It's embarrassing a team most observers thought should have been broken up before the season started has had more success against Miami in the ECF than the Bulls did last year.
On the verge of collecting social security, Boston, through smarts and some pieces that the Bulls are missing, is making Miami sweat.
The smarts involves their coach, Doc Rivers. Knowing he has an older team, and understanding that resting them is more important than practice, he let them do exactly that on Saturday so their legs would be strong.
It worked to the tune of a 93-91 overtime win on Sunday as Boston exhibited fortitude as they fought back against the Heat after Miami overcame a big deficit to take the lead with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. At the time, I thought Boston was doomed.
I guess I was wearing my Chicago Bulls thinking cap at the time, believing there was no way a team could withstand the onslaught from Miami when they turn the defensive pressure on.
Garnett finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but more importantly, Boston was able to throw the ball to him down low, and Miami had nobody to stop him.
The Bulls don't have a player who can give them a post-up game. They understood the importance of that, and thought they were getting it with Carlos Boozer. They just didn't realize the guy they gave the money to didn't have it in him anymore.
That's one reason the Bulls couldn't beat Miami last year. The games were close, but once the fourth quarter came, the Bulls were helpless against them.
The other missing piece is star power. Even though Boston is old, they have more offensive weapons than the Bulls.
Rajon Rondo plays the Rose part for Miami, and he plays it well. Though he's not nearly as good a shooter as Rose, he's more of a true point guard. A few of the passes he made to teammates Sunday were incredible.
He has shown he can step up when needed to take over a game too, like he did earlier in this series, scoring 44 in a losing effort during Game 2. He's also a better defensive player, with a pickpocket's hands.
While I still would rather have Rose, Rondo is one of the top three point guards in the league.
Paul Pierce is aging and Ray Allen is aged, but they both offer the threat of being able to score. Allen has been hurting, but he put in four three's in the last game, while Pierce has been one of the best players in the league for years.
You can say their core group is comprised of superstars. With the Bulls, you can only use that term for one guy—Rose.
There isn't anybody on the Bulls outside of Rose who was ever considered a superstar, and other than in a few instances, stars are what wins in the NBA.
Nobody scares you on the Bulls offensively other than you know who. Let me repeat—nobody!
Moving forward, the Bulls won't be winning anything until that changes. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it's true.
They might have had a chance against Miami this year without Bosh, but expect them to add either a center or point guard next season that will make them a much tougher opponent.
Everyone loves the "Little Engine That Could," and that's what the Bulls have been the past two seasons. But playing harder than other teams just doesn't cut it in the playoffs.
This Boston-Miami series has shown just how far away the Bulls really are.
Unless they can find a way to add at least one more elite player, Chicago doesn't need to map out a parade route for a Bulls' celebration anytime soon.
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