Celtics/Bulls Game 6 Recap
If I called this a dogfight, would PETA protest?
I don’t know what to say.
My head is spinning. Not literally, of course, although that’s what I was tempted to write. I’m not an owl, or Regan from The Exorcist. But I’m sick (swine flu?), and this Celtic/Bulls series—as you well know—is even sicker.
If I posted straight game notes from either the Word file or my overstuffed Twitter feed, you’d get nothing but an assortment of all-caps exclamations, Joe Friday play-by-play (get play down, don’t miss action), and random assortments of letters and numbers (from when I hit my head on my keyboard). And, of course, the occasional Big Baby fat joke. Example from the third overtime:
“Hinrich MISSES A LAYUP. Celtics time out, 16.7 Rondo hit the backboard? Maybe?”
(He totally did, too. That cheater.)
It’s insane. Each game has been a microcosm of the entire series, each overtime a microcosm of the entire game: Game-tying shots. Game-saving blocks. Some of the worst playcalling of the modern era. Flagrants (Rondoooooooooooo) and vagrants (Brad Miller). Foul outs and bail outs and all kinds of bad craziness that has fans of both sides reaching for bottles, whether it be Advil or something a lot stronger.
Oh yeah, and Ray Allen scored 51 points.
I’m not going to get sucked into the debate whether this has been the best playoff series of all-time. Personally, I think every series should be judged on its own merit. (And if you really push me, Lakers/Kings 2002 and Lakers/Blazers 2000 may have been better.) But for pure moment-by-moment intrigue, this one has been hard to beat. No lead is safe. That 17-0 run the Celtics went on in the fourth quarter wasn’t a surprise, it was damn near pre-ordained. Ray Allen shooting with his toe on the three-point line, which he almost never does? (Something, by the way, that was readily apparent to everyone but Doug Collins even before the 500 slow-motion replays, and called by a ref standing in perfect position not 10 feet away.) Then Eddie House doing the same damn thing? Fate. Some form of it, anyway.
Logic says that the next game—the seventh—will go to the wire again. And that, when all is said and done, the defending champs will be impossible to beat on their home court in a deciding game.
As an unapologetic Bulls fan (eff you, Simmons!), those last two plays last night gave me hope: Joakim Noah, fake-hustling his ass off, stripping Pierce and driving the length of the floor for the dunk, outracing Pierce and fouling him out in the process. And Derrick Rose, in his 60th minute of PT, staying with Rajon Rondo as he turned, blocking the potential game-winner with under 10 seconds remaining.
Other images linger as well: Kirk Hinrich exploding after Rondo after being flung into the scorer’s table; Brad Miller damn near glowing after a huge three, a replay of Game Five’s drive with a happier ending, and a gaggle of clutch free throws; Vinny Del Negro calling what must have been the worst inbounds play in recorded history at the end of the second overtime, and getting a chance to redeem himself. Oh yeah, and Ray Allen scoring 51 f*cking points.
But I’m repeating myself, and it’s late.
I initially picked the Celtics in six, yes. And I’ve never been happier to be wrong in my life. Bring on Game Seven.