Going into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Cavs, expectations for the Bulls were at an all-time high for the post-Jordan era.
After a crucial win against the Pistons Thursday night, the Bulls went into the United Center standing tall and ready to take the No. 2 seed in the East away from the Cavs.
Unfortunately, that plan went horribly awry when Lebron James stepped on the court and put up 39 points for the Cavs in a 112-108 OT win against the Bulls.
In typical fashion, the Bulls surrendered a four-point lead in the final minute of overtime and allowed eight unanswered points, providing a glimpse of the kind of clutch basketball the Bulls intend to play for the remainder of the season.
It was an emotional loss for the Bulls, with Ben Gordon doing his best impression of James with 37 points, and Kirk Hinrich posted a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. But the loss hit Tyrus Thomas the hardest, having his 27-point, eight-rebound dunk-happy performance trumped by James.
“Man, today was supposed to be TyTo’s day,” Thomas said. “But he just had to show me up. Well, that just cost him my highly-coveted decorating tips for that new house he’s building. The King’s going to have to go shopping at Ikea by himself now.”
And if the Bulls thought they could rebound from the devastating loss by beating up on the Atlanta “Spud Webb and Dominique Wilkins used to play here” Hawks on Sunday, they were right. If they thought fans would actually care about the game after the loss to the Cavs, the April Fool’s joke was on them.
Luol Deng led the Bulls to a 105-97 victory in Atlanta with 30 points, while television cameras caught coach Scott Skiles napping during the game. After the game, Skiles defended his game-time siesta, saying the season is effectively over.
“After [Sunday’s loss to the Cavs], I don’t feel like I need to scream at my team anymore since we’re already cooked,” Skiles said. “So what if we’re only a half game away from the Cavs? We’ll still probably draw a team we can’t compete with in the first round. Then it’s ‘goodbye second round, hello Disney Cruise’ for me.”
Number of the weekend: 3
Friends who thought it would be funny to make a certain Heckler writer think he was drinking Miller Lite when he was really drinking O’Douls during the Bulls game on April Fool’s day.