This would actually be an easier recap to write if it never went into overtime and the Bulls lost. Because that made more sense: the Bulls let the Celtics stay a bit too close, completely blew a double-digit lead in the 4th again, looked like they were unraveled after Gordon's 2fouls+tech meltdown and Miller's hard foul (that he missed) on Rondo, and they were going to end their season with Noah and Tyrus on the bench, and I'd be angry and surly and maybe throw up. It felt over.
But Doc Rivers inexplicably put Tony Allen in and stayed small with the Bulls, Brad Miller had 5 points in the final minute, the Bulls didn't give up like I did, and it went to overtime.
And with that overtime, the whole regulation time became a wash: Rondo's punk play on Hinrich, the failure of the Bulls to capitalize when the C's bench was in the game, a bad game from Gordon (he was actually good early when the C's were trapping him and he was making good passes), a fantastic night from Ray Allen, every early referee weirdness...all of it, just gone.
And these 3 overtimes were full of so many insane plays, good and bad, it was too fun to care about anything except enjoying this game, and this series, and hoping like hell the Bulls could keep it going by winning tonight.
Because that's what this is: not great teams, but great fun. The very reason the games have been so exciting is because these teams are so flawed. The Bulls showed no end-of-game situational management at all, ran no plays outside of isolations for John Salmons (who was un-believable tonight), was bizarrely subbing Lindsey Hunter into every crucial possession...and the Celtics with the similar problems, some unbelievably dumb fouls and turnovers.
When the Bulls final play in the 2nd OT was basically Brad Miller holding the ball for 7 seconds and giving it to Salmons to fall down (Lindsey Hunter with the inbounds! Why? Who the hell knows!), it really was hammered home: This Bulls team is not that good. This Celtics team may be even even worse. But it doesn't matter.
I can't worry about the Bulls giving up on Tyrus Thomas, or if that was going to be Gordon's last game as a Bull, or that the Bulls switch so much on screens because they don't have a real defense to fall back on (though credit to Vinny for realizing it's a good idea to send help to Pierce), or that Rose looked so tentative for most of the overtime periods...at the very least this team is playing hard, and they're making this one of the best series of all time.
And it rules. And we now have Rose's block and Noah's amazing steal + dunk to remember in Bulls history, with many other moments from this series. And they can clearly win game 7. And all the rest can wait.
(now...lets collectively try and remember what the heck we just saw, ok?)