The Chicago Bulls Are Getting Caught Looking Ahead

Tom Thibodeau, Hot Seat, Chicago Bulls

Football fans know there is no greater mistake for a wide receiver than turning his head to look upfield before he’s even secured the pass from the quarterback.  That leads to a drop and a lost opportunity.  Such things can decide games in certain situations.

The same goes for a team who thinks they have a playoff series wrapped up before it’s even over.  It would seem the Chicago Bulls are venturing into that dangerous territory now.

After stampeding their way to a 3-0 lead in the quarterfinals series against the Milwaukee Bucks, poor (or some might say dumb) play has seen the Bulls let a team they’ve owned most of the year give them a longer series than they ever should have.

After allowing a horrific buzzer-beater in Game 4, instead of responding with a big effort at the United Center, Chicago instead shot 34% for the game and saw 11 of their shots blocked.  Their two supposed closers, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler were nonexistent on 10-of-41 shooting.

It’s really hard not to think that this team was affected by outside circumstances.  First was the idea they had the young Bucks on the mat with the series lead and then the added news that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be waiting in the second round without star power forward Kevin Love, who suffered a bad shoulder injury against Boston.

Most experts believe for the first time that the Bulls have a serious shot to finally dethrone LeBron James as master of the Eastern Conference.  What they forgot is that a team must actually advance to the next round before that can happen.

Heading into Game 6 there are no illusions.  All the pressure is on the Chicago Bulls.  Either they win like they’re supposed to or they suffer one of the most epic playoff collapses in NBA history.

It probably doesn’t help knowing their head coach will get fired if and when that happens.


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