For some stupid reason, everybody in the Eastern Conference jockeyed to avoid the Bulls in the playoffs.
Everybody except the Wizards, that is, and now we see why.
They shredded the league’s best defense for 102 points and stopped the league’s worst offense well enough to steal home-court advantage in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series at the United Center on Sunday night.
I mean, Andre Miller helped kill the Bulls with 10 points. Andre Miller, do you hear me? Isn’t he an AARP spokesman or something?
You know who else killed the Bulls? D.J. Augustin, that’s who. The Bulls guard missed 12 of 15 shots and all four three-point tries. So, what’s his deal? He saves the regular season only to blow up the postseason?
You know who else killed the Bulls? Nene and Marcin Gortat, the biggest of the Wizards’ big men.
No wait, they didn’t kill the Bulls, they exposed them at both ends of the court.
Nene scored a game-high 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting in his fifth game back from a knee injury, while Gortat grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, five offensive.
Don’t the Bulls have a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year? Isn’t he a big man? Maybe he’ll show up for Game 2.
Don’t the Bulls have a Sixth Man of the Year candidate? Isn’t he a big man? Maybe he’ll show up for Game 2, as well.
The Choice (and remember, death is not an option): The Bulls getting pounded on the boards or the Bulls getting torched from the floor?
But here’s where it became really ugly: The Bulls took an 87-84 lead with 5:56 to go and scored just six points the rest of the way.
Gortat, meanwhile, had eight points himself as the Wizards scorched the vaunted Bulls defense for 18 points down the stretch.
There is one thing the Bulls did exceptionally well in Game 1: Yell at the officials. Yeah, they were good at that. Solid. They complained about almost every call in the second half.
Here’s an idea: Shut up and guard somebody. Shut up and make a basket.
“You have to adjust to how the game is being called,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “You can’t let it take away from our aggressiveness.’’
The Bulls had a 13-point lead in the third-quarter. They had a lesser team dead, and then they died themselves.
No poise. No intensity. No defense for a team that has only defense.Why were teams afraid to play the Bulls again?
Geez, they looked like a team you send a limo for.