Bulls 142, Nets 134: A moratorium on feeling
(Screw the format; a game like this calls for something a little more shapeless.)
What do you say about a game like that, which lasts over four hours and ends with a dagger putback made by a second string center? I don’t know; I stopped taking notes somewhere around the fourth quarter, ditching any trenchant observations for a steady string of FOIHEUIBJRKVE)FIHUIRBHJV as the game turned from careful execution to the commercial-ready, YOLO-infused back-and-forth defining tense playoff contests, or at least anything where Nate Robinson plays a defining factor.
You just watched this game and are presumably bummed out about it, so I won’t go too much into it. The Nets entered a decisive Game 4 needing a win to reverse the series deficit before heading back to Brooklyn, and they fell just short in what might qualify as the season’s most heart rending loss, because they just couldn’t finish down the stretch despite a double-digit fourth quarter lead nor the continuing absence of Chicago’s more important players. Look, I was there: I saw C.J. Watson miss a breakaway dunk without particularly caring, and I saw Nate Robinson get laid out by a Gerald Wallace screen that I thought was the final and only note regarding whether he’d ever get his revenge. I thought this game was over, as did plenty of Nets fans. When a sassy Hobbit catches fire, what good can an offensive adjustment do?
But isn’t it better to lose like this than in the dreary 79-78 fashion filled with no iso-Joe buzzer beaters and inexplicable Nate Robinson runners to strike clear moments in our collective NBA memory? Yes, the Nets they lost; yes, Monday’s Game 5 becomes even more dramatic; yes, we were on the losing side of The Nate Robinson Game, which is just, ugh. Forgive the quixotic perspective, because I’m a bit of a hippy-dippy when it comes to putting this stuff in the rear view. It just seems unnecessary to mope about what might’ve been when at least it was a moment, you know? A soul-sinking moment, but still a moment. Ask Milwaukee fans what it feels like to go down without swinging.
At least that’s the stance I’m taking now, because I still can’t believe C.J. Watson missed that dunk. Game 5 is on Monday, again, and a loss will begin the postseason.