The series was tied at 1-1 going into Game 3 tonight, and I gotta say, I’m just not sure who to root for here. On one hand, you have Derrick Rose and the #1 seeded Chicago Bulls. On the other hand you have the newly put together Big 3 and the #3 seeded Miami Heat. And right there is where the problem lies. It’s not that I can’t stand some of the players on both teams, there are players like that on every team. It’s that I can’t stand the big names on these teams.
On the bulls you have Joakim Noah. Now he hasn’t really done much that I can think of to make me dislike him, but there’s just something about the guy. Maybe it’s the hair, maybe it’s that gap in his teeth, maybe it’s because he got to win back to back NCAA championships while he was playing for the Florida Gators (05-06 and 06-07 seasons). Regardless, I don’t like the guy. Then again, the Heat have Mike Bibby. This little punk is always running his mouth, but I’ve never actually seen him do much of anything since coming to Miami.
Now we get to the good stuff. The big names. The ones everyone is constantly talking about. I can’t make this clear enough: I HATE DERRICK ROSE. I hate the fact that he had a high school grade changed to help him get into Memphis, as well as having someone else take his SATs. Simply put, this kid cheated. What kills me even more is that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Let’s be honest, Memphis was probably going to take him regardless of his SAT scores, so why couldn’t he juts do what most college basketball players did? Why couldn’t he just take his own SATs and get a combined 650 between the math and reading sections like the rest of them? All he had to do was sit there for a few hours and be responsible for once in his life. Instead, he cheated, and that is just plain ridiculous.
On Miami you have “the big 3”. I’m a Dwyane Wade fan, but I think almost everyone is. He’s just a hard working, generally honest and respectful, great skilled basketball player. But let’s look at the rest of that trio. Chris Bosh was the man up in Toronto. That guy was all the Canadian team had when he left, and man was he a showstopper. When he would jam and roar at the fans, you just sat there in awe and wondered how anyone could be so dominant. He just had a specific image, one that basketball fans everywhere acknowledged. But then he goes to Miami and gets rid of that well respected image. He gets a buzz cut for some reason, he starts using a mouth guard (seems weak if he didn’t need one all those years as a Raptor), and becomes very whiny. Constantly switching his story after he has terrible games. He says he needs to focus on dishing out the ball, then he says he needs the ball in the paint, then he says he just needs the ball more in general. Bosh, you’re not going to have a stellar game every night. There’s no need for excuses, just roll with it. Nobody wants to hear the crying from Miami, especially not a full blown Crygate. And last, but certainly not least, we have “King James”. More like “Anything but King, James”. How does one get away with calling himself the King when he hasn’t even won a championship. Talk about being arrogant. I hated this man all the way back to his Cleveland days. And then his ESPN special “The Decision” comes out to announce that he’s “taking [his] talents to South Beach”. Totally unnecessary and disgusted sports fans everywhere. He essentially parted ways with almost all of his fans, with the exception of his new ones down in Miami. I cannot stand the way he acts and I hope he never gets a ring. Then we’ll all get to see how well he compares to Kobe, let alone all time greats like Jordan, Chamberlain, Johnson, and Abdul-Jabbar.
And it’s not only the players that I can’t stand, there’s also Erik Spoelstra. This is the man that was chosen to coach this team of Allstars? He doesn’t look anything like a coach, he looks like a chipmunk in a suit. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an intelligent comment come out of his mouth in all of the in-game listen ins, post game conferences, and interviews. Can the Miami organization please just come out and publicly announce that Pat Riley is secretly coaching the team via his Erik Spoelstra puppet. With all of that said, picking a team to root for truly is a lesser of two evils. I’ve decided to pull for the Bulls, hopefully due to Boozer’s efforts, but if Miami wins, I pray that it’s solely because of D-Wade and Udonis Haslem. That man is an absolute work horse who doesn’t get enough credit. What he does with the limited amount of playing time he gets is unbelievable. But enough of all of this, on to the game!
The tempo of this game was set right from the beginning by some early fouls from Chicago. They were then followed up by a great pass in the paint from Noah to Deng, only for LeBron to end up with a break seconds later, resulting in a dunk. The Miami defense looked really strong early on. Then there was a flashy play by rose. On the next possession was a GREAT move by Wade, but no finish. Chicago gets the ball back and Bogans hits a 3. Following that was another turnover by Miami. Lebron strips the ball away though, passes it to Wade, Boozer makes an AMAZING strip, but James breaks up the play at the other end. The Bulls miss a 3 attempt; current score: 7-4 Bulls. Then we have a badly missed FG by Bibby, followed by a turnover from Rose, resulting in a 2 pt by Joel Anthony, assisted by LeBron. On the next possession Noah gets fouled by Bosh. He hits the first free throw but misses the second one. Boozer gets the rebound and gets 2 opportunities to score, but then Noah gets tagged with an over the back call. Coming back the other way, Bosh misses a 3, and Boozer gets the rebound after battling for it with Wade. Rose proceeds to make a stunning drive to the hoop. Then James hits a 3 to make the score 10-9 Bulls. All of that took 6 and a half minutes. I should have known right then that it was going to be a boring game, but I had no idea. At the close of the 1st the score was 15-18 Miami. Joel Anthony had a remarkable 1st quarter with unreal defense – 4 blocks and 3 points.
The beginning of the 2nd quarter seemed strangely normal, nothing really spectacular or out of the ordinary. Then Bosh gets fouled and continues to talk after words, picking up a foul himself (Add it to the list of reasons to hate him). Then Boozer starts going off out of nowhere. After missing his first 5 shots, he drains 4 aggressive shots in a row. However, the Bulls defense would continue to keep biting on the Bosh pump fake, racking up foul after foul. At the end of the first half the score was 40-43 Heat , the 2nd quarter being a tie – both teams scored 25 points. Here were the leaders at that point in the game:
Bulls (Pts): Rose - 11 Boozer - 9 (Ast): Noah - 3 Boozer & Watson - 1 (Reb): Boozer - 5 Rose & Deng - 4 Heat (Pts): Bosh - 16 James - 10 (Ast): James - 6 Chalmers - 2 (Reb): Wade - 6 James - 5
I’m just going to disregard the 3rd almost in its entirety because it was dreadfully boring. There were a few big 3s, including one made by Deng during the closing seconds to keep Chicago in it. The 3rd was another tie. Both teams scored 25 again: 65-68 Heat at the end of the 3rd.
After a big shot by LeBron that put the Heat up 4, Chicago commits a shot clock violation. Bosh then scores on the turnover. Early on in the 4th, it seemed like Bosh was hitting EVERYTHING. Wade was struggling, as he did all night offensively. Then, with 5:07 left, James is “fouled” by Kyle Korver – And 1. The LeBron starts screaming at the fans and going insane. Congratulations, you were able to finish on a falling Korver. That really didn’t deserve the celebration, it just added to reasons why people hate you. But the Bulls would not die. With 2:48 left in the game, Deng hit a layup that brought the difference within single digits. Next Bulls position, Gibson scores on the follow up – Bulls down 7. James drives the net and scores – Bulls down by 9. Gibson tips a ball in – Bulls down 7. Then Haslem hit a jumper – Bulls down by 9. On the next Bulls possession, Boozer gets an offensive rebound and gets fouled. He would miss the first free throw and then hit the second – Bulls down 8. The Heat start to slow the game down as James milks the clock. James takes a shot with less than a minute left but it’s no good. Unfortunately for the Bulls, it goes off of Gibson’s head and out of bounds resulting in the Heat getting the ball back. Deng fouls on the inbound and James goes to the line. He hits the first and the second. Bulls take a timeout. Bulls miss a scoring opportunity and Wade takes the ball up the court. He misses a 3. Then Deng misses a 3 at the other end with time expiring. Game over. Final score: 85-96 Heat
Here are your game leaders:
Bulls (Pts): Boozer - 26 Rose - 20 (Ast): Noah - 6 Rose - 5 (Reb): Boozer - 17 Deng - 8 Heat (Pts): Bosh - 34 James - 22 (Ast): James - 10 Wade - 3 (Reb): Wade - 9 James - 6
After watching the game, I must say, I wasn’t satisfied. Maybe it’s just because I don’t care for either team, but I really thought it was just a boring game. The Miami – Boston series was much more thrilling, as was the Chicago – Atlanta series. Regardless, the Heat get the W and make the series 2-1 in their favor. The next game in the series is on Tuesday at 8:30 PM Eastern time. Be sure to tune in as the Bulls try to even up the series and the Heat try to take a controlling lead.