The challenges have kept coming all season.
The Bulls erased an 11-point deficit with 4 minutes left in the season opener to beat the Lakers on Derrick Rose's game-winner. They navigated 27 regular-season games without Rose, going 18-9. They played extended stretches without Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton.
Perhaps that's why they shrugged off the pressure of an elimination game and defeated the 76ers 77-69 in Tuesday night's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals despite playing again without Rose and Joakim Noah. Perhaps that's why they avoided ending a second straight postseason with a four-game skid.