Friday, May 01, 2009


Not a hockey game, unfortunately.

Even 24 hours after its start, the Bulls-Celtics game still reverberates. The triple-overtime thriller will be long remembered as one of the best NBA playoff games in eons.

The obvious issues with the NBA, including the assinine number of timeouts that are taken late in games and then in overtime. Officiating is inconsistent to the point that it makes the NHL look consistent.

None of that mattered on Thursday. The crowd in Chicago was as much a part of it as the players were, at least for this observer. Every great game needs a great crowd, and the 22,000 or whatever at the United Center did more than their share of the work.

Via TrueHoop, here's Rick Telander's awesome take on the game.
If the NBA could produce more drama on a wooden floor, it would have to use gasoline and gunpowder.

''Whatever overtime it was,'' Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said afterward. He was trying to describe some key play, some key shot, but it was all a blur.

There was constant seesaw basketball, yes. But there was also the adrenaline-pumping mayhem of a near-brawl, with tempers flaring so badly at the start, it seemed poor little Celtics guard Rajon Rondo might have to be escorted from the building with full Blackwater security.

Rondo is without question the most despised small man in Chicago since, hmm, Eddie Gaedel's evil twin?

The raucous chant from the fiery crowd, ''Rondo sucks!'' pretty much never stopped. Indeed, the noise was such each time the 6-1, 171-pound playmaker touched the ball that one was moved to notice a moderately clever sign in the mezzanine: ''RONDO SUCKSO.''
Game Seven is Saturday night in Boston. You'd be an idiot not to watch, even if you don't like the NBA.

Sometimes, teams meet that are just a perfect match for one another. This is one of those cases. This is awesome theater, and will probably not be repeated at any point in the playoffs.

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