The Chicago Bulls, after instilling false hope in the city of Chicago after two convincing wins at the United Center, finally had their "Come to Jesus" experience Thursday, with the part of Jesus being played by Shaq.
I always felt the Bulls could keep the Heat series competitive, if only because the Bulls backcourt (Hinrich, Gordon, and Duhon) matches up well against Wade, Jason Williams and Gary Payton. And they did, Jason Williams completely vanished at times, and they were capable of harassing Dwayne Wade, managing to hold him to 42% shooting until this point.
If Shaq would only get kidnapped Celtic Pride-style, or at least have an extremely ineffective series, the Bulls could be flirting with a first-round upset. That is, if you're definition of flirting is shimmying up to the half-naked Jessica Alba-lookalike in the dance club and offering to buy her an Old Style. While decked out in your favorite boat shoes and pleated Dockers.
(The phrase "naked Jessica Alba" will be good for some cheap hits. Thanks, Google!)
It became painfully obvious throughout the series that, unless Shaq does bad all by himself, the Bulls are helpless against him. This came to a raging climax tonight when Tyson Chandler and Mike Sweetney countered Shaq's 30-20 night with 11 fouls in 27 minutes.
And, for the record, Andres Nocioni is officially off my $h!t list. After playing like "that spaz you never want to play a pickup game with" all last year, he reminded me a lot of old-school Dan Majerle (not Miami Dan, with the spray-on tan and the obnoxious shot selection) throughout this series and gave James Posey and Squirt plenty of fits. One thing they should never do again, is let Nocioni do a post game interview. He sounds wayyy too much like the Excited Southerner.
Its safe to say that the Bulls 'tude and misguided self-confidence all stems from that angry combover guy on their bench. Tonight you had to love Scott Skiles jawing with Squirt to the point of needing to be restrained.
This off-season should be a good one. LaMarcus Aldridge will fit in well with this squad. Thanks, Isiah!
"Employee Number 8?! Foreman Number 4
has been bringin' it since '87, bitch!"