First and foremost, kudos goes out to the young Bulls who found a way to win.
We all know the cliché that in the playoffs, it doesn't have to be pretty, but you have to win.
In Chicago, letdowns are more prevalent than bad weather, so don't fault me for thinking...what if?
It started in Game Two, when the Bulls were flying high. After a great win in Game One and resilience in Game Two, the end of the game brought an all-too-familiar sight.
Thanks to ESPN, you all have seen the play over and over and over and over again—Ray Allen sinks a three-pointer while seemingly wide open.
Do you chalk it up to great execution by the Celts? Poor defense? Well, a little of both. But in my eyes, the winner has to be poor defense.
Leaving Ray Allen open on a game-winning shot attempt is about as smart as moving to Detroit for career progression. So why was he left so wide open in Game Two? The answer was not yet clear, but certain theories arose. Poor execution? Poor coaching? Or poor decision-making?
Either way whats done is done, and we were moving on to Game Three at home after stealing a win in Boston. Then the belly-flop came in Game Three, and the nerves became tense.
After the romp, Boston stole the home court back in the series and Chicago fans began singing their praises to the team for a season well done—wait, it's not over yet? Amazingly, and somewhat uncharacteristically, the Bulls showed up in Game Four and actually pulled it out, solidifying another home game at the UC!
So why are you so angry Eli?
Well, poor decision-making left us with a bitter taste in our mouth in Game Two and almost gave us another letdown in Game Four. Here are some points that left my head itching for scratches:
1) Brad Miller
You play horribly all series, including Game Four. Amazingly, your hands caught a pass and you pump-fake Big Baby into the air.
What did you think was going to happen? Did you want a kiss? In a tight game, where we could either tie the series or basically lose it, keep your composure, be a veteran and go make two free throws.
Ah, free throws...
2) Tyrus Thomas
You are a paradox. You play so well at times, and then you shoot fallaway one-handed jumpers? You rebound so well, but at the end of regulation you choose to keep the ball instead of getting it to Rose? And then you miss one of two and allow Ray Allen to tie the game?
Of course there is no guarantee that Rose makes both or even one of the free throws, but he is the QB of the offense, and he could elude one Celtic and possibly run out the clock. Be smarter!
3A) Ben Gordon
Your heroics overshadowed an awful game. I, for one, am not surprised. Many a time this year you traded in the idea of playing tough defense to conserve energy on the offensive end.
Also, you make a ridiculous shot to tie us up in OT and then open with a tough jumper in double overtime. Realize that double overtime is not the time for a heart check—please pass the ball to D. Rose and allow him to penetrate and kick!
3B) Vinny Del Negro
Why do you keep allowing Ben Gordon to guard Ray Allen when we are down by three points? He is normally a terrible defender—and with a bad hammy, that just seems stupid. Kirk Hinrich, who always is a better option on defense, even with one foot, would have been the smarter choice.
4) John Salmons
Easy suggestions here—MAKE A SHOT and DON'T LEAVE RAY ALLEN FOR RAJON RONDO WHEN YOU ARE LEADING BY THREE! If Rondo makes a three to tie the game, tip your cap. But Ray Allen is Jesus Shuttleworth!
5) All Bulls Players
GUARD RAY ALLEN. Do not leave him open! He hustled us in Game One by having an off night.
He is a great player. Do not help Kirk on Paul Pierce, and if you do...don't come off of Ray Allen.
6) John Paxson
You know I had to fit him in here. Game Three and a lot of Game Four were great examples of a blaring hole in our offense—no big men who can score with their back to the basket!
Learn! All the teams looking dominant have big men that can score in the paint—Big Z, Pau, and Andrew Bynum. Trade your soul to the devil again, and draft Blake Griffin!
Ahh...that feels better now that I got that off my chest. Some final notes:
Kudos to Joakim Noah. I literally hated you at Florida and picking you so early in the draft. You have overcome a terrible start to the season and earned my nod for MVP of Game Four.
At one point you were during the game you were bright red all over stemming from hustling to save poor defense by your teammates. I applaud you.
Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo need to play in Euroleague soccer during the offseason. Only in soccer are you allowed to flop that much and still be respected.
I completely respect the idea of using NBA rules to your advantage, but you are both great players—allow your talent to win the game and stop flopping.
And for those Celtic fans who are yelling at me right now, watch Paul Pierce's every move as he reacts as if he got shot in the chest after every pump fake.
Watch Rondo falling every time he runs the baseline after a screen. For a guy who can finish so well going 100 MPH at the basket, he sure does get clumsy right in front of the ref after he initiates contact.
Lastly, this one goes out to numerous players in this year's playoffs the few I have caught follow: Kevin Garnett, Eddie House, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony—realize you are on the biggest stage of TV right now, stop yelling expletives every time you are on TV.
Sure, you don't know when you are on TV but KG and Carmelo should be used to it with their All-Star status. Eddie House has hit three shots a game, and always manages to tell me to get the f*** off his court because this is his f****** house!
JR Smith is just a loud-mouth John Starks type. Learn something from your teammate Chauncey Billups, who is an NBA Finals MVP!
What happened to the players like MJ and Barry Sanders? These guys who would make a big play and just pump their fist in the air, or just hand the ball to the ref and go to the sideline to celebrate with his teammates.