COMMENTARY All NBA season long the Chicago Bulls have defied the odds. Missing superstar Derrick Rose the entire time and a host of starters and key role players along the way the team has managed to make it into the second round of the postseason. Not only did the Bulls make it this far they did so in dramatic fashion defeating the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn to take a deciding Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs and shocking the Miami Heat at home in Game 1 of the second. The Bulls have become the epitome of heart and toughness. However now faced with the unenviable task of dethroning the champs frustration looks to be setting in.
It began when the Heat beat the brakes off of the Bulls with a 37 point victory in Game 2 of the series. This is a prideful group certainly they were embarrassed. And it showed when Joakim Noah got himself tossed from the contest followed by Taj Gibson who berated officials on his way out. The Bulls have definitely not been the beneficiary of officiating. There have been some terrible calls and obvious misses that were not in the team's favor. But a blowout of this magnitude can never be attributed to simply poor refereeing. The Bulls were thoroughly outplayed.
Officials were not the cause of the Bulls' 104 94 Game 3 loss either. Again there were some questionable calls. But at the end of the day the difference was the Heat having a capable go to playmaker down the stretch while the Bulls best player was on the bench in a suit. Depth of talent prevailed.
Frustration was evident in this contest as well. Noah received an unnecessary technical foul for pushing Chris Andersen of the Heat. Andersen was lying on the floor after fouling Nate Robinson. Then later Nazr Mohammed got himself thrown out of the game for pushing LeBron James again unnecessarily. Make no mistake members of the Heat have delivered their share of cheap shots but in neither of these cases was the confrontation incited by a Heat player. These were evident overreactions on the part of the Bulls.
After the game it got worse and this is the saddest part. Members of the Bulls resorted to making excuses. They blamed the flop by James for Mohammed's ejection rather than acknowledge the importance of keeping one's composure. Also falling to the ground after being shoved in the chest with two hands by a 6'10 250lb man is not a flop. James is a big guy himself did he exaggerate the fall Perhaps but it's not as if Mohammed barely touched him.
While acknowledging a discrepancy is not synonymous with blaming it the Bulls look to now be doing the latter. Most surprisingly is that head coach Tom Thibodeau echoed the flop sentiment. He even took it a step further and hinted at a conspiracy in place to advance the Heat. Huh One more time for good measure there have been some awful calls made against the Bulls.
The referees seem to often decide in favor of the Heat sometimes blatantly. Though certainly demoralizing neither of the Bulls' losses this series was the result of a missed or bad call. The team is just starting to look like what it is a well coached gritty smart but over matched group of guys that have not an ounce of quit in them.
The Bulls have nothing to hang their heads about after the season no matter the outcome of this series. They have nothing to be ashamed of or make excuses for. They were not even supposed to be here. With a roster depleted by injuries more often than not the Bulls fought to this point and still have a chance at advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. The team has performed admirably.
It wouldn't be too surprising if the Bulls made it past the Heat because we have already seen what they can do. This is what has endeared them to fans both in and outside of Chicago that never back down stand up guy against all odds approach. Not resorting to the placing of blame with anyone other than themselves. Every competitor hates to lose especially to a rival and sometimes reacts uncharacteristically when faced with the quandary. But the Bulls are better than this. They are better than cop outs and the transferring of responsibility. Much better.
Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago area native with several years experience covering the NBA including the Chicago Bulls for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine SLAM Online and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter AcameaLD.
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