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Nazr Mohammed Ejected as Bulls’ Will Falls To Heats’ Skill in Game 3
The Chicago Bulls fell to the Miami Heat 104-94 on Friday night, enabling the Heat to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Despite the best efforts from a depleted team, the Bulls couldn’t stop a late Miami run that saw the close game open up wide in the Heat’s favor.
The Bulls carried over there emotionally combative play from Game 2 in the first quarter of the contest. After Chris Anderson landed on top of Nate Robinson, Joakim Noah swooped down on the Birdman, unnecessarily throwing him off Nate Robinson causing the first skirmish of the game.
Later in the second quarter, LeBron James took down Nazr Mohammed. Referee Joey Crawford immediately called James for a technical foul. Before the United Center crowd could take in the good fortune of James getting a T, Nasty Nazr marched towards James like a possessed junkyard Frankenstein, throwing the MVP to the floor.
Mohammed did not agree with the ejection according to CSNChicago.com:
“I don’t think it warranted an ejection. I do believe it warranted a tech. I mean, just give a foul so a guy doesn’t start a break. He pushes you, throws you down, sometimes instincts take over. But that definitely doesn’t warrant an ejection,” Mohammed explained. “Guy’s going on a steal on the break. You want to stop the break. I tried to stop the break, got tossed to the ground, got up, instinctively. I’m just so happy I didn’t do anything else. I just pushed. Because I can’t even recall — I had to come back in the locker room and watch it — because I couldn’t even recall what happened. Because I was kind of pissed that he pushed me to the ground. It was a soft foul. It wasn’t like I fouled him hard. You expect that when you foul a guy hard. You expect him to give you a little extra, but not on a soft, stop-the-break type foul.
While James getting thrown to the ground gave hordes of NBA fans reason to cheer, the act left the Bulls even more empty handed with the big body and experience of Mohammed heading towards the locker room.
It’s easy to root for Mohammed pushing down James. It activates something in our primordial being that loves to see vengeance handed out. The inner caveman in Chicago Bulls fans and LeBron haters worldwide erupted in vindictive glee.
Yet LeBron has displayed his professionalism by not retaliating. Is it because he’s soft? Of course not!. The greatest basketplayer in the world right now sees the end game. He won’t let a broken team get the best of him.
LeBron has been on the losing end of season after season where a ring continued to elude him. After last year’s championship, there isn’t any force of nature that can stop the MVP from his goal. Love him or hate him, there is no doubt that James is not only the best in the game, but the most professional as well. He sees the big picture past this Chicago Bulls series. Unfortunately, yet realistically, the Bulls do not.
The now infamous Mohammed push was the stupidest thing the Bulls could have done. It’s getting to the point where Tom Thibodeau will have to ask if anyone in the front row at the United Center can suit and play since the team is so short handed. There simply was no room for non-basketball plays to take place or emotion to overpower execution.
In Game 1,the Bulls executed exactly the way they should to give the Heat’s confidence an ice bath. Yet Game 2 and Game 3 showed what happens when you let emotions get the best of you. Chicago got hit with six technical fouls in Game 2 leading to the biggest playoff blowout in Bulls history.
In the end, the Heat’s firepower in Game 3 proved too powerful for a Bulls lineup constantly hoping five bodies are healthy enough to play at any given moment. This battle between will and talent is more than just a tight playoff series between two teams who have a major distaste for one another.
This Bulls-Heat series is the supreme showdown between old school and new school. The faceless underdogs of the Bulls versus the star studded lineup of the Heat illustrates the dichotomy of the NBA.
With so many believing that it takes at least two and a half All-Stars on a team to be a title contender in today’s NBA, squads like the Bulls and the Memphis Grizzlies are still showing that even without marquee names, the not so ready for primetime teams can still survive in a league that wants the Finals to feature the franchises with the most sponsors.
But the days of NBA nomads bonding together to make a title run that gets Hollywood producers and Walmart moms giddy is disappearing. With the league more focused on point guard-centered uptempo games, big men with their backs to the rim and smash mouth defense is slowly fading away like Jordan releasing a shot from the elbow.
The Heat will most likely win the series while the Bulls’ reputation as the hardest working and successful, yet unlucky, team in the NBA and the WWE further cemented.
Without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng to offer scoring power, expect Chicago to put someone on the Heat in the hospital before this series is over. Right or wrong, when it comes to the Chicago Bulls, they don’t go down without a fight. It’s just the Chicago way.
Don’t be surprised to see something like this go down before this series is over:
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