Chicago Sun-Times

Johnson says continuity key for Bulls

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Avery Johnson isn't surprised the Bulls have remained one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference despite injuries to Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton.

"They haven't missed a beat," the Nets coach said. "It's primarily because of guys like [C.J.] Watson that can start. Watson could be a starter in th NBA. He shot the three really well. He's shooting 46 percent from three. Luol Deng, I hope our team understands he's a very good three-point shooter. He's not the old Luol Deng who first came in the league and was primarily a slasher. Kyle Korver can make threes. Again, we've got to do a good job with their big guys inside. They're deep. They run. The big key for us is we've gotten outscored in these first two games 63-39 or something in the first quarter. We can't put ourselves in a big hole in the first quarter."

Johnson said the Bulls' continuity is a big reason why they have been able to perform at a high level despite so many injuries.

"When you have continuity and you're coming off a season where you have a guy who is an MVP, have the best record in the NBA, make the Eastern Conference Finals and you basically come back with the same team you can afford, even if it's your best player, to miss some games if other guys are playing at an All-Star level. Luol Deng is an All-Star for a reason. [Carlos] Boozer knows what he's doing. [Joakim] Noah knows what he's doing. You've got guys like [Ronnie] Brewer and [Kyle] Korver who come in and play hard. You've got a lot of continuity with this basketball team."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 18, 2012 2:35 PM.

Rose watch: Derrick won't play today but maybe Monday was the previous entry in this blog.

Rose watch: Derrick takes major step toward return is the next entry in this blog.

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