It took more than a minute (six games to be exact), but the Bulls finally sent their pesky neighbors from north of the border, the Bucks, on their summer vacation.
And the Bulls dispatched said Bucks in nothing short of record-breaking fashion. Not only did the Bulls lead from tip-off of game 6, they led by UConn women-like figures: 24, 34, 40. Final score: 120 to 66.
I tweeted during the game that Thibs must have flown in the Huskies to spend some time with the previously “hapless” Bulls. A 54-point margin of victory. Well, I didn’t expect that.
It was my hope the Bulls would just win. By two points, or even one. Otherwise, I was going to be dialing 911, and/or spending some quality time in therapy.
The Bucks were the obvious underdogs in this one. It was supposed to be Bulls in 4, or maybe 5. Giving credit where credit is due – they were a good test for the Bulls, who seemed to have taken them for granted.
“If it was up to us, we would have been good with 4-0,” Derrick Rose said. “But the two extra games, you’ve got to learn from it. I think it’s going to help us get in a better groove. We’re playing against great competition.”
Now, the Bulls are on their way to everyone’s favorite spring-into-summer vacation spot: Cleveland. In Thrill-waukee, Bulls and Bulls fans were advised to “Fear the Deer.” Is the Cavs’ motto just “Fear LeBron?”
Tables are turned in this series, with everyone picking the Cavs in 6 or 7. Same story, different year. The Bulls are the underdogs.
But one thing for certain is different. The Bulls are at full strength.
The Cavs: not so much, having become Loveless a few weeks ago courtesy of Kelly Olynyk. And J. R. Smith is suspended for a few games thanks to some of his usual antics. He just took his show from New York a little west to Ohio.
Could this finally be the Bulls’ time? If they played the way they did in games 4 and 5 of the Bucks series, they’ll prove the pundits right. It will be a short series with LeBron and company prevailing.
If they play the way we know they can, the Bulls will find themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals, where I will be joining them at the UC for at least one game (savings account permitting).
Following the Bulls’ rout of the Bucks on Thursday, Jo said: “I never thought I’d say this, but I’m very excited to go to Cleveland.”
Knowing that this could be the Bulls’ final chance to de-throne the hated king, at least with this group of players, and with this coach – makes this series especially significant.
For once, the tables are turned, and everyone is healthy. Last week, when speaking of the Bulls’ injury report, someone tweeted: “You don’t see this too often: ‘The Bulls have no injuries to report.'”
They do have someone in street clothes – their never-really-used rookie, Cameron Bairstow, and that’s because they would have too many active players if he dressed.
“The story line is flipped,” Dunleavy said. “We certainly have empathy because we’ve been in that situation before. They’re a really good team and they lose a great power forward and probably fill in with a guy who is the best power forward in the game when he plays it.”
“However the basketball gods have it, we have to take advantage,” Taj Gibson said. “Every year, we’ve had guys down,” Gibson said. “But we never gave any ifs, ands or buts.”
Let’s hope the UnstoppaBulls show up, and the ImposterBulls stayed back in Milwaukee at the Brat Stop.
Beat the Cavs.