Thursday, May 16, 2013

Heat - Bulls Game Five: Everyone's Time Is Now

Lack Of Energy Drink
Once again, this isn't going to be very much about the game, because you really don't need to watch the games very hard to know what's going to happen here. Or what needs to be said about it.

When you read the recaps of the end of one of the more inevitable and drama-free second round series -- though I do think they gave the Heat more trouble than the gutless Nets would have -- it's a pretty simple thing. Chicago was too battered, the Heat are too good, it's not their time. But, well, this is all a fallacy, for one critical reason. These is no "their time"; there is simply a time to be seized. Waiting for next year gets you acting as if the future is assured, rather than earned.

There is no future in the NBA; there is only the now, and that now lasts a lot longer than you might think. I mocked Ray Allen on this blog before he came to Boston as being an aging jump shooter who wasn't going to be able to help his new team win meaningful games. He is, of course, still a rotation player now, and continues to be an asset, age be damned. The Warriors excite a lot of people for going as far as they have with as young of a team as they have, but if Stephen Curry's ankles betray him again, or David Lee can't get back following the hip problem, or Andrew Bogut succumbs to the injury bug yet again, they are back in the 35 to 40 win treadmill to nowhere.

So for this Bulls team, this was their year; the year where Nate Robinson ensured that he'll be in the NBA for the next five years, the year where Joakim Noah took his intangibles rep to a new level, the year where Jimmy Butler became an iron man and the clear answer at shooting guard, assuming Tom Thibodeau didn't ruin him for life during this run. It was the year where Carlos Boozer didn't seem like a complete mistake, where Marco Belinelli actually had moments, where Taj Gibson seemed to bring it one more level, and so on, and so on.

None of this matters, of course, in the Fun Stops Now portion of the program, in the face of the best basketball player ever -- and sure, maybe I'm just trying to jinx LeBron James, but considering that he's my pick for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, it doesn't seem that way. But to the Bulls' fans and players, there is only so much consolation to take from a hard-fought and honorable defeat.

It is, in the end, just a defeat.

Against an opponent that seems to be getting better every year, and not acting as if their time will ever end.

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