CHICAGO (WSCR) Rebounding and defense led the Chicago Bulls to a 21-point rout of the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. But just like it during the regular season, it wasn’t just the starters who contributed for the Bulls.
Chicago’s “Bench Mob,” made up of Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik, averaged 16 minutes per player and added a combined 28 points.
And also just like during the regular season, the contributions from the bench went beyond the stat sheet.
“Their ball-pressure, their energy,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said of his second unit’s contributions on Sunday. “And then of course with Taj and Omer, that group got us going. And then the second half, everybody’s defense was a lot better.”
Unlike the Heat, the Bulls can go to their bench and continue to play at a high level. The seven Miami players who came off the bench averaged 9.71 minutes per player and combined for 15 points.
The Bulls held to Heat to 82 points. In Miami’s three postseason they’ve scored 82, 81 and 82 points.