Tag Archives: chicago
I’m one day late on this, but anything related to Michael Jordan and the 1990’s Bulls is worth the wait.
20 years ago yesterday, I was about eight weeks from my 2nd birthday and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 Finals for the team’s first NBA title.
Michael Jordan was 27 at the time of his first title. LeBron James, vilified by everybody for still being ringless, is currently 26. Perhaps we’re all being a little too tough on LeBron at the moment. But what the hell, its pretty fun giving shit to someone as naracisstic and self-unaware as LeBron.
Here is the signature play of the 1991 Finals, MJ’s famous switch-hands in mid flight layup from Game 2:
Photo from Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune
Game 4 took a lot out of me, just likes Games 2 and 3. These games are battles, every possession means so much. It’s going to take awhile to get over this loss, maybe the whole summer if the Bulls can’t pull off an epic comeback.
The Bulls had a golden chance to even up the series with 8 seconds left in regulation, but couldn’t take advantage. It pains me to think back to the joy I had when LeBron James was called for an offensive foul, and the Bulls were given such a monumental opportunity. I love D-Rose, and he’s obviously the Bulls’ best player, but I was disappointed with the play call. LeBron is a freak, he’s 6’8, strong as a bull, and quick as a cat. LBJ on Rose, one-on-one is a total mismatch in the Heat’s favor. An iso for Rose in that situation was destined to fail. And it did as Rose threw up an air-ball as time expired. I would have liked to have seen the ball go to Luol Deng, who was guarded by the shorter Dwyane Wade. Luol would have driven to the paint and gotten a better shot opportunity than Rose got with LBJ in his face.
Sports can be so cruel. These last three games have been griding, and in the end, painful. The Bulls could have won all three, but instead they face a 3-1 hole. Thanks to the recent rebirths of roleplayers Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller (he was a +36 tonight!), the Heatles suddenly look like the juggarnaut many thought they would eventually become. The Bulls need to win three in a row now if they want to advance to the team’s first NBA Finals since 1998. Can it happen? Sure. It is likely? Hell no. But it’s not over yet, we can still believe.
It’s simple, Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals is the biggest game of the 2011 Bulls season. A win, and the series becomes a three game series with the Bulls holding home-court advantage. A loss, and the Bulls are forced to win three straight games, an unlikely feat against the mighty Miami triumvirate. With the Heat winning the last two games, many have started to pematurely write off the Bulls. It’s easy to forget the Bulls’ dominate Game 1 victory, or the fact that the Bulls were very much in Games 2 and 3 before the Heat made 4th quarter runs to pull away.
As it has been all season for the Bulls, their fate will be determined by the production of Derrick Rose. In the 4th quarters of Games 2 and 3, Rose’s play was far from MVP-like. Over the last two fourth quarters, Rose had four points on just six shots. Rose needs to be more aggressive in the fourth quarter, driving to the hoop for layups and drawing fouls. The Bulls just simply will not win if Rose continues to be passive in the fourth.
The Bulls could also use some offensive help from their 2-guards. Against the Pacers and Hawks, and in game 1 against the Heat, the Bulls were getting solid 3-point production from Keith Bogans and/or Kyle Korver. Bogans and Korver have combined for just four made 3-pointers the last two games. The Bulls need one of them to get hot from beyond the arc tonight to keep pace with the Heat offense.
One more thing, I really don’t like hearing people say that the Bulls are just too young, and that they’re a year away from truly being a title contender. It’s bullshit. The Bulls can win now, and most likely, they are in better shape to win this year than they will be next year or the year after. Yes, the Bulls need to add a scoring 2-guard. I hope it happens, they will be a better and more complete team if they do. And I’m sure Foreman/Paxson will be trying their hardest to make it happen, but it won’t be easy since they don’t have much extra cash to spend this offseason. My main point is that the Heat will only get better in the years to come. Wade/James/Bosh will get better as a threesome as they play more games together, and their supporting cast can only get better. For the majority of the season, the Big 3 was surrounded by corpses in basketball jerseys. Just getting a healthy Udonis Haslem back in Game 2 improved the Heat’s play drastically. The Heat are at their most vulnerable this season and the Bulls have to take advtange. It all starts with a victory tonight in Game 4.