Fan Cam: Bulls-Nets Game 5, Chris Clay

Fan Cam: Bulls-Nets Game 5, Chris Clay

BULLS FAN CAM, Game 5: Bulls 91 @ Nets 110
Chris Clay, 25, Bolingbrook

Chosen by Joscar Demby

25-year-old Chris Clay is a die-hard Bulls fan and a lover of basketball. He played four years at Romeoville High School, and still plays the game regularly. In fact, it is his playing experience that informs his opinion of the whole "should he return or shouldn't he" debate over Derrick Rose.

“I’m one of the few people who thinks that Derrick Rose should probably sit this one out. I know he’s probably physically ready to go, but the mental part of the game isn’t there. I had the same injury last April. I play basketball, and I partially tore my Achilles. The hardest part wasn’t getting stronger. The hardest part was the mental part of thinking you’re the same as you were before. You try to do the things, and you’re just a step slower. That makes you not want to play or even get out there because you don’t want to embarrass yourself. Trying to get over the mental part is the toughest part for most people.”

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I was at the house with the family getting ready for Game 5, and we were still on the emotional high of Game 4, and how Nate Robinson pulled that off. But after a big game like that, the next game is always pretty tough. And then to find out that Kirk Hinrich wasn’t going to be with us, that was a big, big blow. Even with Nate doing what he did last time, you had Kirk guarding Deron Williams. I don’t think Nate can guard Deron Williams too well.

As the game started, I was hoping for some good stuff for the Bulls, to try to continue that momentum (laughs) but that was wishful thinking. I definitely thought they could win. They had a good chance. But the Nets’ intensity was at a whole ‘nother level. The Bulls were playing to win, but they were not matching the Nets, especially in the paint. When Brook Lopez got going, that was a little bit of a concern.

But in the first half, they still played them tough. First quarter, they were only down by five, which was re-assuring. That’s one thing I know about the Bulls: with good defense, you’re always in the game. As long as they kept it close, I figured it was still in reach, even with Brook Lopez playing well and Deron Williams being extra aggressive.

I just feel like the Bulls got tired, and without Kirk Hinrich, it was over. People just had to step up some more. As far as Nate shouldering the load of the scoring, the rest of the team needed to step up and take care of business. This is more of a must-win for us, Game 6. I don’t want to go back to Game 7. I think this is a game we need to have. I’d rather it not go to seven games and have it all on one day without D. Rose.

But of course, if you don’t want to face a do-or-die Game 7, then Game 6 becomes a do-or-die game.

Yep, and I think the Bulls need to go in there with that kind of mentality. I really do. Hopefully they come out with more energy and more intensity, and the Nets will have a little jet lag from putting all their energy in Game 5. We should definitely try to capitalize and just make it a Game 7 for us right now. Because I think we are better than the Nets. Even when our offense is sporadic, our defense will keep us in there for a gritty, grind out game. I don’t think the Nets can win those type of games. I think we’re the better team, and if we all do what we’re supposed to do as far as rebounding and everyone helping on the scoring end, I think we can take Game 6 and look for the Heat in the next round.

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Jack M Silverstein is a sportswriter for RedEye. His work has also appeared in Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Say hey @readjack.

Stay tuned for the next Bulls Fan Cam before Game 7 or Game 1 of the second round series against the Heat, with a Bulls fan selected by Chris Clay.

PHOTO CREDIT.

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