9:57 AM EDT, April 23, 2013
If you have any basketball sensibilities, then don’t watch a Bulls playoff game
Not an entire game, anyway. Your system can’t take it. It’s the ghost pepper of the playoff basketball Scoville Scale. I’m telling you this for your own good. I’m a pleaser, not a teaser.
If you’re a frontrunning Bulls fan and watch only the playoffs because you came to the bandwagon in the 1990s and watched the championship artistry and brilliance of Michael and the Jordanaires, then you need a detox program to watch these Bulls.
They don’t have Derrick Rose, they give you Joakim Noah taking 15-footers, and they use Nazr Mohammed for long stretches.
And then Noah and his irradiated feet and Mohammed and his AARP status are major reasons the Bulls beat a more talented Nets team in Game 2 to even the series. Same goes for Marco Belinelli. If I also named Vladimir Radmanovic as a key performer, then you’d know I was lying, but I didn’t, so I’m not.
I just do truth here, people, and the truth is, stay away from a Bulls playoff game as long as you can. Even veteran hoopophiles ought to stay away until at least the fourth quarter. If anything that happened before fourth quarter matters enough to render the last period irrelevant, then you saved yourself time and probably a mental therapy program to help you unsee such things as Game 1.
Ask yourself this: At this point in your life, do you really need to risk bleeding eyeballs?
Defense is ugly, although not as bad as watching that girthsome Judd woman who mercifully was voted off “Dancing With the Stars.’’ Rebounding is less unsightly, but still better than watching Adam Dunn. The dirty work is called dirty for a reason. I get that. And while the Bulls do it well, here’s the thing: The brand of postseason basketball they are forced to execute is the old line about not seeing how sausage is made.
Style points don’t matter. I get that, too. So, after the ineptitude and inertia of a Game 1 pantsing, the Bulls defended and rebounded in Game 2. The Nets got some shots, but not the shots they wanted, and they only got one each possession, or so it seemed because the Bulls, even itty-bitty Nate Robinson, boxed out like they cared.
Oh, speaking of Robinson, former Bull C.J. Watson is destroying him. Payback’s a bench. This part of Robinson’s game is unwatchable. The health of many people is being jeopardized. When the second quarter starts in Games 3 and 4 in the United Center, I expect the Bulls to use the concourses for triage.
But back to the good kind of ugly the Bulls showed on Monday. It starts with Deron Williams. He made one basket more than you or I. He had eight points, as many as Mohammed and fewer than Robinson. Williams makes the Nets go. Kirk Hinrich made Williams go into the toilet.
Brooks Lopez became a force by hitting jumper after jumper during one stretch, which was not a good thing for the Bulls, but then, if the opposing center has move out 18 feet to make a difference, then the Bulls’ slug-first mentality worked.
Worked at both ends, actually, as the Bulls outscored the Nets 42-30 in the paint. The Bulls forced bad passes and shot-clock violations, fouled and fouled some more, blocked shots and generally turned the lane into Hubbard’s Cave at 5 p.m.
It’s what the Bulls do to win. It’s what they have to do for 48 minutes. But you don’t have to endure all of it. Again, because I’m a pleaser, not a teaser, I looked up some thing so you don’t have to in order to come up with a viewing plan for Game 3 scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m.:
There’s a double shot of “The Office’’ with one new episode, followed by a new “Parks and Rec,’’ so after a half-hour of Suppelsa and Skilling on Channel 9, flip to the game around 9:30.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC