They have been called soft, overpaid and busts. They have heard criticism from countless corners outside the Bulls' locker room.

By tuning such noise out, what Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer have done serves as a microcosm of this Bulls' season. Both players have overcome adversity not just to persevere but succeed.

"One thing about Carlos: He doesn't let that stuff bother him. He shrugs it off," Taj Gibson said. "That's what I admire about him. It falls off his shoulder and he gets ready for the next game. And he's the same every game. He's solid. He never worries about the negative. He's always consistent."