How in the world are the Bulls doing this? Somehow they managed to drag themselves past the first round and into a series against hated Miami. All this while Joakim Noah can barely walk. And Nate Robinson was puking his guts out against Brooklyn. And Luol Deng is dealing with who knows what illness.
If nothing else, the Bulls should be commended for their fortitude. Here's a look at Monday's Game 1 according to what we found painful, sickening and, ultimately, soothing.
Sickening: LeBron James accepts the NBA MVP award before the game. Sure, he was gracious and credited his teammates, but it reminds Chicago fans that their own MVP is sidelined.
Soothing: Bulls win the opening tip! Hopefully it's not all downhill from here.
Soothing: Joakim Noah throws one high off the glass to make it 8-2 Bulls. Meanwhile, the Heat start 0-for-7 from the field. Nice
Painful: Miami finally makes its first field goal, almost six minutes in. Things had looked so promising.
Painful: Noah gets his dunk attempt blocked by Chris Bosh. Doubt that would happen if Noah were 100 percent.
Painful: James gets his first bucket, a dunk that cuts the Bulls' lead to 10-8. Why does it look like he's not even trying?
Soothing: Nate Robinson whirls through the lane and banks home a shot in the lane, giving the Bulls an eight-point lead with less than six seconds remaining in the quarter. You go, Nate!
Painful: Norris Cole—yes, Norris Cole—hits a running jumper at the buzzer to cut the Bulls' lead to 21-15.
Score: Bulls 21, Heat 15
Sickening: A "Grown Ups 2" commercial comes on. We advise avoiding it.
Sickening: Little-used Daequan Cook steps out of bounds for no reason—for the second time in the quarter. Um, the sideline doesn't move, Daequan.
Painful: Dwyane Wade hits a long jumper over Noah to give the Heat their first lead, 25-23. Please tell us the Bulls have an answer.
Soothing: Jimmy Butler hits a 3-pointer to put Bulls up 30-28. Ah, so it's not over yet.
Sickening: Nate Robinson is taken to the Bulls' locker room because he's bleeding after a collision with James. If this were hockey, James would serve a four-minute penalty. If only.
Painful: On consecutive possessions, Carlos Boozer gets rejected when it looked like he had a layup. SO DUNK THE BALL!