Video -- Top ten Chicago Bulls plays from 2008.09
Bulls.com's Sam Smith highlights the top ten plays 2008.09 season. This list has it all, from blocks to steals and threes to dunks. More than a few moments from Chicago's historic seven-game playoff series with the Boston Celtics are on it as well.
Top ten Bulls plays from 2008.09
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- John Salmons' drive against Boston to put the game out of reach March 17 in a shootout with Paul Pierce as Salmons had 38 and Pierce 37. It was a terrific shootout and a harbinger, though not realized at the time, of things to come on St. Patrick's Day with the Bulls wearing green uniforms and making their first stand against the defending champions to show they could play them shot for shot.
- Tyrus Thomas' block on Rodney Stuckey Feb. 10 on Johnny "Red" Kerr Night to preserve the victory over Detroit. It was the most emotional night of the season as the Bulls honored their longtime broadcaster and sports icon in the city of Chicago. Kerr was near the end in a battle with cancer and it was only appropriate after a touching, emotional halftime ceremony in which Kerr cheered the crowd with an unexpected speech, Thomas' play clinched the game against the rival Pistons.
- Luol Deng's three pointer that bounced off the rim up and down and through to beat the Cavs Jan. 15 in overtime. It was a tough season for Deng with injuries and a stress fracture that would end his season. But when Deng came back from injuries midway through the season he was very good and the Bulls responded, including with one of the most exciting wins of the regular season over the dominant Cavaliers.
- John Salmons' block of Paul Pierce's attempted game winner in the second overtime of Game 4 to preserve the victory. It was the defensive play that got the Bulls finally back to Boston tied 2-2 after that Gordon shot in the first overtime. Salmons, though it wasn't known then, will be replacing Gordon in the 2009.10 season, primarily for defense, and Salmons showed it with a crucial defensive play on the Celtics' best offensive player and go to guy.
- Ben Gordon off balance three in playoff Game 4 with 4.5 seconds left April 26 to force a second overtime as the Bulls eventually won. It became difficult as that great payoff series went on to distinguish one great Gordon shot from the next. But by this time Gordon was playing on a strained left hamstring in a game the Bulls trailed throughout the were on the verge of losing a third straight game in the series. Gordon's huge degree of difficulty shot got them into a second overtime and they won there.
- Ben Gordon blocking a drive against Antonio Daniels Dec. 6 in a win over Washington and then wagging his finger Dikembe Mutombo like, Although it was not a particularly significant moment, it was one of those plays that made you smile and showed a rare side of Gordon's personality fans never see. The irony, of course, was Gordon was long maligned as the team's poorest defender and not only made the play but celebrated in a fan friendly way.
- Derrick Rose crossover ankle breaking move on Andre Miller Nov. 30 in a win in Philadelphia. Rose also had a highlight block in that game coming from behind on a layup attempt by Miller. The individual plays by Rose, though in an early season game, were the kind of "did you see that" stuff that was reminiscent of the Michael Jordan years and began to demonstrate that the Bulls had a special talent and a player not only spectacular but who would not give up on plays and compete constantly.
- Tyrus Thomas' jumper with 50.5 seconds left in overtime of Game 1 of the playoffs for the eventual winning points. Thomas had been much criticized all season for his shooting at inopportune times and inability to finish games. But after Rose got the Bulls to overtime, Thomas hit three big jumpers to offset the Celtics and the last the game winner.
- Derrick Rose isolation move and drive to take a one-point lead in Game 1 of the playoffs with 37.4 seconds left April 18 as Rose scored 36 points as the Bulls won in overtime. Though Rose was the favorite to win Rookie of the Year, his play down the stretch in the playoffs and in Boston clearly announced his arrival as an NBA star. His performance enabled the Bulls to win Game 1 and change all the thinking about the series.
- Joakim Noah's steal and full court drive and three point plays in the third overtime of Game 6 of the playoff series with Boston April 30. Noah's steal was perhaps the play of the most exciting playoffs in league history. It clinched the triple overtime to set up a Game 7 and was impressive for the quick action and then Noah's ability at his size to take it full court and finish and against antagonist Paul Pierce.