Dealing with unexpected problems is a rite of passage for a championship contender. That has been the case for the Bulls this postseason. Tyler Hansbrough scored 22 points against them in the opener of the series against the Indiana Pacers, then shot 10-for-41 and averaged 8.4 points in the last four games. With the Bulls' hands full defending Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford against the Atlanta Hawks, substitute point guard Jeff Teague was a thorn throughout the second-round series until a wrist injury helped hold him to four points on 2-for-6 shooting in the Game 6 clincher. Now the Bulls face another question they probably thought they never would hear: How do they deal with Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem? Haslem, who missed the last 69 games of the regular season with a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot and played only seven minutes in the Heat's first 11 playoff games, already has made a difference in the Eastern Conference finals against the Bulls. He not only scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in 23 minutes in Game 2 on Wednesday at the United Center, but he drew a charge on Derrick Rose, blocked a shot by Rose and kept several loose balls alive. He beat the Bulls at their own game. ''He played very well,'' center Joakim Noah, a fellow Florida alumnus, said when he was asked if Haslem caught the Bulls by surprise. ''You've got to give credit where credit is due. The guy didn't play all year, and for him to come out and play the way he did .??.??. I have a lot of respect for that player. It's on us.'' ''It's on us'' means that's an issue the Bulls take responsibility for. As in, it's nothing a little energy and effort can't resolve.
Udonis Haslem puts heart in Heat
Chicago Sun-Times | May 22