Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/10/12

Yes, the team with the very best record in the NBA this season is proving right the December belief that in the 2011-12 season of many back-t0-backs and shortened preseason that depth would be key.

The very definition of irony, Carlos Boozer is the only member of the Chicago Bulls starting five not to miss a game this lockout-shortened season. Given all the injuries he’s suffered during almost every year of his career, it’s shocking that he’s missed no time.

But the other four starters have, and the Bulls keep on trucking. Here’s the record with and without each of the other four players, including MVP Derrick Rose.

Currently the Bulls are 43-14 with a .754 winning percentage. There are ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 42-15 mark and 2 games ahead of the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Rip Hamilton has been a bust! He’s missed 38 games and played in just 19. The Bulls are 29-10 (.762 winning percentage) versus .778 with him.

Ronnie Brewer has filled in nicely, bumping up the overall unit’s +/- well above that of the starting five when you sub him for Hamilton. Of course, both that unit and the ideal starting five have logged so few minutes this season.

Reigning MVP Derrick Rose finally returned versus the New York Knicks, and the Bulls lost in OT. Amazingly, the Bulls have gone 15-7 without him, good for a .682 mark. The Bulls are 28-7 with him.

Here’s how the rest breaks down

Luol Deng

6-3 without

40-11 with

Joakim Noah

2-0 without

41-14 with.

So having that very deep “Bench Mob” has been critical for the Bulls thus far.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

 

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