A Daily Babble Production
I have absolutely zero idea what is going to happen when the Bulls and Celtics face off tonight at the New Garden for Game 7 of a series that has long since passed you-couldn't-make-this-stuff-up status.
What I do know is this: I can't remember ever being this drained from two weeks of watching basketball or this nervously excited for a first-round game.
I also know that there is no telling what type of mood we'll all be in by the end of this evening's proceedings. Perhaps those of us who live and die with the green will be filled with venom toward a Bulls team that dethroned the defending champs. Perhaps our boys will emerge victorious, and maybe with that win will come the revisionist history in which many of us decide that the Bulls were never a real challenge in the first place. Which would be an absurd conclusion.
So let's keep it real simple today in an effort to preempt the knee-jerkiness that will likely come later on regardless of tonight's result. No matter what happens this evening, before we say goodbye to them once and for all, here are ten things I've come to understand about our Celts' worthy opponents, the Chicago Bulls:
- Derrick Rose has the propensity to turn the ball over and to lapse defensively that is to be expected from a 20-year-old rookie point guard playing in his first playoff series.
- Derrick Rose's team and its fans can forgive him for the above because he is an explosive finisher around the rim, a fine rebounder, a good passer and one of the quickest men in the NBA. The sky is the limit for his future.
- When you give everything you've got on every play, good things happen. Joakim Noah provides the most significant proof of that on this team.
- At $10 million for this season and $26.5 million over the next three campaigns, Kirk Hinrich is overpaid. He is also an underrated defender whose ruggedness and refusal to back down from anyone combined with his ability to move his feet allow him to limit bigger and quicker scorers.
- Ben Gordon is an excellent three-point shooter and efficient overall scorer who takes - and makes - a significant quantity of high degree-of-difficulty shots. It can reasonably be deemed ignorant to claim that he is merely lucky or "on a hot streak" or any other excuse intended to deny the fact that BG7 is a fine scorer.
- This Bulls outfit is the type of young team prone to giving up multiple prolonged runs to its opponents during basketball games. It is not an accident that Vinny Del Negro often finds himself low on timeouts late in games.
- Having timeouts left late in games for the purpose of advancing the ball to halfcourt may be useful for the Bulls. Having timeouts for the purpose of allowing the coaching staff a chance to diagram plays, less so. When Ben Gordon is available, the Del Negro seems to enjoy the idea of getting the ball to Ben and letting him create as difficult a perimeter shot for himself as he wants. When Ben Gordon is not available, Del Negro doesn't appear entirely committed to having his team get a shot off at all.
- Brad Miller is still a tough dude with plenty left in the tank.
- Tyrus Thomas is a gifted leaper whose overall game has taken strides forward this season with increased experience. But he still doesn't seem to have the full trust of the coaching staff at the end of games.
- Unstoppable John Salmons possesses a mega-cool goatee.
Heckuva series so far, and I hope each of you has enjoyed watching it as much as I have. Good luck to the Bulls and their fans, several of whom deserve thanks for dropping by with plenty of fine insight throughout the series.
Here's to a win for the National Basketball Association's defending champions, your Boston Celtics.