimmy Butler, following the Bulls’ Game 1 win over the Heat

CENTER – Joakim Noah, 2010 first round, Game 4 vs. Cavaliers (box score)

Cavaliers 121, Bulls 98 — Noah: 21 points, 20 rebounds

This performance was completely obscured by LeBron’s domination, but hot damn, gotta give love for Noah’s 21-20. It was — and is — only the third 20+ rebound game in a Bulls playoffs game since 1986.


“I just think we weren’t very tough mentally today. We were playing good ball and then just collapsed. We’re a young team and have to learn from this.” — Joakim Noah

3rd TEAM

GUARD – Ben Gordon, 2005 first round, Game 1 vs. Wizards (box score)

Bulls 103, Wizards 94 — Gordon: 30 points off the bench

Nocioni was the game’s star — the United Center crowd’s “No-ci-o-ni!” cheer was never louder — but Gordon was the team’s leading scorer. His 30 points were a Bulls playoff record for a reserve until Nate Robinson.

Since I can’t find footage from this game, here is Ben’s final playoff game as a Bull, which probably looked pretty similar to his first one:

GUARD – Derrick Rose, 2011 first round, Game 1 vs. Pacers (box score)

Bulls 104, Pacers 99 — Rose: 39 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, 19 of 21 free throws

Rose kicked off the postseason of his MVP year with 39 points, including an 11-point 1st quarter. With the Pacers trying to play spoiler — they entered the 4th quarter up eight — Rose kept the Bulls in the hunt until he took over in the final two minutes: the Bulls closed out on a 10-0 run, Derrick scored 7 of the 10 and assisted Kyle Korver on a three-pointer that gave the Bulls a lead they never lost.

FORWARD – Luol Deng, 2007 second round, Game 4 vs. Pistons (box score)

Bulls 102, Pistons 87 — Deng: 25 points on 10-15 shooting, 13 rebounds

With the Bulls in danger of being swept, Deng led an all-around Bulls effort with a game-high 25 points. No footage on youtube for this one, so here’s a different clip of Luol whipping Detroit this season:

FORWARD – Carlos Boozer, 2013 first round, Game 3 vs. Brooklyn (box score)

Bulls 79, Nets 76 — Boozer: 22 points, 16 rebounds

Boozer has been much maligned throughout his Bulls career, primarily as a result of his after-thought status as a 2010 free agent prize combined with his defensive unprowess and the U.C.’s love of his backup Taj Gibson. But Booz has his moments, among them in Game 3 of last year’s Nets series.

CENTER – Brad Miller, 2009 first round, Game 6 vs. Celtics (box score)

Bulls 128, Celtics 127 — Miller: 23 points, 10 rebounds

After getting emasculated by Rondo in Game 5…

…Brad Miller was an efficient stud in Game 6: 23 points on 8 of 9 shooting, two of two from three, five of five from the line, 10 boards, two blocks.

We posted full Game 6 highlights in Part 1, so here’s Brad Miller hitting a key three in the 4th quarter:


Kirk Hinrich, 2005 first round, Game 2 vs. Wizards (box score)

Bulls 113, Wizards 103 — Hinrich: 34 points on 80% shooting including 5 for 5 from three

Captain Kirk’s finest playoff hour was the team’s last win of their magical 2005 season. With the team up 12 in the 4th quarter, Hinrich scored eight straight points on two threes and a layup to give the Bulls a 20 point lead. When Gilbert Arenas (39 points) went on a run of his own to cut the lead to six, Hinrich hit a three and bagged two foul shots to give the Bulls their final needed breathing room.

Now footage to be found on Game 2, so here’s Kirk in Game 1:

Jannero Pargo, 2005 first round, Game 5 vs. Wizards (box score)

Wizards 112, Bulls 110 — Pargo: 9 points on three 3s in the final minute

Pargo nearly single-handedly pulled off an upset for the ages when he hit three 3s in the final minute of a furious Game 5 comeback — only to watch Gilbert Arenas drop the Bulls at the buzzer.


GUARD – Ray Allen, 2009 first round, Game 6 (box score)

If not for his team’s loss, this 51-point game would be more highly regarded on Ray’s resume.

GUARD – Gilbert Arenas, 2005 first round, Game 5 (box score)

Arenas was better in Games 2 (39 points), 3 (32, 7 and 7) and 4 (23, 6 and 5), but his supreme confidence in his abilities led to one of the all-time most devastating postseason game-winners the Bulls have ever suffered.

BONUS GUARD – Rajon Rondo, 2009 first round — the whole series (stats)

Can’t pick just one game — Rondo was masterful in the entire series. He averaged a triple double until Game 7, and still finished close to one: 19.4 points (third on the team), 11.6 assists (first), 9.3 boards (second) plus 2.7 steals (first). Bagged triple doubles in Games 2 and 4. Also made the game-saving foul on Miller in Game 5 and set the tone against Rose.

FORWARD – LeBron James, 2010 First Round, Game 4 (box score)

Like Rondo in 2009, it’s tough to single out one game for LeBron in this 2010 series. He was scorching: 31.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists on shooting percentages of 56.7%, 54.2% and 72.0%. I’ll take his monstrous Game 4 though: 37 points, 12 boards, 11 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 64.7% from the floor, 6 of 9 from three.

Since his Game 4 highlights are in Part 1, here are his Game 2 highlights. They’re, um, pretty good too:

FORWARD – LeBron James, 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5

For the second straight year, LeBron was the difference in a series vs. the Bulls. He was great throughout, but turned it up a notch in Game 5, particularly down the stretch, both offensively and defensively against Rose.

CENTER – Shaquille O’Neal, 2006 First Round, Game 6

As mentioned in Part 1, Shaq pulled out a Vintage Shaq game in Game 6, with 30 points on an array of unstoppable oops from Dwyane Wade. He also grabbed 20 boards. Go to sleep Bulls. Go to sleep.



Not much to say on these… I’ll let the dunks do the talking.

GUARD – Derrick Rose, 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4

GUARD – Derrick Rose, 2011 second round, Game 3

FORWARD – Taj Gibson, 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 1

FORWARD – Tyrus Thomas, 2007 first round, Game 1

CENTER – Joakim Noah, 2009 first round, Game 6



Games Started

43 — Joakim Noah

42 — Luol Deng

34 — Carlos Boozer

31 — Kirk Hinrich

29 — Derrick Rose

24 — Ben Gordon

16 — Keith Bogans

12 — Andres Nocioni, Jimmy Butler

10 — P.J. Brown, Ben Wallace

7 — John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas

6 — Antonio Davis, Othella Harrington, Mike Sweetney, Malik Allen, Richard Hamilton

5 — Chris Duhon, Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson

3 — Omer Asik


PPG (full leaders)

Derrick Rose, 2011, 16 games, 27.1 ppg

Derrick Rose, 2010, 5 games, 26.8

Ben Gordon, 2009, 7 games, 24.3

Andres Nocioni, 2006, 6 games, 22.3

Luol Deng, 2007, 10 games, 22.2

RPG (full leaders)

Joakim Noah, 2009, 7 games, 13.1 rpg

Joakim Noah, 2010, 5 games, 13.0

Joakim Noah, 2011, 16 games, 10.2

Carlos Boozer, 2012, 6 games, 9.8

Carlos Boozer, 2011, 16 games, 9.7

APG (full leaders)

Derrick Rose, 2011, 16 games, 7.7 apg

Kirk Hinrich, 2006, 6 games, 7.7

Kirk Hinrich, 2007, 10 games, 7.5

Derrick Rose, 2010, 5 games, 7.2

Derrick Rose, 2009, 7 games, 6.4

BPG (full leaders)

Tyrus Thomas, 2009, 7 games, 2.9 bpg

Joakim Noah, 2013, 12 games, 2.2

Tyson Chandler, 2005, 6 games, 2.2

Joakim Noah, 2009, 7 games, 2.1

Joakim Noah, 2011, 16 games, 2.1

SPG (full leaders)

Kirk Hinrich, 2005, 6 games, 2.0 spg

Kirk Hinrich, 2013, 4 games, 2.0

Joakim Noah, 2010, 5 games, 1.8

Kirk Hinrich, 2009, 7 games, 1.7

Luol Deng, 2011, 16 games, 1.5



Derrick Rose, 2011 second round Game 3, 44 points

Ben Gordon, 2009 first round Game 2, 42 points

Derrick Rose, 2011 first round Game 1, 39 points

Derrick Rose, 2009 first round Game 1, 36 points

Derrick Rose, 2011 first round Game 2, 36 points

30+ points

Derrick Rose, 8 games

Ben Gordon, 4 games

John Salmons, Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni, 1 game


Joakim Noah, 2010 first round Game 4, 20 rebounds

Andres Nocioni, 2005 first round Game 1, 18 rebounds

Noah (x2), Ben Wallace, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, 17 rebounds

15+ rebounds

Joakim Noah, 8 games

Carlos Boozer, 3 games

Andres Nocioni, 2 games

Ben Wallace, Luol Deng, 1 game


Kirk Hinrich, 2013 first round Game 4, 14 assists

Kirk Hinrich, 2007 second round Game 5, 13 assists

Derrick Rose, 2011 second round Game 6, 12 assists

Hinrich (x2), Rose, Ben Gordon, 11 assists

10+ assists

Derrick Rose, 8 games

Kirk Hinrich, 5 games

C.J. Watson, Ben Gordon, 1 game


Joakim Noah, 2013 first round Game 7, 6 blocks

Tyrus Thomas, 2009 first round Game 2, 6 blocks

Joakim Noah, 2011 second round Game 3, 5 blocks

Joakim Noah, 2013 first round Game 6, 5 blocks

4+ blocks

Joakim Noah, 7 games

Taj Gibson, 3 games

Tyrus Thomas, 2 games

Tyson Chandler, 1 game


Tyrus Thomas, 2007 second round Game 5, 5 steals

Luol Deng, 2011 second round Game 6, 5 steals

4+ steals

Luol Deng, 3 games

Rose, Hinrich, 2 games

Thomas, Butler, P.J. Brown, 1 games


Nate Robinson, 2013 first round Game 4, 34 points

Ben Gordon, 2005 first round Game 1, 30 points

Ben Gordon, 2005 first round Game 5, 27 points

Brad Miller, 2009 first round Game 6, 23 points

Tyson Chandler, 2005 first round Game 5, 22 points

15+ point games off the bench

Kirk Hinrich, 3 games

Chandler, Gordon, Miller, Robinson, 2 games

Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni, Jannero Pargo, John Lucas, Tyrus Thomas, Richard Hamilton 1 game


Tyson Chandler, 2005 first round Game 4, 13 rebounds

Brad Miller, 2009 first round Game 1, 12 rebounds

Taj Gibson, 2012 first round Game 4, 12 rebounds

Tyson Chandler, 2005 first round Game 6, 11 rebounds

Taj Gibson, 2011 second round Game 3, 11 rebounds

10+ rebounds off the bench

Chandler, 4 games

Gibson, Miller, 2 games


Kirk Hinrich, 2009 first round Game 6, 7 assists

C.J. Watson, 2011 first round Game 5, 7 assists

Chris Duhon, 2007 second round Game 2, 6 assists

5+ assists off the bench

Watson, 3 games

Ben Gordon, 2 games

Hinrich, Duhon, 1 game

LEADERS BY YEAR (points, rebounds, assists)

2005 – Hinrich 21.2, Chandler 9.7, Hinrich 5.8

2006 – Nocioni 22.3, Nocioni 8.8, Hinrich 7.7

2007 – Deng 22.2, Wallace 9.5, Hinrich 7.5

2009 – Gordon 24.3, Noah 13.1, Rose 6.4

2010 – Rose 26.8, Noah 13.0, Rose 7.2

2011 – Rose 27.1, Noah 10.2, Rose 7.7

2012 – Noah* 15.0, Boozer 9.8, Watson* 5.5

2013 – Boozer 16.4, Boozer/Noah 9.6, Hinrich 5.8


Jack M Silverstein is a staff writer for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Say hey @readjack.