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Homer D. Sayson
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List of Articles by Homer D. Sayson


 

A dynasty in the making?

By Homer D. Sayson
PhilBoxing.com
28 May 2011



TEAMWORK, relentless defense, and the lion's heart that beats rapidly inside the chest of MVP Derrick Rose were the cornerstones of Chicago's' regular season success and deep postseason run.

But in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat brought to battle a set of qualities that were much better ---- Dwyane Wade. LeBron James. And Chris Bosh.

Effort gave the Bulls a fighting chance. But Miami's talent took the cake and closed the best-of-7 series in five games, allowing the Heat a trip to the NBA Finals alongside those Mavericks from Dallas.

This team was supposed to be next best thing since the Jordan Bulls. Instead, these young Bulls looked more like the Oklahoma City Thunder, wilting under pressure and melting against the Heat.

Such was the case in Miami's 83-80 Game 5 triumph Thursday night at the United Center. The Bulls built a 76-64 lead with 3:53 left to play, only to watch it slip away as Miami dropped an 18-3 bomb that sucked the playoffs life out of the Bulls.

YOU guessed it, the Big Three was big in the fourth quarter, scoring all of Miami's 26 points. And in that fatal 18-3 spurt, James and Wade each had 8, highlighted by a plethora of killer 3-point shots.

As Miami's offense got dangerously fluid in the endgame, Chicago's attack stalled like a truck with two flat tires. There wasn't much ball movement and the Bulls were not moving much without the ball.

So it was all left in the shoulders of the 22-year old Rose. One-on-many, one difficult shot after another. On this night, though, after so many nights of carrying the Bulls on his back, Rose was anything but an MVP.

With 59 seconds to go in Game 5 and the score tied, Rose turned the ball over, enabling Miami to go-ahead 81-79 following a 21-foot jumper from LeBron James. In the ensuing play, Rose missed 1 of 2 free throws, providing Miami the breathing room it needed to pull the imporbable Houdini.

Rose finished with 25 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. but he missed 20 of 29 shots and sank only 2 of 8 3-pointers. He was also by 4 turnovers.

Rose had no help from 6-foot-9 Carlos Boozer, who was brought to Chicago in the off-season and paid $80 million to be the Super Boy to Rose's Superman. Boozer only had 5 points and 6 rebounds, and he sat the entire fourth quarter, the NBA's highest-paid cheerleader.

THE ONLY meaningful thing that Boozer did was to introduce his malicious forearm to LeBron James' face, a foul so flagrant you wonder if it was fueled by Boozer's frustrations over his inability to guard anyone with two legs and a Heat shirt.

Rose needs help. And he needs it now.

Luol Deng is good, but he doesn't move the wow meter enough to take double teams off Rose. Ditto with Joakim Noah, a hyper rebounder whose offense is painfully wanting. Taj Gibson is great, if only he had a jumpshot.

The good news is that Derrick Rose is young. The bad news is that James, Wade and Bosh are also young, all of whom are under age 30 and signed by the Heat through 2016, which means the East has a potential dynasty in the making.

It would be nice for the Bulls to acquire a legit 2-guard who can score in heaps. And it would be awesome to trade Boozer for a true power forward who can help defend a calamity like Miami's Big Three.

But then again, what crazy team would take Boozer and his overpriced contract? And in the looming lockout with an undetermined salary cap, where will the Bulls get the money to pay both pay Rose and another star?

And so ends the Bulls season. With more questions than answers. (Homer D. Sayson)


Back to Homer D. Sayson's Articles Listing



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