NBA Playoffs 2012: Chicago Bulls' Game 6 Loss Laid at the Feet of C.J. Watson

Marlon MaloneyCorrespondent IMay 10, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 10: C.J. Watson #7 of the Chicago Bulls drives the lane as Evan Turner #12 and Jrue Holiday #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers reach for the ball in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 10, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

There were resounding shouts of "No!"—or probably something more profane—heard all through out the city of Chicago as Bulls' guard C.J. Watson passed the ball to the 46 percent free-throw-shooting Omer Asik, despite the Bulls having the lead in the closing seconds of Game 6.

The decision to pass led to Asik being fouled and, of course, missing both free throws. As the point guard, it is up to Watson to make smart decisions with the ball—clearly, he failed.

Watson had a rather poor postseason, gaining extra playing time with the absence of Derrick Rose. Watson shot 24 percent for the series, down from 37 percent during the regular season.

Still, Watson had been a solid contributor with assists and playing defense, but his ability to be a true threat as a three-point shooter was nonexistent. 

The right decision was to hold onto the ball, get fouled and sink the free throws, once again putting all the pressure on the Philadelphia 76ers.

I'm sure Watson knows he made a mistake, and the decision will haunt him for some time. 

Despite the unlikelihood of the Bulls escaping the second round of the playoffs had the pulled off a comeback series win, Watson will be vilified, in much the same manner as this, by media across the nation.

The costly play further accentuates how much the injury to Rose hurt the Bulls. There is no way Rose makes the same poor decision to pass the ball in that situation. 

The Bulls showed a lot of pride, hustle and desire in this series. They continued to struggle with consistency on the offensive end, however. 

Carlos Boozer went 1-11 for the game after two solid performance in games 4 and 5. The lack of a clutch scorer to lean on was too much for the Bulls to overcome.

After a season filled with high hopes of an NBA title coming back to Chicago, the Bulls' season is over.

All that remains are questions of "What could have been?"