By Shawn Muller–
CHICAGO (CBS) What in the hell happened at the United Center last night?
One minute, Luol Deng is putting Chicago on top 26-19 after one quarter of play with a three-quarter-court basket…a shot that made you think that the night was definitely going to be Chicago’s night. The next minute you looked at the Bulls, and, for the final three quarters of the game, it was like the team couldn’t have even hit water if they fell out of a boat.
29 total second half points?
10…yes, I said one-zero…total fourth quarter points?
The second quarter was bad, but the second half of Wednesday night’s Game 2, 85-75 loss to the Miami Heat was the worst 24 minute stretch of Bulls basketball I can remember watching in a long time.
Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra and LeBron James characterized the game and the series as a complete “street fight” (I hate that term when referring to sports)…but I call it ugly basketball.
I am all for watching teams play fundamentally sound basketball and solid defense (which both teams do very well), but watching that second half–and the fourth quarter more specifically–almost made me want to watch Chocolat instead…almost
If you watched the game Wednesday night then I am sure that you get what I am trying to say here:
Anything–including a sappy romantic movie about…um…chocolate, I assume–would have been more enjoyable to watch (and exciting) than what transpired on the floor of the United Center in the second half for the Chicago Bulls.
Now, I will give a little bit of credit to the Miami Heat for locking Chicago down to the tune of 75 points, because they did play some pretty solid defense all game.
But, I can’t give the Heat total and absolute credit for the pedestrian-like performance of Chicago.
The Bulls just flat-out couldn’t shoot the basketball.
Chicago shot just 34 percent from the field for the game, 15 percent from three-point range, and an uncharacteristically low 61 percent from the free throw line. Kyle Korver continued to struggle with his shot, Derrick Rose finally looked human (although he led Chicago with 21 points), Carlos Boozer didn’t do anything (again)…the list goes on and on.
A team has to play a pretty bad game of basketball to only allow the other team to score 85 points and still end up losing by 10…
And that is exactly what the Chicago Bulls managed to do last night.
The funny thing is…after Miami got blown out by 21 points in Game 1; people were ready to crown Chicago as the champions of the Eastern Conference. Miami was basically written off and all was sunny and beautiful with regards to the Chicago Bulls.
After Wednesday night, how much do you want to bet that people are NOW going to say it is the other way around?
I guarantee you that we are now going to be told to believe that it is the Miami Heat who are the hunter and the Chicago Bulls who are the hunted.
It is a natural reaction for people to FREAK OUT after one poor showing, but come on.
It took a horrible shooting night from Chicago, for Miami to win Game 2. The Bulls held the Heat to 82 points in Game 1 and just 85 points last night. It took everything Chicago could possibly do to lose that game last night and they still had a chance to win the game with two minutes left and go up 2-0 in the series.
Don’t think for a minute that Tom Thibodeau won’t have his team ready to re-establish their dominance in Game 3 on Sunday.
Before this series began, I said it was going to be a dogfight, and that the series would probably go the full seven games. After witnessing the Miami Heat get outplayed in Game 1, and watching the Bulls crap the bed in Game 2, I still feel the same way.
I just hope Chicago got their “bad one” out of their system last night and can steal one from the Heat down in Florida.
Do that and everything will be back to normal.
The Bulls will regain home-court advantage (and the upper-hand in the series) and once again, it will be the Miami Heat fans who are back to freaking out.
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.