Archive for May 11th, 2012
Tim Thibodeau kept on saying time after time that the Chicago Bulls had what it took to win, that they had more than enough to win despite the injuries that had taken out Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. It was a valid argument during the regular season when the Bulls flourished while their leading scorer Derrick Rose dealt with a series of distinct injuries that forced him out of half the games of the regular season. But losing Rose after game one against the Philadelphia 76ers and dealing with the loss of their top-rebounder Joakim Noah for the last 4 matches of the NBA Playoffs first round was just too much for the ailing Bulls. And with a series of misfortunate events and a solid performance from the 76ers that didn’t let this one slip by, the Chicago Bulls dream was cut short.
And yet the future, at least for this upcoming season is not looking too bright for these guys. Derrick Rose will undergo surgery to repair his torn ACL and the recovery could take anywhere between 6-8 months. Joakim Noah is probably not going to need surgery but he’s certainly going to be needing some extra rest, while on the other hand, Loul Deng, will undergo surgery to repair the ligaments in his wrist after he plays with team USA in the London Summer Olympics. And it’s really hard to just put it all into perspective for the Chicago fans. Heck, it seems that even some player are in a little bit of disbelief. The Bulls were a team that was expected to give the Miami Heat a run for their money; a team that many believed would bring back a national championship ring. Instead, they are leaving the Playoffs in the first round against a poorly seeded team.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” Noah said, “but we have to move on. You put all this work and then fall short, it’s tough. God works in mysterious ways, I guess.” But they weren’t that mysterious. Injuries kept on ailing this team and breaking down the overall spirit of the squad. But now comes a time to rest. There is really nothing left for this guys to do but rest. Carlos Boozer, a player that really needs to improve his game, will return to his home in Miami. He’s going to be working on improving his game. “Everything, everything. I just want to come back a better player, all around, inside and out, defensively, offensively, a better leader, continue to improve as a player,” he said.
Joakim Noah on the other hand will travel to far-flung destinations including Cameroon. As for Rose, it is still uncertain what’s in store for him. A lengthy recovery from surgery is a fact. And the Chicago fans are going to have to be patient and understand that there is little to be done now. This is the Chicago Bulls core, there is not much space to negotiate and find a new guy to bring in. But quite frankly the Bulls are stuck in a moment, and getting out of it is only a matter of time. We’ll have to wait and see if next season they can be as competitive as the Miami Heat.
The odds are against the Denver Nuggets. Only 8 teams in Playoffs history have been able to turn around from a 1-3 deficit to eventually win a 7-game series. And the home team has won over 80% of games 7 played in the postseason. So it really doesn’t matter much how you look at this one, it’s all uphill now for the Denver Nuggets. Then again, the LA Lakers are not what they used to be and they are far from been the dominant championship-winning team that they want to portray as their image. So the Lakers have lost two in a row and three of their last four matches including one at the Staples Center. Perhaps that’s the kind of numbers that shine positively for a squad that has undergone a lot of pressure to get back in track, and maybe that’s what’s going to make the Denver Nuggets such a powerful threat game 7 against the LA Lakers.
And yesterday, the Denver Nuggets proved that despite their very young age and utter inexperience in postseason games, these guys can mingle among the best and even ridicule a star-studded squad. Sure enough, Kobe Bryant was struggling with a stomach bug that, to put is somehow, made him lose a lot of fluids. Yeah, poor guy was playing at the mile-high city with a sever case of diarrhea. And still he was more efficient than any of his healthy teammates. Bryant really gave it his best shot, but the rest of the Lakers were a complete disappointment and they really never had a chance against Ty Lawson, Core Brewer, and the Denver Nuggets who crushed the Lakers 96-113 .
Lawson was at the helm of the Nuggets, finishing a brilliant performance with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. The small forward Corey Brewer chipped in with 18 points and 3 rebounds, while rookie Kenneth Farried turn in a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. To round things up, Danilo Gallinari and Andre Miller each had 12 points for Denver, which led 90-68 heading into the fourth quarter. It was a brilliant game from this young squad that not only dominated throughout the game, but managed to lead by as many as 28 points, making the Lakers look more like and old squad rather than a veteran team.
Sure enough, game 7 will have Metta World Peace back in the court. He’ll be back after completing a 7-game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden in the back of the head in the season finale. “I expect him to come out and play with the tenacity that he’s known for,” Bryant said. “He’s the one guy that I can rely on night in and night out to compete and play hard and play with a sense of urgency and play with no fear. So, I’m looking forward to having him by my side again.” Sure, the artist formerly known as Ron Artest is going to be back, but I’m not sure it’s gong to be enough to make a radical change. Andrew Bynum made just four of 11 shots for 11 points and Pau Gasol, who was 1-for-10 finished the night with three points and three rebounds. There is no way that kind of performance is going to take them into the second round of the Playoffs.