By Shawn Muller–
CHICAGO (CBS) During the regular season, many people in the city of Chicago, and plenty more people around the country, were quick to say that they didn’t think the Bulls had what it takes to win the NBA championship this season.
Instead, people thought that maybe next season or the 2012-2013 season would be THE time for Chicago to “shine” come playoff time.
Part of me couldn’t blame the naysayers: a rookie head coach, a still “wet behind the ears,” but emerging leader and superstar in Derrick Rose, a new cast of players on a revamped roster and the fact that the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics were also going to be strong. All gave credence as to why Chicago probably couldn’t or wouldn’t, “make a run” in the 2010-2011 season.
So it comes as no surprise to me that, after the Atlanta Hawks tied the second round matchup at two games apiece with a 100-88 win over the Bulls last night in Atlanta, the doubters are beginning to crawl out from under their rocks again.
For the Bulls, Sunday night’s game was bad.
I won’t sugar-coat that one bit.
But it’s just one loss, the series is still tied at two games apiece, and Chicago has two of the final three games–if necessary–back home at the United Center.
Sure, everyone wishes that the Bulls playoff run was going to be one of lollipops and rainbows, but that just wasn’t going to happen.
It’s the NBA.
Every night, the Chicago Bulls–the best team in the league this season–are going to get their opponents’ best shot. They don’t have the luxury of sneaking up on their opponents, and no one is just going to lie down for them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fair for people to be a little uneasy with the way the Bulls have played so far in the post season. I am one of the many who expected Chicago to sweep the Indiana Pacers in the first round, and I went on record last week saying that I expected the Bulls to beat the Atlanta Hawks in five games in the second round.
Obviously, these two series didn’t happen the way many of us expected, but so what.
Instead of looking at the negative regarding the Bulls playoff performance through nine games, I am going to look at the positive. Chicago may just be playing the most erratic basketball I have seen them play in a long time, but they are still winning.
They didn’t look like world-beaters against the Pacers, but they won the series.
They aren’t looking like the number one seed against the Hawks, but they can go up three games to two on Tuesday.
I would rather the Bulls look bad and win than look good and lose.
Survive and advance.
Nothing else matters.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.