NBA – Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers: Rose.

It is Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi Finals. Chicago Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is the playoffs.

 

My old Bulls jersey, out of mothballs. Needs an iron. (pic: Paul Campbell)

My old Bulls jersey, out of mothballs. Needs an iron. (pic: Paul Campbell)

 

“Finds Rose, Rose trying to get open, fires away… Bang! It’s over, the Bulls win on the buzzer!”

 [Commentary of Derrick Rose’s buzzer beater to win game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi Finals.]

 

It was the final act and single moment affirming sporting life as beautiful. Clutch shot goose bumps kindling the spirit, elevating the soul and the return on your investment for watching so many play-offs.

 

The Madhouse on Maddison had gone completely mad. Derrick Rose, had taken the ball with 3 seconds left, evaded and tried to knock down a shot from a metre beyond 3-point land, so far downtown he was in another postcode, the ball levitated long enough for you to put the kettle on.

 

And then glass and a sweet swish of net … and thought I heard harp strings.

 

In an on-court interview, the hero was gracious, giving credit to the other Bulls, “I thank my teammates, they gave me so much energy, they gave me so much confidence, they gave me the ball… and they live with me, they live with my mistakes, I’m fortunate, I’m very fortunate.”

 

Rose was asked, “What did it mean to you get that shot off and watch it bank in?”

 

“This comes with territory, being a leader, you got to be able to take these shots, I feel very confident in my game and my ability to make shots and tonight it just went in.”

 

Rose finished the game powerfully, 14 of his 30 points came in the 4th quarter, and when asked about his quieter first half;

 

“My shot wasn’t working, my membranes wasn’t going. I’ve got a lot of skill so I just kept driving the ball, (to) see if they was going to foul me, get to the line, get touches, and tonight (in due course) it was going for me.”

 

‘I’ve got a lot of skill’ was not brash or boastful, but was said with quiet confidence. Rose’s reaction to the shot that sent others into delirium was calm, restrained. He did not raise his hands or holler and there was no discernible smile. Lifted in the clutches of a teammate he wore a look of insouciance. He was always going to make that play.

 

Earlier, game 3 began with Bulls and Cavs both playing intense defence and both struggling to shoot, at one point they were a combined 1 from 16 from the field. Cleveland picked up in transition, Lebron had 7 assists and the Bulls were shooting only 27%. Cavs, 24-18 at quarter time.

 

Australian, Matthew Dellavedova came off the bench for the Cavs and scored, making an immediate impact (as in game 2). The Bulls put on 7 points to tie it up before scoring opened up with 3’s (Dunleavy), drives to the rim (Lebron) and Dellavedova with a 3rd assist. Bulls cut it to 2 at half time.

 

Rose made a 3rd successive drive, Lebron got a technical for taunting, Rose drew a foul (and made the 2) before another drive. Dunleavy fired for 3 and the Bulls were up by 1 at end of the 3rd.

 

Rose began his run with a jump shot and followed it up with a better one, his next brilliant drive had the Bulls up by 5 with 5 minutes remaining. The Cavs came again, principally through Lebron, and a 3 pointer from J.R Smith that tied the game in the last 10 seconds. James knocked the ball out and Dunleavy threw it in to Rose, with those 3 precious seconds on the clock.

 

Game 3: Chicago 99 – Cleveland 96, the Bulls take a 2-1 lead into Game 4 (on soon, Monday morning I think).

 

After attending to real life for some hours, I returned to sporting life in the twilight and returned to earth. After strumming a little “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”[1] it struck me that, for some, this too may be a moment of beauty, kindling spirit and so on and so forth. I’m not one of them.

 

GWS deserved the points. 982 km away, had an early premonition of gigantic upset. Our membranes weren’t going. Later, in the den of solitude, felt like time for Hawthorn to change it up a bit. Previously, we chose between Ceglar and McEvoy. 2015’s forgotten man is David Hale, but a compelling case can be made for Tim O’Brien.

 

 

 

 

[1] Song by late 1980’s/early 1990’s big guitar-big hair band, ‘Poison’.

About Paul Campbell

Lawyer, left footer. Loves the Hawks and follows a few U.S sports.

Leave a Comment

*