Bulls: Time to Put Up or Shut Up
Bulls vs. 76ers. No brainer right? Philly has been a downward slide for most of the second half of the season. With D Rose down for the count, this still should not even be a real matchup. No cause for concern at all. Except I am nervous. Real nervous. This Bulls team that "showed" up for Game 2 of the series was never really there.
They looked lifeless, beaten, defeated. The Bulls have nothing without fight. And it looked like they lost their fight. We have seen this in stretches before during the season. Individual games where they have just not shown up. I think that happens to all NBA teams, especially during this lockout shortened season. But this game looked different to me. This game they looked lost.
Now, I get that once you get something in your head, it is hard to let it go. And I think in their heads all season long, these Bulls players truly believed if they got through the season, D Rose would be back to take them to the promised land, the NBA Championship.
They are still grieving. Grieving for their loss of D Rose. They need to accept what has happened and move on. Didn't happen in Game 2. Better happen in Game 3. Pippen wrote a motivational letter, Korver is tweeting inspirational words to the team, but if these guys don't buy in to the belief that they can win without D Rose, it's over. Probably sooner than later. The way Philly played Game 2, who knows, they could pull off a huge Round 1 upset.
But the reality is, the Bulls are typically a significantly better team. They work harder, fight harder, and somehow end up with the W most nights this season. Not always with great shooting, but great defense, great energy and huge heart. If Chicago doesn't stop grieving and "motivating" each other this thing is over.
So, here is my advice to Luol, Kyle, Joakim, Jimmy, Ronnie, Rip, Carlos, JL III, Taj, Mike, CJ, and Omer-actions speak louder than words. Put up or shut up. Time to look like the NBA's best season record. Time to stop talking, stop grieving, stop thinking and do what you do best. Play some great basketball. Show us what you are made of.
I'm not ready for the season to end like this. You all have worked too hard to watch it get flushed down the Philly toilet. Don't do it to make D Rose proud. Don't do it to prove everyone wrong. Do it because you are the best team in the NBA-you just need to show up and show us. I still believe.