Derrick Rose?

The Bulls don't need no stinkin' Derrick Rose.

Playing without their superstar point guard, as usual, this remarkable group of battered basketball players advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs Saturday night.

Bucking the odds of playing a Game 7 on the road, the Bulls beat the Nets 99-93 in Brooklyn to clinch this first-round playoff.

Joakim Noah predicted his team would win the game in sort of a guarantee. Coach Tom Thibodeau routinely insists his team has more than enough to win.

Both were correct on this night.

"I just wanted our team to be confident and believe we could get it done," Noah said.

Yes, even on a day that started with ailing Luol Deng unable to play.

So, the Bulls had no chance, right?

The night started with injured Kirk Hinrich ruled out of the game.

So, the Bulls had no chance, right?

This season started with Rose not going to play at all.

So, the Bulls had no chance, right?

Yet here the Bulls are, preparing for Game 1 of an NBA East semifinal series against the heavily favored Miami Heat.

How in the world did these Bulls get this far?

Well, as has been chronicled all season, the Bulls out-hustle, out-will and out-resolve opponents.

But that story has been told so often that it became easy to overlook that the Bulls have another characteristic: They can play.

The Bulls didn't merely use grit, guts and gall to beat the Nets. They also used shooting, rebounding and defense.

"We had a lot of guys step up," Thibodeau said.

The Bulls almost always can rebound and defend but there also are some guys on this team who can play offense. Carlos Boozer, Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson can score. Then in this Game 7, Noah surprised with 24 points on a variety of shots to go with 14 rebounds and 6 blocks.

Jimmy Butler did what he can do, which was play all 48 points and contribute a little of everything. Reserves who hardly ever play came in to make a play here and eat minutes there.