Whether they do or die, be proud of this team

There's no sense harassing those who can't play. Hinrich can barely walk, Deng's in the hospital, and you know Noah's plantar fasciitis is still there even if he says it's better. Maybe Nate Robinson won't be throwing up during timeouts this game, and perhaps the refs will give the Bulls a beneficial whistle after a series that has largely been whistled one way.

Maybe the Bulls will find a way to pull this one out.

Maybe.

It doesn't seem like it's possible. It feels like the momentum is all against them. The home team almost always wins game seven. The home team, in this case, will field a radically better lineup.

The Bulls are fighting an uphill battle against history, against talent, against the officials. They're fighting a battle they absolutely should not win. The Chicago Bulls should lose this game. They shouldn't even compete.

And that's when they're at their most dangerous.

When Miami strolled into the United Center riding a 27 game win streak and Joakim Noah had to sit out the game, Chicago came through. When halted the Knicks win streak without a front court. They've beaten these Nets many times with injuries already.

The Bulls have lost plenty of big games. They could easily lose this one too. However, they've won their fair share of big games even playing with depleted rosters against radically more talented teams. They've found ways to win when they should have lost.

They're a team that can dig deep, a team of toughness, a team worthy of the jersey, and a team you can be proud of.

I can't say any result in game seven would surprise me. I could see Chicago getting blown out or blowing out the Nets. It's one game, anything can happen, but if this is the last time we see the Bulls this year, I salute them.

Keys to the game

The keys don't change much.

The Bulls need to own the glass. They need to get offensive rebounds to counter their worse shooting, and they need to stop giving Brooklyn extra possessions. The Bulls need a game where they put up an extra 10 shots on Brooklyn.

Chicago needs to limit their turnovers, control the ball, and swing the ball from side to side well to create openings in the Brooklyn defense. They need Nate Robinson to have a strong game shooting, but a strong game with decision making as well.

They'll need Carlos Boozer to have a big night. He's the one guy on the team who can press a true advantage against his defender and do some serious damage.

They'll need to stay out of foul trouble. Chicago's been plagued by an unfavorable whistle all series. They've had numerous foul outs, some deserved, some dicey. It's not entirely under their control, but they'll need to hope for a more even distribution of calls this game so that the Nets don't have a parade to the free throw line.

If those things happen, Chicago will have a chance.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • Totally agree. Our players have put their heart and soul into this season. I'm proud of them no matter what.

  • No need to harass the team cause this season was a throw away season anyway. The team that was put on the floor this year was planned after Rose injury and key players were let go for nothing from last years team. Rose has done the right thing by sitting out this year no matter how many idiot fans keep asking for him to come back and play during the playoffs after sitting out the entire season and cant be nowhere near in real game shape. Hope the Bulls can win the game tonight despite all of theif health problems but if they do lose the pleasure of knowing this zeason is finally over will be a very good moment for me personally. This Bulls team imo really don't need more humiliation by playing the Heat with a beat up team anyway.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I see Lu will be out for tonights game 7, he's still in the hospital and i just wanted to say get well soon Lu cause i know what you're going through having recently being admitted in the hospital myself from having a viral infection, it's nothing to playwith in having no strength and can barely get around on your own.

  • Agreed 100%. This season was a throw away dating back to April 28, 2012 when Rose tore his ACL due to playing injured when he should have been rehabbing. Yet somehow, Rose was "medically cleared to play" and suffered a career threatening injury as a result.

    Both fans and media conveniently forget the numerous injuries Rose played through last season, each injury contributing to the next, and the huge price Rose paid for doing so.

    Playing through last season's multiple injuries was foolish. I can forgive a 23-year old kid for making a foolish decision to return to play even though injured. I cannot forgive a GM, President, Owner, Medical Staff who are supposed to be more experienced and know better than to jeopardize the career of an MVP/Superstar they just signed to a $90 million contract and were incredibly lucky (1.8%) to draft in the first place.

    But hey, Thibs won his regular season championship so playing Rose while injured must have been worth it!

    Clearly, the Rose Camp has learned from last season's debacle and refused to repeat it. Rose is to be commended for his wise decision because this spring he would have likely ended up on the scrap heap once again while Thibs played him 46 minutes per night - for the right to get creamed by a Miami team they have no hope of beating in a 7-game playoff series (not a regular season game).

    This off-season, the ball is in management's court to assemble a roster that can compete for a title. I'm waiting....

    Rose will wisely continue his rehab through the summer, and begin playing in preseason games, then early season games, rounding into All-Star/MVP form near the all-star break. The question remains, what kind of roster will management assemble to compete alongside him?

  • Got a feeling this is gonna be a blowout like game one.....I pray that I'm wrong!!! This is crazy everyone is either hurt or Sick. I was just hoping they got to the second round.

    Don't want to be a Debbie downer but this is their last game. I had bulls in 6 and said if they don't win 6 they are not winning game 7 in Brooklyn.

    My heart want to say they will win because they have faced adversity so well this season. But once again this just isn't their year.

    Terribly hoping I'm dead wrong... Sigh

  • Agree with Edward, here, especially about the medical staff. The Bulls front office should do a full-scale investigation into their medical people.

    More, even, than answers to questions about the ridiculous spate of injuries--and the long-term lingering of those injuries--I want to know: Are the players not given flu shots? Were proper precautions taken to prevent this illness from spreading?

    And, most of all: What was the situation with Deng? Did he absolutely need a spinal tap? Who made that decision and why?

    Obviously a player's health has to come first, esp when it comes to something that's potentially life-threatening. But it was clear multiple players were sick. While meningitis is technically contagious, it's not contagious like that. It's also clear that the spinal tap is what took Deng out of Game 6 (predictable) and Game 7 (not predictable--the result of complications). Both chest x-rays and head CT scans can be used to check for meningitis are less invasive ways to check, initially, for the disease.

    I'm not sure that fans "deserve" to know exactly why Deng was give a spinal tap, but management definitely does.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    I agree that is very strange giving Deng a spinal tap.
    One day he's playing in an NBA game and the next day he absolutely needs a spinal tap?!? There were no other treatment/test options available besides an immediate spinal tap? Really? Who made that decision at Rush Hospital? They couldn't wait a day and see if his symptoms improved from less radical treatment like the other Bulls who had the flu?

    Apparently, Deng is missing Game 7 because of complications from the spinal tap, more than the illness.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Deng was tested for meningitis.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I'm pretty sure you get a spinal tap to confirm or deny that you have Meningitis. And I'm also pretty sure Meningitis is nothing to play with, it still kills a number of people in the United States every year. And I'm not talking about homeless people or someone with no health insurance; there are situations where it's missed until a point where nothing can be done.

  • I hate blaming refs after losses, and I've certainly seen series with more lopsided calls, but I can't even recall a time when Lopez has been in foul trouble. Boozer and Gibson have seemed to be in perpetual foul trouble. It hurts to think about the influence refs, with their marching orders from Stern, have over the outcome of the game. If I wanted to watch the WWE for entertaining soap opera, I would. The NBA needs to value the competition of the game it puts on more. A competition which is threatened by lopsided calls. And referees with massive egos who must think they're the real stars of the show. Did Joey Crawford stroll into work last night thinking I'm going to upstage everyone or does it just happen organically with him? Embarrassing.

  • I don't like to sound like a homer by bemoaning the officiating, but I have to agree with you that the bulls have really not gotten a break in this series. Guys like Lopez and Williams play physically and aggressively only the offensive end and they get every little ticky tacky call. The Bulls can't seem to get a call on the other end even when seeming to take a much bigger beating.

    Oh well, thems the breaks.

    By a big game for boozer, I hope you mean something like 30-40 points and 15-20 rebounds not the usual "big game" of 20 & 10 that seems to give half the people on this site and orgasm. As depeleted as we are, a true $75 million dollar go to super star would be putting up those number every game in this series, especially against the likes of Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries. Evans in particular has been physically abusing Bozo to the point where he looks scared of him, but then again he backs away from anyone who is willing to compete physically, typical of all phonies and bullies.

    I could see the Bulls getting absolutely blown out, I could see them winning a heart wrenching nail bitter, there is no way that I see them blowing out the Nets. Somebody besides Bozo the Bamboozler is going to have to win this game for us, whether it is Nate going for 30+, or Noah having a 20, 20 & 10 or maybe Jimmy G Buckets and /or Belli having the game of their lives and scoring 30. It might take two of those things happening.

    As much as I'd like to advance just to have a shot at annoying the heat, the way that this season has gone, I really can't see Karma doing anything but dealing us a final blow tonight.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Oh yea, I almost forgot about Taj, maybe he can give us a game like last season when he was regularly closing games for the BozoHole, or like that one game where he started and almost put up 20 & 20.

  • Well put Doug, when it's all said n done. I'm proud of this team! It just hurts when u take such pride in ur team, and the odds continuously stack up against them. I think this team deserves this win, n I sure hope they get it for all the hard work they've put in this "wash" of a season

  • Did Thibs read this Bulls Confidential blog before the game? Thibs played four bench guys 6 to 9 minutes each in the 1st half - Teague, Cook, Nazr, Gibson. They produced and as a result every starter but Butler is rested having played reasonable minutes.

  • Well, you knew the Bulls would make us sweat, 31 points in the third, Reggie Evans going Dennis Rodman on us and destroying Bozo and Gibson. Didn't Taj used to be a rebounder, he really hasn't been a great one this year and especially in this series. Earlier in the series I thought that it was just Deng losing Gerald Wallace at the 3 point line, but apparently that is our defensive strategy, and he is killing us for it. We might have to make an adjustment on that one.

    Noah looks like himself for the first time in months, will that be enough to survive the fourth quarter.

  • You think that since Bozo is such a giant ass, he might be able to use his ample ass to block out Reggie Evans even once. Thank God for Noah.

  • All i can say is HELL OF A SERIES WIN BULLS...WAY TO GO GET IT...GRIND OUT WIN.

  • I'm going to have to mentally prepare myself, after getting screwed by the refs this entire series, for the calls Miami is sure to get all series. D-Wade and LeBron are going to live at the free throw line. Will Boozer and Gibson play a single game not in foul trouble? Can Gibson play twenty minutes in a game without fouling out? Are the announcers going to spend all game talking about how physical the Bulls played the Heat in the regular season even though that's almost completely a myth?

  • In reply to Hunter:

    It's going to be terrible. Physical play with Miami is anything outside of waving Lebron through for his dunks. Defending is not a basketball play.

  • Never been so happy to be wrong!!!!!!

  • One good thing the Bulls have going for them in the Heat series is there is no pressure. No one is expecting Chicago to win that series and all the pressure is on Miami's shoulders. With that said I still got my fingers crossed for an upset. Lets go Bulls!

  • Before the holy mess that will be this Heat series begins, it's worth recognizing that the Chicago Bulls this season have given us more moments than Brooklyn Nets fans will probably have in the next ten seasons.

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