It was not until the buzzer sounded on the Bulls’ 94-91 loss to the Miami Heat in the decisive game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals of the NBA Playoffs that the realization came to fruition that the Bulls’ season was exactly what we thought it would be before it ever began.
Think back to the days leading up to the regular season. The focus was on Derrick Rose. Even though we did not admit it, we all had the sneaking suspicion that Rose was not going to play for the Bulls during the 2012-2013 season. With that suspicion in mind, we knew this Bulls team was limited in what it was going to do.
There were times this season when the Bulls’ limitation appeared to be tested. Times when we let the thought creep into our heads that maybe just maybe this is a team that is built to win without a superstar. But as the season dragged on and Rose remained on the sideline, our limitations on what the Bulls would be able to do this season became more accurate.
Towards the end of the season, it was the Bulls’ will that impressed many. It was that will that led the Bulls to leapfrogging the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and securing a first round series against the Brooklyn Nets. A Nets’ team that was far more ideal for the Bulls than the Indiana Pacers.
The first round series against the Nets once again tested the limitations that Bulls fans had for the team. On paper, the Bulls had no business beating the Nets in 4 out of 7 games. But that is what the Bulls did. Not because of talent, but because of effort were the Bulls moving on to the second round to play the Miami Heat.
That is where the Bulls’ tested their limitations with one final push. The final push that saw the Bulls’ defeat the Heat in the first game of the second round series. However, that is also when reality finally caught up with the Bulls. The clock struck midnight for the NBA’s Cinderella team. The culmination of the injuries and lack of talent finally caught up with the Bulls as they were eliminated by the Heat in five games.
But there is nothing to be disappointed about. The Chicago Bulls did not sell their fans short. Despite all the injuries the Bulls dealt with and the questionable talent, the Bulls managed one hell of a ride during the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. That is something to be proud of.
Thank you. Thank you to the Chicago Bulls for providing a season that will not go forgotten for both on the court and off the court reasons.