CHICAGO — 2-0 lead, gone. Playoff hopes, gone. Gar Forman, John Paxson, and Fred Hoiberg? Well, they aren’t gone. This performance might change that, though, as the Bulls were manhandled by the Boston Celtics in Game 6, 105-83.
With the backs against the wall, the Bulls decided to crumple over and surrender instead of fight. After facing a double-digit deficit in the second quarter, you could see in the efforts and the results of the players that they had lost hope. But can you blame them? The Celtics had won three games in a row and were just now starting to heat up from behind the three-point line. Rajon Rondo was not playing, and Jimmy Butler wasn’t getting the same superstar results he posted in the regular season.
The game started out innocently enough, as the Celtics managed a quick 7-point margin but the Bulls hung around, as the quarter ended with a score of 30-23. However, the Celtics boosted the lead to 15 points with a 12-0 run in the early second quarter.
The Bulls knocked down some shots to keep them within fighting distance, but they were still trailing by 12 entering halftime. The third quarter kicked off with a kick – from the Celtics, to the Bulls face. With poor defense on seemingly every play, the Bulls opened up easy opportunities for the Celtics, and Boston made them pay. A barrage of three-pointers, some missed shots by the Bulls, and soon enough the score was 69-47 Boston.
At this point, the Bulls were even more hopeless than they appeared in the first half. I could go into detail on the rest of the game, but it would be meaningless. Lacking any energy, the Bulls never once threatened to bring the game back within range. Midway through the fourth quarter, Hoiberg had thrown in the towel, as he played the backups.
Although it wasn’t his best series, Jimmy Butler fought hard tonight as he scored 23 points in 31 minutes. Unfortunately, his partner in crime (and frustration), Dwyane Wade, mustered only two points (2!) in 19 minutes on the court. Given the Bulls situation, with little hope for the future and minimal chances at signing a premier free agent, this could have been Butler’s last game in a Bulls uniform.
With the season over, there’s a multitude of ways the offseason could play out. But one thing is clear: This team was a failure, just like the past several teams before it. To put an end to the frustration, it has to start with the sources: Jerry Reinsdorf, Gar Forman, and John Paxson.