Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Amazins'



One thing was certain after the Bulls' 92-91 win over the Knicks on Tuesday night - home-court advantage will be theirs in the first round of the playoffs against the Wizards. The United Center will be rockin'.

Something else wasn't necessarily certain, though it should be - Ben Gordon has earned the right to be named Rookie of the Year.

It was Gordon's 17-footer with 5.8 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner, just the latest in a season-long series of late-game heroics for Gordon, and the second time he killed his hometown Knicks with late-game daggers.

Of course, the rookie award might not mean much more than a trophy on a mantle, especially as the Bulls prepare for their first playoff appearance since 1998. But I'd like to see the kid get his props. Emeka Okafor has been outstanding, and looks like perennial All-Star material, but he's produced solid numbers on a horrible Bobcats team. Okafor was thrown into the Charlotte mix as a starter, and given big time minutes. It was only natural that his impressive collection of double-doubles - and it is impressive - came about.

Gordon, meanwhile, has played the role of hero on a team that has defied the odds and shocked the NBA. He's hit an assortment of clutch shots in pressure situations in games that truly matter.

Gordon has also been all class even as Scott Skiles has refused to start him no matter how many MJ-esque fourth quarters Gordon has produced.

Okafor has been impressive.

Gordon has been amazing.

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Be honest. Watching Jamal Crawford miss a pair of free throws with 11.6 seconds left, and allowing Gordon's heroics, was a lot of fun. His missed jumper at the buzzer was even better.

Talk about schedenfreude. (OK, I'm petty)

Watching Gordon handle his off-the-bench role with the Bulls with class has been even more gratifying after years of hearing Crawford complain about minutes, backcourt partners, and shot selections.

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How amazing is it that the Bulls have endured the season-ending wrist injury of Luol Deng and the scary saga of Eddy Curry's monitored heart and have still won 15 of 18 games?

Very.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jackie Chiles said...

What's the deal with Chandler? Anything serious? Still taking Devin Harris over Gordon? Congrats man, pulls are the team I'm pulling for (if certain people don't make it too annoying to do so.)

9:40 PM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

Certain people?

I think I know who you're talking about.

3:57 PM  

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