Miami Heat 83, Chicago Bulls 80
First off, congratulations to the Miami Heat for doing what they expected to do and what everyone expected them to do. That’s not a knock, as playing up to expectations is hard. The Heat are clearly the best team in the Eastern Conference. It just took them seven months to show it. Haven’t really thought about who I think is going to win the Finals, but when you see a team that can blitz opponents offensively and defensively like the Heat can, it’s hard to imagine them losing four out of seven games. Incredible comeback that seems like a joke you make in a pickup game. “All we need is two threes and a four-point play and we’re back in this thing. Ha ha.” Actually happened and that’s bananahands. Big ups.
As for the Bulls — dag. I am sad that this season has to be over for Chicago. I am sad because if you told me before the season started that the Bulls would lose to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, I’d think that sounds about right, but when it comes down to it, I’m disappointed. Why be disappointed? This is what was supposed to happen, what did happen. That’d be like being sad when you found out that the sun was coming up again. Duh, it’s coming up, it’s the sun. Duh, the Heat beat the Bulls, they’re the better team.
But still, it’s sad. And it’s unfortunate that the best Bulls season in 13 years had to come during the 20th anniversary season of the franchise’s first championship, which led to tons of comparisons to a team that featured Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. That’s not fair, man. But it was fun. Even as the Bulls were blowing fourth quarter leads like a bunch of Oklahoma City Thunder, it was still fun. (Not at the time, but overall.)
When I look back at this season, I’ll remember how much I enjoyed watching this team, probably my second favorite Bulls incarnation since the title years. Brian Scalabrine played meaningful minutes for a while. We got to hear Omer Asik talk. Kurt Thomas led the team in scoring once. Joakim Noah is him. Kyle Korver pouring hot sauce on people. Carlos Boozer’s yells became the greatest joke you can make in a pickup basketball game. Luol Deng grew a mustache. There was a lot to like about this team, especially the MVP, Derrick Rose.
Last night, as the Bulls blew another lead to lose the series, people started tweeting about how this illustrates that Derrick Rose wasn’t the MVP of the season. No, it illustrates that the Heat are better in the playoffs than the Bulls. That’s it.
Maybe Rose wasn’t the best choice for this season’s Most Valuable Player — even though he did lead his team to the best record in the NBA while playing the game’s most important position with no secondary creator but let’s not mention how the playoffs kind of proved just how much Rose had to do for the Bulls to be successful because that would almost make too much sense and ruin the fun of being able to show people how smart you are — but he was still a good choice. And when you look back on his MVP, will you remember the debate about how his stats hold up against Dwight Howard or how great he is to watch play basketball? Depends on if you’re fun or not. Steve Nash didn’t deserve his MVPs either, but he’s also a lot of people’s favorite player to watch. That means something too.
And really, getting to watch Derrick Rose this season was pretty amazing. That stupid push floater shot thing that he mastered and no one else in the league even shoots. His right-handed layup virtuosity, somehow getting shots to fall that didn’t even have any business leaving his hand. His goatee, which is really just three separate patches of hair that is basically in the goatee zone. His commitment to try hard on defense that encouraged his team to do the same, even though he was a pretty bad individual defender. The way he seemed to relish dunking as hard as possible whenever he could, becoming the best little guy dunker in the league. His MVP acceptance speech. It was a treat, seeing a guy become the most awkward superstar the league has ever seen.
That’s what I’ll remember about this Bulls team. Not just that they were really good, but how enjoyable it was to be a fan of theirs this season. Every basketball fan should have a chance to root for a team of guys who love playing together, who do incredible things and who make you care when they lose a series you expected them to lose. That’s fun, and that’s what basketball is about.
Great season, great team. It’s just too bad they ran in to a team that’s just a little bit greater. Peach out.