Didn't think I'd be starting this thread, but the Bulls and Heat have turned into a compelling series over the course of a few days. As of Sunday afternoon, the series is tied at 2 and there's already been a lot of drama.
The biggest story right now is Gary Payton and Dwayne Wade going at it throughout game four. As the Bulls mount a comeback, GP picks NOW to get in Wade's face. The most telling factoid, though, is the fact that as these two got into a shouting match during a 20-second time-out, Pat Riley literally just stood there and let them go at it.
Shaq's been inconsistent. Dominant at home, but horrific-to-mediocre in Chicago, Shaq's age is starting to show just a little bit. Part of that should be credited to the spectacular defense of Tyson Chandler. Speaking of which, Chandler landed HARD on his ankle at the end of game four and Chicago will be lucky if he isn't out for the rest of the playoffs. That's really going to take some wind out of their sails.
And I won't even mention the whole situation with Udonis Haslem's suspension.
In what's been a better series than advertised, who wins this one?
EDIT: This series will, if nothing else, make a star out of Kirk Hinrich. He's been absolute gold for the Bulls, thus far.
The season was basically saved in the 4th quarter for Miami and it wouldn't have happened had Wade not shown a ton of testicular fortitude in coming back off the hip injury. Even if he doesn't play in Game 6, he insured tonight that there'd be a Game 7, which I'm not sure would have happened if Chicago had won tonight.
I have to start my tradition a day early because I'll be on the road tomorrow preparing to run my first marathon. Tomorrow marks the beginning of NCAA basketball and the spectacle of "Midnight" Madness celebrations around the nation.