Saturday, May 2, 2009

Game 7 Preview

Well what can you say about this series?! Should we expect another OT thriller? Why not, right?!

Should we expect repercussions against Rondo for his (a) trip of Kirk in Game 5, (b) punch of Brad Miller in Game 5, (c) throw of Kirk into the scorer's table, (d) throw of an elbow at Kirk?

Answer: (e) None of the above! Congrats Boston fans, you've cheated your way into a Game 7.

Oh, one of your players is hurt?! I hadn't heard about that. Good thing the Bulls are completely healthy instead of missing a starter (Deng), having 2 starters playing hurt (BG and Salmons) and our best 2 bench players dealing with stitches because of your dirty, scumbag little PG.

In actuality, it's tough to complain about this series. It's been an absolute pleasure to watch as a basketball fan, and an epic-thrilling-each-game-could-give-me-9-heart-attacks-roller-coaster-ride to watch as a Bulls fan.

My feelings for tonight's game (expressed by Bill Simmons)
So yeah, that's why Celtics-Bulls meant something to me -- just like Warriors-Mavs meant something two years ago. My team won the title last year. I'm only one year into a five-year grace period. I thought I was playing with house money. I never imagined a Celtics series in 2009 would matter this much to me. I never imagined being that crestfallen after a Round 1 defeat. When Noah stole the ball from Pierce and dunked on him, I threw a tantrum like a little kid. I screamed out a slew of F-bombs. I ran outside my house and screamed some more. How could the 2008 Finals MVP commit such a dumb foul? He had five! Didn't he know he had five???? And what's worse than a Jo-No celebration at the expense of your own team? I screamed and screamed and screamed. That play ripped my heart out.

At the same time, I'm glad I still care. I'm glad it still matters. I will always appreciate this Bulls team because they did the impossible: They made a fan base that just won a title care even MORE about their own team. Last season barely matters right now. All that matters is winning the most incredible playoff series ever played. I don't even care what happens after Game 7; we can't beat the LeBrons anyway. This is our NBA Finals. Right here. The Celtics fans feel that way, and so do the Bulls fans. I can promise you.

He's right, winning tonight is like winning the NBA title. I know the players ultimate goal is to win the real title, but what happens tonight will determine how we remember the series. And after the joy it's brought me as a fan, I want to remember it as an upset win, against a team that was supposed to beat us, on their home floor, in a crazy thrilling game 7. So obviously, I'm taking Bulls in a thriller 103-101.

What got us to game 7?? Here's a recap:







And here's some Game 7 links ...

Setting the stage
Between the jaw-dropping individual displays, crisp team play and dramatic twists, it's only fitting that the thrilling first-round NBA series between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls comes to a seventh game.

And what a way to get there.

The Bulls prevailed 128-127 in triple overtime on Thursday to tie the series at three games and send it back to Boston for the finale tonight. The winner advances to play Orlando.

Now, the Celtics are trying to avoid elimination after watching an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter disappear and wasting a 51-point effort by Ray Allen that ranks among the greatest postseason displays in the storied franchise's history.

John Salmons scored 35 points and Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose came through with two big plays in the third OT to pace Chicago.

Plenty of drama -
The Chicago Bulls were pretty much like everybody else late Thursday night -- giddy and disbelieving, silly smiles on their faces, trying to make sense of it all.

Great things had occurred, and the demands for explanations and more drama followed -- specifically, how the heck can they defeat the Celtics at Boston in tonight's Game 7?

"I don't know," forward John Salmons said, before taking a long pause. "Get the last shot?"

Too much fun -

Sit down. Take a load off. Then think about this.

John Salmo ns is averaging 45 minutes 6 seconds of playing time through six games. Derrick Rose is at 45 minutes. Ben Gordon, sore hamstring and all, is playing 43:01.

Four Celtics, including Rajon Rondo with a series-high 46:33, are averaging more than 40 minutes per game.

And still, high-quality plays are being made late in marathon games. Think Joakim Noah's steal, near-full-court dribble and dunk while being fouled. Or Ray Allen's late three-pointers. Or Rose's stunning block on Rondo to secure the Bulls' Game 6 victory.

"It's mind-boggling some of the stuff happening out there," Gordon said. "Guys hit amazing shots, and then somebody else comes along and makes an even bigger play. It's almost surreal."

Apparently it's not exhausting, though.

"I'm having too much fun to be tired," Salmons said.

Reality of game 7
What if someone had told Muhammad Ali after the Thrilla in Manila that he'd have to go another 15 with Joe Frazier … in two days?

What if someone said to Rafael Nadal after last year's epic Wimbledon final that he and Roger Federer would have to go five more sets … in two days?

What if someone whispered in Kellen Winslow's ear as he was on the verge of heat exhaustion in that 1982 AFC divisional playoff game in Miami that he had to play another 15 minutes of overtime … immediately?

This is where we are. Game 7 in the Bulls-Celtics series will be more like Game 8. With the total time played in the seven overtime periods, they've almost completed an extra game. The six games have featured 106 lead changes. Take out Game 3 and you have five games decided by more than three points. All games decided in the final possession.

And that's more than likely what we'll get in Game 7 on Saturday (7 p.m. CT, ESPN Radio 1000): The team that has the ball last will be the team that advances.

If we were honest with ourselves, we'd say we've seen nothing like this before. We always talk about how great Game 7s are in sports, but there has never been a lead-up to any Game 7 quite like this. And with that said, if you're a Bulls fan, don't be sad if it ends here.

It has to end there for someone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment