Well, at least I had a decent view of guys getting booted from the game...
I really have to wonder if at some point once the Heat started building a decent lead the Bulls, realizing they already accomplished what they came to do in Miami by stealing one game, decided to pack it in and ultimately lost their minds... It was not a good look. But hey, like Magic Johnson once said during an NBA Finals, "Whether you lose by one or you lose by 20, it's still 1-1". I'll take it.
So where do the Bulls go from here?
It was nice to see Jo and Taj trying to be punctual and get a head start boarding the team flight. I'd be rushing for that bag of peanuts myself.
Yes, the Bulls lost their heads a bit and the arena became a raucous environment once they smelled blood. Now, the Bulls really must regain their focus, get back to what worked for them in Game 1, and come out on fire early to get the UC crowd going itself. One of the main focuses must be re-establishing the defense in the paint. The Heat got 56 points in the paint in Game 2. They were basically living there. It seems the Heat counteracted the Bulls' defensive strategy on Lebron from Game 1 by having a lot of weakside cuts to the basket once he penetrated himself. So suddenly, instead of settling for 3-pointers, the Heat were getting easy buckets as the Bulls would overcommit on Lebron's penetration. Once they were attacking the basket like that and got the momentum on their side and began building a lead, it became a shooting drill out there for Miami.
Other than that, the Bulls head home from here. Right, Miami...?
Sidenote: For the non-Spanish speakers in the audience, that phrase at the bottom is a not-so-nice way we Cubans have of saying GTFO.
Oh, there was a basketball game being played as well...
The crowd came out looking for revenge for Game 1 and to have a good time, and that they did. In fact, after the game started to become a laugher, it blended away into the background of the arena like if it was just playing on a huge LED screen and the festive atmosphere took the forefront. Heck, I myself tuned out after a while and joined in the fun. Not rooting for the Heat, of course. In fact, I ran into a few friends throughout the arena who then proceeded to parade me in my black Pippen jersey around the building like some pet monkey. Laughs all-around so ultimately it was a good time. Besides, I've been giving Heat fans hell over the past few days and, admittedly, using a little ammo provided by you clever BaBers, so I don't mind taking some in return now. It's the best part about when these two teams hook up for me because I can play the villian for about a week. And honestly, I can't be too disappointed in the result because I expected the Heat to come out strong so how the game turned out is no surprise. Well, maybe a 46-point deficit at one point in the game was a bit of a surprise... If anything, I feel bad for the Bulls fan a couple of seats down from me wearing a sleeveless Bulls t-shirt that garnered someone yelling "you shoulda done more pushups before putting that shirt on" at them. I LOL'd.
Will the real MVP please stand up?
No one ever said it was, 'Bron 'Bron. But it's cool, because we have our own hero in waiting. Right?... right?
Yeah, maybe not.
There is no magic antidote. And in the words of Rick Pitino, "Michael Jordan is not walking through that door". Heck, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich are probably not walking through that door. The discussion came up yesterday of whether the Bulls had found a rhythm without Kirk and Lu in the lineup and if it was just better for them to stay away. I think last night demonstrated that there is something to be said for having consistent players out on the court. Sure, it seems Luol has been consistently bad throughout the playoffs, but he is still one of the Bulls' better players and a very competent and lengthy defender out on the floor. For a team seriously lacking talent at the moment, I'll take him. Same for the Gritmeister. He provides a steady hand at the point for the Bulls as we saw last night what happens when your offense resides in the hands of Jekyl & Hyde and doesn't maintain a fluid consistency from game to game, or hell, even quarter to quarter. While I think getting back on the home floor can provide the Bulls with an emotional boost after leaving the building with their tail between their legs last night, more importantly is getting actual basketball players back in the lineup. So Kirk, Lu, speedy recovery to you both.
The difference between 2011 and now.
If you look at these series from a flow and road map standpoint, I can see how this time around the Bulls actually have an easier path to disrupting the Heat. In 2011, even with home court advantage, the Bulls were still the underdog. So sure they took that first game, but the Heat still earned a split at the UC and coming home to Miami. It was a tough road to tread. This series seems to have lined up a little better to give the Bulls a tad higher chance at giving the Heat trouble. The Bulls are still underdogs (boy, is that the understatement of the year), but now having earned a split in Miami they get to return to their home floor at the UC where it is tough for opposing teams to come into and win. Hold serve and the Heat are on the ropes. Split the two in Chicago and suddenly this is a long series and a best-of-3. While the Bulls might have no shot, the path is laid out in front of them to continue to be a thorn in the Heat's side.
Also, stay classy, Chicago.
I'm sure most of you won't get this, but for the Cubanos in the audience... just because.
Go Bulls!!!!!! Get loud, UC! Show the Heat how it feels to be in a building where people show up on time. I mean, that's a home court advantage, right?