After the beating taken in Game 4, it is very impressive about what the Bulls were able to do in Game 5 on Tuesday night. It turned out, unfortunately, to be the last game of the season for Chicago – as they lost 96-94.
The Bulls played a hard-fought game. It became clear from the beginning that the Bulls were not just going to lay down and accept defeat, despite being down 1-3. The Bulls matched up fairly well with the Cavs. Most people originally suspected that Chicago would not be able to compete with the Cav’ star-power, but they defended them well and capitalized on nearly every scoring opportunity available in transition and on the offensive boards. The focus on limiting turnovers gave Chicago the opportunity to once again put up a gritty fight in Game 5. The Bulls may have been a missed ‘And-one’ call by Derrick Rose and two eyebrow-raising touch fouls called on Brad Miller (defending Shaquille O’Neal) from winning this game. But sadly it did not pan-out that way.
There are many questions for the young Chicago Bulls heading into the off-season. What will be the fate of head coach Vinny Del Negro? What will happen after July 1st? It will surely be a chaotic time for all basketball fans as some huge names may be changing uniforms – including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, and Carlos Boozer. But all of these questions aside, the Bulls should feel pretty good about what they accomplished in this series. Sure, it may not be as memorable as last year’s multi-overtime, epic 7-game battle with Boston. They proved though that they can run a disciplined offense against one of the league’s best defensive teams. Their young 6’11” starter Joakim Noah had a break-out series, really establishing himself as a star player in the NBA. Their newly-annointed All-Star Derrick Rose proved just what he can do on a big stage as the leader of this team. Their 21 year-old starting guard played amazing in all 5 games in this series.
Thank you, Bulls, for a great season. All of the fans will be anxiously awaiting October. It is going to be difficult to undergo the 6 months of waiting, but we have more weeks of NBA Playoff action ahead of us. We will see just how badly the Bulls’ dinged up LeBron (as seen by his late missed left-handed free-throw attempt).
Hopefully the Bulls’ fans will be rewarded in a big way this summer for all of our patience…
Derrick Rose scored 31 points and had 6 assists in Game 5.