Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chicago Bulls: Whoops

With the #2 seed and a clear path to the Eastern Conference Finals in their grasp, the Chicago Bulls walked onto the Continental Airlines Arena floor and took a big dump. One bricked jump shot after another allowed a Nets team with a struggling Richard Jefferson, a crosseyed Jason Kidd (1-8 from the floor), and a fourth quarter offense running through Josh Boone of all people to cruise to a 106-97 victory. Now the Bulls are the fifth seed in the East and will have to go through the Heat just to get to the second round. Then they would face the Pistons. Good luck with that.

As for the Nets, I admit they looked pretty good tonight and could give the Raptors (and eventually the Cavs) a real fight in the playoffs. Everyone will focus on the "Vince Carter against his old team" subplot, but that ignores the fact that the Raps are a true threat in the East and it would be a shame to see them go out in the first round. However, despite Jason Kidd playing well lately, Carter filling up the box score, and Bostan Nachbar bombing threes, I don't think the Nets have enough to beat Toronto. The Raptors have a ton of depth, they get Bargnani back, and they will have the best player on the floor in Chris Bosh. In fact, how Mikki Moore does guarding Bosh will probably decide the series. If he can bother him, the Nets could be a tough out. But if Moore is in constant foul trouble and those Boone cameos become 25 minutes of action, you can pencil Toronto into the second round.


Jeff said...

That's not the worst of it. The Knicks also won on a last-second tip-in, likely dropping the Bulls three spots in the draft (since the Bulls get to trade picks with the Knicks). The kicker: who got the tip-in? Former brutal Bull Eddy Curry, seeing the kind of late-game minutes he only watched from the bench here in Chicago.

Adam Hoff said...

Good call. I can't believe that in this season of tanking, I lost sight of that part of the story. I also can't believe that both Mardy Collins AND Renaldo Balkman appear to have real potential. The good news for the Bulls is that maybe this will prevent them from somehow taking Joakim Noah, which would continue to set a record for "most post players with no post skills whatsoever." Okay, I realize that is small consolation.