The Chicago Bulls are Getting Hot at the Right Time
With their 111-97 victory over the Celtics in Boston on Tuesday night, the Chicago Bulls have become only the second 8 seed in NBA history to take a 2-0 lead over a 1 seed in the NBA playoffs. The other squad to do so was the Los Angles Lakers in 1993, who went up 2-0 over the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix would go on to win that best of five series 3-2 and represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals where they fell to the Chicago Bulls.
Until now, no number 1 seed had been down 0-2 to an 8 seed in the current first round format of best 4 out of 7 games, which changed in 2003. The Bulls have been clicking on all cylinders since making a late season run to acquire the final seed in the Eastern Conference, as they won seven of their final ten games to conclude the regular season. A key factor thus far in this series that has led to the Bulls success is experience.
Dwayne Wade has more post season minutes than the whole combined roster of the Celtics, Rajon Rondo has been playing lights out and brings a plethora of experience against his former team, Jimmy Butler and Robin Lopez have been key contributors thus far as well by scoring 22 and 18 points in game 2. Paul Zipser has also been huge in his role coming off of the bench. This series is far from over though, as Boston certainly has a lot of fire power and can most definitely come back to win, however, if the Bulls continue their relentless play, it could be a quick playoff exit for the Celtics.
If the Bulls can pull off this upset and become only the fifth 8 seed to ever defeat a 1 seed in the NBA playoffs, it will be a tremendous feat for a once proud franchise who struggled to find their rhythm the majority of the season. Let's face it, all that really matters in professional sports is the post season, the regular season is simply just used as a way to get in to the tournament and is something that is rarely remembered by players and fans.
If you don't believe me, just ask the Golden State Warriors about their record setting 73 win regular season last year, only to relinquish a 3-1 lead and lose to Cleveland in the Finals. Truth be told, the Bulls have gotten red hot at the right time, don't be surprised if they beat the Celtics, then go on to defeat the winner of the Wizards-Hawks series, and potentially meet Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is why we love the playoffs, they are unpredictable, full of surprises, thrilling, and at times give the ultimate underdog a chance to show what they are truly made of.