Tonight was do-or-die against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team favored to make it to the NBA Finals.
The Bulls fell dead in the battle of David vs. Goliath.
LeBron and company were too much for the Bulls and Derrick Rose to handle. They battled from the first through fourth quarter, but they just weren't able to put it together for the "W."
But, even as the Bulls ended their season in an unfashionable way, they can still hold their heads up very high.
Every single player on the Bulls team showed heart and determination throughout a long, mysterious season.
Many were counting out the Bulls once the season began, saying, "They just don't have what it takes to contend."
Things just continued to get worse for the Bulls when they lost two solid players, John Salmons and Tyrus Thomas via trades.
Well, for the second year in a row, Chicago showed it can contend and play with great teams, even if the odds are stacked against it.
The Bulls started off the season horribly, but gradually came back into the playoff picture as the season wore on.
Around midseason, the Bulls looked like they would comfortably take a playoff spot. They were playing some of the best basketball all year, and they had a comfortable spot as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Then, the Bulls took a turn for the worse.
Joakim Noah got plantar fasciitis in his foot, causing him to miss 10 games. In this 10-game period, the Bulls lost 10 of 10.
Also, Rose got injured during this period, causing him to miss four games.
Rose and Noah were the leaders who kept this team together throughout everything.
Ironically, their first game back, they beat the 76ers very convincingly.
This Bulls playoff spot was slowly slipping out of reach. They soon dropped the No. 8 seed in the East to the Toronto Raptors.
The Bulls would not give up though. They fought game after game to get that last spot back.
Again, another obstacle fell in front of the Bulls. Their coach, Vinny Del Negro, reportedly got in a physical altercation with John Paxson, the VP of Basketball Operations.
The Bulls again regained their focus and were able to battle to the end, making it so they could control their own destiny.
The last game of the season would determine whether the Bulls got into the playoffs or not. If they won, they were in. If they lost, they could kiss their season goodbye.
Lead by Rose's 27 points and Noah's 13 rebounds, the Bulls managed to pull out a 98-89 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Out of the 77 games Rose played during the regular season, he was the leading scorer in 39 of them.
Out of the 64 games Noah played during the regular season, he was the leading rebounder in 41 of them.
Those stats reiterate how important those two players were to the success the Bulls were able to achieve this year.
The Bulls were then put up against their last and most challenging task; they had to face the Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
This was a challenge far too great for the Bulls to handle. LeBron was simply too much for the Bulls to handle. His size, quickness, and athletic ability were too much for anyone to handle.
The Bulls remained competitive in most games for about a quarter or two, but LeBron did what his job is: close the game out.
The Bulls gave some hope after an upset in Game Three, cutting the Cavs' series lead to two games to one. But the Cavs quickly crushed all Chicago's hopes by winning the next two games.
The Bulls' season ended with a 96-94 loss in Game Five.
We all need to take a step back and look at all the Bulls have encountered throughout the season and give them credit for such a great season. They could have given up early in the season and never had a chance to compete against the Cavs, but they didn't and made the city of Chicago proud.
Now, it's time to move to what could be a very interesting offseason.
There are many questions to be answered:
Will Del Negro be fired?
If so, can they find a respectable coach to replace him?
Will the Bulls be able to pick up a primetime player during the free agency period?
If they can get one, who will it be? Wade, Bosh, Boozer, or the least unlikely, King James?
Great season Bulls, and I look forward to an exciting future!
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