Spiegel: Game 1 Dominance From The 300 Level

By Matt Spiegel–

CHICAGO (WSCR) Hot damn game 1 was fun. Here are some impressions from the 300 level, where I’m undefeated on the season (5-0). I love the view up there…2nd row center, you can watch everything develop.

Joakim’s Energy: Before the tip, he lit the crowd on fire. Bouncing around, revving us up. Jo would later say the anthem got him going, but he sent it right back tenfold. It was easily the loudest Bulls crowd I’ve ever been a part of, well, since ’98.

Offensively, It Looked Like The Beginning Of The Heat’s Season: They don’t run anything…no offense of consequence. To beat a great defense like the Bulls, you have to move the ball…like Atlanta did when they played well in game 4. The Heat just isolating and trying to make great individual plays is not going to get it done. For instance, you get good three point shots off movement, and team-first penetration. How many threes did Miami even shoot? 8. The Bulls made 10. This discrepancy is because they’re isolating and stagnant on offense.

I Love Random Stranger High 5’s In The 4th Quarter: While up 17 points on the big bad Heat, I bond with my fellow 300 level-mates. Any possible disease is worth contracting for the sake of fan camaraderie. That said, perhaps I should have hit the Purell afterwards.

My Favorite Moment Of The Night: 2:16 left, fourth quarter. Wade goes to get a loose ball in his own end, down 19 points, with no one around him. He casually, accidentally, steps out of bounds. It’s a careless and lazy moment from a defeated, frustrated star. He walks immediately off the court, subbed for by Spoelstra and is done for the night. The villain D Wade walks off tired, beaten. It was beautiful.

Taj’s Follow Dunk: Many fans, even Bulls fans, had started filing out to beat the traffic. Are you crazy? The 4th quarter of a Bulls blowout is basketball porn. Yes, it devolves into basketball porn…pure orgiastic joy watching domination on that level, in a game of this magnitude. And Taj Gibson, well, he provided the climax. There were screams and yelps of shock and awe all over the building. Watching on Tivo later, you can hear Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr both scream…and their microphones distort. Taj Gibson’s one handed windmill follow dunk made TNT’s microphones distort. Oh, and he followed it up with a blocked shot on the next Miami possession. Taj was phenomenal.

The Bulls Do Not Panic: I don’t think this comes through on television in the same way. They were a touch timid early it seemed, even though they’d beaten the Heat 3-0 in regular season. They had to adjust to this intensity, the bigness of the challenge. But even then, as they’re scuffling, there is a sense of calm about these Bulls. You could see it all night, and then they came out even more comfortable in the 3rd quarter. The Bulls had better pacing all night….they simply know they’re the better team. They walk, and play, and act, and talk, like they know they can beat these guys. And The Heat, well, they have some tendency for panic in them. The pressure is on them.

It’s just the beginning, just game 1; the Rebel Alliance is just beginning the attack on the NBA’s Death Star. Patience, young rim rocker, patience.

More from Matt Spiegel
  • Mr. Pouty Pants

    I had the same reaction to Taj’s dunk. I jumped up and just yelled some incomprehensible combination of “OHH $H*T” and “DID YOU SEE THAT” to my wife as if we were on a street ball court. It caused my dog to go nuts barking at me and running around and my wife calmly looking at me and saying, “yeah, I saw it, I’m right here. Shut up.”

    Love the blowout win in game one, I hope it’s a sign of things to come but like your Star Wars analogy, I think there will be an “Empire Strikes Back” type struggle before the eventual victory.

    • Spoon

      If it was a one game series, the put back he threw down was the equivalent of the missles being shot down that open exhaust port.

    • BBOX

      Caught it at a bar last night, it was about the next best thing to being there, everyone was locked in on the game, people clapped after big defensive stops by the Bulls, cheered the big shots and the place absolutely EXPLODED when Taj went up and slammed home that missed shot. The last sporting event bar crowd I was involved in that was so much fun was either Devin Hester taking a a punt to the house for the game winning points against Arizona in 2006 or the 2005 Elite Eight when Deron Williams buried that three to tie up Arizona after trailing by roughly 50 points for the majority of the game.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        That Illini-AZ game was classic. I had wagered with practically every single co-worker at a restarant I moonlighted at, and all but one gave me the game straight-up.

        Well, with four minutes left and the Illini down 15, I was already handing out $20’s to all of my co-workers. It was so sweet to collect $40 from each of them a half-hour later.

        Oh, and Taj last night? As fun as the dunks were, it was just as fun to watch him defend Lebron… when he picked up James on occasion, it was seamless. A joy to watch.

      • Mr. Pouty Pants

        I miss my 04-05 Illini, God that was a great season.


      “Sweetriver Baines. . .no thank you. We don’t need your kind of ‘devil-may-care’ basketball around here!”

  • LBJ's EGO

    why is John Lucas the 15th in the foreground of every picture or camera shot of the bench. this guy has no belonging to this team. his one shining moment was missing two free throws to an eventual game loss that should’ve been a win without Rose.

    GO AWAY JON LUCAS, and you too Janero Pargo

  • WillKill

    Set The Atmosphere!!!!! The Bulls play up to their Comp. This is the conversation I had with my buddies, the Bulls Must come out in game one and Set the tone for this series and let The World Know that the Chicago Bulls Are Serious about becoming Champions!! It just feel so good because really James, Wade, and Bosh all knew that their best chance to win a championship now was to come to Chicago who already had the right pieaces in place. I can say Im glad they didnt!! This Bulls team is hungry, young, energized, and they’re confidence is starting to remind me or a few of our championship teams. I find myself not worrying if they fall behind. All the Bulls have to do is continue to play grown man big man basketball!! Miami is to small and the only way they will beat the Bulls is if they are having a heck of a shooting night. So Lets go Chicago!!

  • AT3374

    Bulls big three : Rose, Thibbs and Bench Mob , too much for the Heat to handle . Go Bulls !!!!

  • bronzo

    Great game!! Bulls looked dominant…I like Spieg’s but is Danny Boy done Blogging or just taking time off?

    • Spoon

      Wondering that myself…

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        Hmmmm…. Gotta feeling there’s some type of animosity and/or money issues here…

    • Joakim's bong

      Spieg’s is bad bring back the Bernsie blog!! While we are on the subject “what happened” to

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    I think that Spoelstra made a huge mistake in setting his roster last night. By saying you’re going to go small, you’re also saying you’re going to let the Bulls dictate the pace of the game.

    The Bulls normal rotation already rebounds the ball so well that when you tell them you’re going to rely on Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire for interior presence, you’re going to get destroyed. The Heat would have to be shooting lights-out for this roster to work. I understand the thinking, but the Bulls aren’t going to allow the Heat to get clean on the perimiter enough for that to happen.

    Also, did anyone else notice the Bulls stopped biting on the fake in the second half? That made me feel real good. Nothing like seeing Lebron and Wade each have to alter their shot because the foul contact they were looking for just wasn’t there :)

    I think that you’ll see Dampier and/or Ilgauskas dress by game three… and after looking at the box from last night? Mike Miller and Eddie House may be done for the series.

    • Meatless Meatball

      Every time I see Spoelstra, I thank the basketball gods that we had Phil Jackson coaching the second three-peat team. The guy is so clearly cowed by having the Two and a Half Men on his team and he doesn’t seem to know what the heck to do with them. Wade and James act a whole lot more like coaches.

      Now, I know that’s not entirely fair to Spoelstra, but I find it extremely hard to give credit to a coach who has easily the most talented starting rotation in the league, including two of the five or six best players, but can’t even secure the top seed in his conference.

      • big time sucker

        i find it curious that they can’t average over 100 points a game

  • Spoon

    I was sitting at home feeling like death with a sinus/lung infection, and both those slams from Taj made me jump out of my chair, yell, get light headed and almost fall over.

    Don’t know a lot about hoops, but that was damn fun to watch.

  • big time sucker

    SHARK IF You are out there and reading today, i want your opinion on the fact that ABC wants no part of the NBA WCF’s and all games will be on booyaa network. i know it’s six of one half a dozen of the other considering the same announce and production crew would cover each game regardless of actual network but if it were lakers thunder? ABC would have half to all of the WCF’s.

    this is why NBC was the best, they sucked it up and broadcast as many games as they could. they didn’t say, we will value this or value that ONLY if these teams played. if the WCF’s were Utah vs portland, they got the same primetime that phoenix vs lakers would get. i am just glad we get TNT and they are treating this series as special
    front runners

    • Glockster

      Fair enough about NBC, but it was a bit different back then. If NBC had games now, we’d probably see a fair share of them on USA, etc. But they did have epic theme music.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    Has Bernsy stopped writing a daily blog?

    If he has, I blame Twitter.

    • Mully's Son's Haircut

      Tweet Tweet!

  • Spiegel

    Call toll free 855-855- PLS, thats my PLS

  • Spiegel

    For quality windows, siding and doors call 866 4 FELDCO

  • stucky


  • stucky

    a lot of great homer predictions in this thread

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