May 4, 2013: the day the Chicago Bulls made history.
That's a remarkable statement for a franchise with six NBA championships, six NBA MVP awards, four All-Star MVPs and a boatload of All-Stars, and so on.
But watching the Bulls gut out a Game 7 ROAD WIN with basically six players was one of the great feats I have ever seen.
And now, for future generations of Bulls fans: Amazing Facts About The 2013 Bulls-Nets Series.
1. The Bulls won a seven-game playoff series without home-court advantage and without their team MVP, despite Brooklyn's best player playing the same position as said MVP.
2. Removing Derrick Rose, the Bulls played games 6 and 7 without two of their top eight players (Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich). One of their top eight (Joakim Noah) played on one foot, two of their top eight (Nate Robinson, Taj Gibson) battled the flu, and their starting shooting guard during the regular season (Rip Hamilton) played a total of 10 minutes in the series.
3. This led to Jimmy Butler playing a full 48 minutes in consecutive playoff games while taking shifts defending a pair of guards who have combined for nine All-Star appearances and two Olympic gold medals.
4. It also led to Daequan Cook (8.4 minutes played during the regular season) being on the court when Game 7 ended.
5. Meanwhile, Noah's Game 7 goes on the short list of great Bulls playoff performances. Noah by the numbers: 41 minutes, 24 points, 14 rebounds, 6 blockeds, one foot, one win.
6. Did I mention that this was the first time any Bulls team has won a Game 7 on the road? Previous Bulls stars who lost a Game 7 on the road: Bob Love, Jerry Sloan, Chet Walker, Norm Van Lier, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Derrick Rose.
All this adds up to the most remarkable first-round series victory in Bulls history and a date with the Miami Heat. Goodbye, Brooklyn. To quote your former co-owner Jay-Z: on to the next one.
Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @ReadJack.
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