John Salmons Will Be the Reason the Bulls Lose

M. S.Correspondent IMay 2, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 30: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics drives past John Salmons #15 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 30, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Celtics 128-127 in triple-overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Finals have killed me these last couple days and for the next week, if I am able to blog, they are going to be short and sweet. So here’s my little rant on why John Salmons will be the reason that the Bulls lose Game Seven.

I realize the game is still going on and, as I look at my TV, the score is 89-83 with 5:44 remaining. Here’s my question: How is John Salmons NOT taking over this basketball game?

His line tonight stands at 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, but I am amazed that he has not played better. With Ray Allen and Glen Davis in foul trouble tonight, Brian Scalabrine and Eddie House have taken up the task of guarding Salmons.

When Vinny Del Negro goes to the “small lineup,” Salmons becomes the power forward and Scalabrine guards him one-on-one. He drives by Scalabrine every time and simply can not finish and has thrown the ball away a couple times. He has three assists, which is fine and dandy, but there is NO reason that Salmons should not have 20 points in this basketball game. He is also faster than Paul Pierce but has had no success on him, either.

The story of this series has been the no-names stepping up and becoming stars, but Salmons seemingly failed to get that message before Game Seven. It is not a knock on Scalabrine at all, as he has stepped up in a big role for the Celtics this series, getting minutes that were taken by Kevin Garnett in the regular season.

Yes, Gordon and Rose are their go-to guys and Kirk Hinrich is getting hot in the second half. But the fact remains that Salmons has not done anything on offense when he should be taking this game over. Defensively, he just started to pick up Pierce, but, like most Bulls defenders, he's not playing fast enough.

Maybe it’s just me, but I am amazed that Salmons has disappeared in this game when he should be the one stepping up. I hope that, after the remaining 4:32 (it's 91-86 Celtics now), I can soon say something different.

...Salmons just missed a layup after beating Pierce off the dribble, missed a wide-open three, and dribbled the ball off his foot in three straight possessions for the Bulls. I rest my case.