Jimmy Butler, Nate Robinson get the job done for Bulls
BY HERB GOULD firstname.lastname@example.org May 6, 2013 10:31PM
Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson (2) drives to the basket past Miami Heat guard Norris Cole during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball playoff series in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Monday, May 6, 2013 in Miami. Robinson scored 27 points as the Bulls defeated the Heat 93-86. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Updated: June 8, 2013 6:38AM
MIAMI — No Derrick Rose. No Luol Deng. No Kirk Hinrich.
After LeBron James was presented his fourth NBA MVP trophy in a pregame ceremony, the Bulls presented the King with a sneer en route to a 93-86 victory in Game 1.
First, Jimmy Butler did it with defense, holding James in check for a big chunk of the game.
‘‘I’m really proud of him,’’ center Joakim Noah said. ‘‘He’s a young player, but he played huge against the best. To see him shine the way he’s been shining in these playoffs, I knew he was ready. But the sky’s the limit for him.’’
And then Nate Robinson swashbuckled to the hoop for a long jumper, a tough drive, and the went 3-for-4 from the foul line to account for the Bulls’ final seven points.
‘‘He has the heart of a lion,’’ Noah said. ‘‘To be that small and do the things he does gives us a lot of confidence. He can really put the ball in the hole. And we need that.’’
Noah (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Butler (21 points, 14 rebounds) sparked the Bulls’ big game on the boards. They outrebounded Miami 45-32.
‘‘We’re really happy about [the win], but we’re not satisfied,’’ Noah said. ‘‘We feel like we can play better. We have to stay humble. Nobody believed we could be in this position right now. But we’re not satisfied. They haven’t played in a long time, so they were a little rusty. We’re expecting them to play a lot better in Game 2. We feel like we can play better as well.’’
Hinrich, Deng out
Hinrich (bruised left calf) and Deng (side effects from spinal tap) remained out of the lineup, but it appears they’re making some progress on the road to recovery.
Hinrich, who missed his fourth straight game, is day-to-day, coach Tom Thibodeau said: ‘‘We’ll see where he is [on Wednesday].’’
Deng, who has been out for three games, also is day-to-day, Thibodeau said. Deng, who has remained in Chicago to recuperate, could rejoin the team on Tuesday.
‘‘I spoke to him today,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s feeling a little better.’’ Deng’s issue is ‘‘more the after-effects of the spinal tap,’’ Thibodeau said.