Game 6: Bulls-Celtics Tonight is Game 6 of the (2) Celtics vs. (7) Bulls Eastern Conference Playoff 1st round series, possibly the best non-Conference Final/NBA Final playoff series ever. Why? Digest these stats. Through five games, there have been: 85 lead changes, 48 ties, 4 games decided by 3 points or less, and it’s the first playoff series ever with three overtime games (thanks to TNT and DVR for those stats). So, I will be providing a running diary for tonight’s festivities. Rose! Rondo! Pierce! Gordon! NBA on TNT!
Pregame: I’m one of those people that’s in the ‘Charles Barkley is a tad overrated as a studio ‘analyst’’ camp. Barkley on Derrick Rose: “He’s competitive and he knows how to compete.” Thanks, Chuck.
6:08: Ray Allen hits an open jumper for the first 2 points. Let’s hope he doesn’t get hot tonight and instead has one of those sitting-in-the-corner-with-10-point games. I’d like to take the time to let you know that for the rest of this diary, Ray Allen will be known as Jesus Shuttlesworth.
6:11: Gordon with a great pass to Noah, who (of course) misses the 2 footer, then fouls Kendrick Perkins. Come on, Noah! That would have been half of Gordon’s assists for the night! Geez! (Coming in to tonight, Gordon’s playoff stats even out to pretty close to his typical game: 25 points per game, 3 rebounds, 2 assists.)
6:12: The refs are calling everything that could be considered to be a foul to avoid last game’s debauchery. Well, everything except a foul on the Celtics’ Kendrick Perkins. TNT puts up a graphic showing that the only centers in NBA Playoff history not to get called for a foul for an entire game: Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and… Kendrick Perkins. I think I just threw up a little.
6:15: Jesus Shuttlesworth hits a wide open three pointer. Um, hey Bulls… HE HAS ALL SEVEN OF THEIR POINTS, PLEASE GUARD HIM
6:17: Perkins finally gets a foul called on him. Did hell freeze over? Did I just see a pig fly past my window? Should I buy a lottery ticket? Is lightning able to strike the same place twice now?
6:20: Rose gets the rebound, outruns everyone, draws in Perkins and kicks it out to Salmons for the wide-open three. Boston turns the ball over, so naturally, Vinny del Negro calls a timeout. Hey Vinny, when you have the momentum, you keep the momentum, you don’t kill the momentum with a timeout. Also, I feel like this is a perfect time to announce to the world my man crush on Derrick Rose. I am not ashamed.
6:23: When Brian Scalabrine comes in with 5:30 left in the first quarter out of necessity, you aren’t looking at a good game.
6:30: John Salmons is 4-4 with 11 points, with two of the luckiest shots I’ve ever seen. Paul Pierce answers with his 23,412,321st consecutive step-back-fall-away jumper. 23-15 Bulls lead.
6:36: Pierce is at the line, and for some reason the Bulls fans are chanting “OH-VER-RAY-TED”. Really? Pierce? Overrated? This guy who destroyed the Bulls in the 4th quarter and overtime in Game 5.
6:39: FIGHT! FIGHT! YOU DON’T MESS WITH CAPITAIN KIRK! I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!! MY CAPS LOCK BUTTON IS STUCK!
6:43: After watching three minutes of replays Kirk Hinrich was backing up Rajon Rondo with a box out, Rondo literally whips Hinrich in to the scorers table. After all that, they gave Rondo a flagrant 1! A flagrant 1? Really? That’s it? That guy is such a dirty player,
End of first quarter 37-26
6:53: Ten minutes later, I’m still angry they called only a flagrant 1 on Rondo. If the league doesn’t suspend him for that, then I don’t know what the point of classifying flagrant fouls is.
7:05: Shuttlesworth now has 19 points in 19 minutes. Can we take Gordon off him and get a real defender to guard Jesus? The guy is dangerously on fire… do something about it!
7:15: Derrick Rose hits a jumper, puts the Bulls up two. I’m surprised how he is shooting (and nailing) jump shots tonight. He is usually a drive and dish player (see: 6:20)
7:17: Jesus Shuttlesworth nailed another three. I just smacked my own forehead. 29 points! GUARD HIM!
1st Half: 59-57 Bulls
7:43: 2nd half begins with a Gordon 3 pointer. Let’s hope he catches fire like Jesus did.
7:46: Paul Pierce gets a slap to the face on a loose ball and reacts like someone who got hit by Mike Tyson. Pierce goes to the training room for stitches, making him the third player in the past two games to need stitches.
7:54: Finally, the Bulls put Hinrich (a superb defender) on Allen. Noah gets his 3rd straight bucket… 72-71 Bulls. The intensity of the crowd and the players are making this game really fun to watch.
8:05: Miller nails a corner 3 and proceeds to sneer and flash one of those “three point” hand gestures that looks like a gang sign. He’s the last person who should be flashing gang signs.
End 3rd quarter: 83-76: Just so you know, Rondo’s line so far through three quarters: 6 pts, 4 fouls, 1 person who will never be able to root for him again (Me).
8:14: Marv Albert just called Ty Thomas “angular”. That’s new.
8:16: Big 3 point play from Miller, who may be the worst celebrator in the history of the NBA. On second thought…
8:18: Ty Thomas dunk is called off, but on the next play he DUNKS it. If I could create little animated explosions off that “DUNKS”, I would.
8:25: A 10-3 Boston run makes it 86-91 with 7:53 left in the game. If this thing goes in to another overtime, I may A) Develop Carpel Tunnel and B) Fill up the internet
8:34: Ben Gordon gets a shady personal foul, then kicks the water cooler right in front of the ref, and gets a technical foul. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?!?!?!
8:36: Pierce gets 5 straight points… Technically, they are called daggers. That was the definition of a dagger. 99-91 Boston with 3:35 left… The air got completely sucked out of the building.
8:40: Rose is the only one on the court right now in the whole stadium that looks like he really believes the Bulls can win. After Salmons passes up a shot (which never happens), Rose takes the initiative to drive the lane and scores. 99-93 Celtics.
8:45: BRAD MILLER FOR THREE!!!!!! 101-99! Jesus Suttlesworth misses! BRAD MILLER DRIVES TO THE BASKET! DEAR LORD HE IS SO SLOW! HE MAKES IT! (GO PURDUE!) 101-101! Honestly, I don’t know whether I’m more surprised that Brad Miller just drove it in for a three point play or that Vinny del Negro saved two timeouts for the last 30 seconds.
8:52: Gordon takes a horrible shot at the buzzer to force overtime. Why do you give the ball for the final shot to someone who has been sitting on the bench for the last 18 minutes?
9:00: As we enter hour #3 of this running diary, Pierce does one of those pump-fake-to-get-the-opponent-in-the-air-so-you-can-cause-them-to-foul moves on Gordon. We need a shorter name for one of those plays. I say an “Eye” because Allen Iverson (“A.I”) really patented that move in the 90s. Gordon fouls out.
9:09: After using 2 timeouts to get the ball in-bounds with 3 seconds on the shot clock, Big Baby nails a jumper over Captain Kirk. Salmons responds with a highly contested layup to bring it to double overtime.
9:16: Big Baby hits ANOTHER jump shot that rolls around the rim. This guy is going to sign somewhere next year for a lot of money.
9:20: On a Paul Pierce miss, Brad Miller is able to force Perkins to commit an Over-the-back foul, which makes six…he’s out of the game! Salmons makes a huge drive, 116-113 Bulls.
9:24: Anytime Brian Scalabrine is shooting a three pointer for you in overtime, you aren’t doing well.
9:30: Shuttlesworth just hit what we call a ‘chucker’ over the much-taller Noah (again). Luckily, though, for only two points. This guy is killing the Bulls. 116-115 Bulls.
9:35: Miller hits two CLUTCH free throws… 118-115 Bulls lead. If they hang on (and I do say if), this will be known as The Brad Miller Game.
9:38: Noooooo….. Jesus nails ANOTHER 3 to give him 49 points. My heart just sank. 118-118. 7.6 seconds left. The Bulls take the ball at half court and have what can only be described as the worst seven second stretch imaginable. Ugh. Triple overtime.
9:43: Any time you can get Derrick Rose 1 on 1 with Brian Scalabrine, you have to like your chances. 120-118.
9:47: For the record, the game that was supposed to be televised after this one, is now at halftime (Portland 37, Houston 52).
9:57: Big Baby fouls out. Boston is really low on bodies right now. I hope he cries.
9:58: He’s crying! Ha!
10:01: Captain Kirk misses the wide-open, game-sealing layup. Nooo! You break my heart! Reverse layup, Kirk! Reverse! It remains unclear if anyone wants to win this game.
10:03: Derrick Rose cleanly blocks Rondo, he picks up the loose ball and gets fouled! He misses both free throws! Rondo tries the half courter…misses! Bulls win 128-127.
That was a heck of a game. Wow. There really aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to describe how good this series has been (except for Game 3, which never happened). On to Boston on Saturday for Game 7.
Brett Fuller is the Managing Editor and Operations Manager for the LIFE network and specializes in social media engagement and content development. Visit Brett on Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.