After the initial disappointment of that putrid Game 4 went away, a sense of calm washed over me. It was the feeling of the inevitable, where these plucky Bulls just have nothing left in the tank and are no match for a Heat team that's now one win away from the conference finals. This Bulls team that has made us proud for much of the postseason is running on empty, and they will almost assuredly be Gone Fishin' after Game 5 tonight in Miami. And you know what? I'm completely okay with it.
Could the Bulls pull off another shocker in Miami? Perhaps, especially considering they've spent much of this season overcoming immense odds and winning games laughably short-handed. I certainly expect them to play better than Monday, although it would be darn near impossible to play any worse. The trio of players who have been out all series remain out, so it's the same banged-up Bulls group trotting out there yet again. Who knows? Maybe Nate Robinson goes off again. Maybe Joakim Noah gets one last triple-double. Maybe Carlos Boozer remembers that he's 270 pounds. Maybe Jimmy Butler has a game for the ages. Maybe Marco Belinelli shows off his big balls again.
But it just feels like it's time. LeBron James has already guaranteed a win, and I expect the Heat to come out and deliver a performance akin to Game 2. I sure hope the Bulls perform better and at least put up a fight, but I would not be surprised if things get ugly quick. Dwyane Wade will probably play, although he has been a non-factor this series.
No matter what happens, I'm pleased with how things have gone this postseason. And if the Bulls can steal another win and make the Heat sweat a little more, that would be pretty awesome. But I'm about ready for this season to end, and I'm ready to look forward to next season when the Bulls will once again have the talent edge over most teams in the NBA.