After watching this game Tuesday night, if we can get a Chicago Bulls/Golden State Warriors NBA Finals I’m all in.
No, this January game was not a playoff preview — there was no Jimmy Butler or Mike Dunleavy for Chicago, no Andrew Bogut for Golden State — but this was the rare regular season meetings of conference title contenders that lived up to the hype. It took the Derrick Rose step-back jumper you see above with eight seconds to go to gives the Bulls the 113-111 overtime victory.
This game had everything:
• The aggressive, attacking Derrick Rose we all missed. No, he was not efficient — 30 points on 33 shots, plus he had 11 turnovers to one assist — but Bulls fans should still take this Derrick Rose every time. He was attacking, shooting 6-of-9 at the rim, he looked like his old self. He had a good defensive night harassing Stephen Curry. He was confident. Oh, and he hit the game winning shot on a step-back jumper in overtime (see above).
• A fourth-quarter comeback by the Bulls.
• The Splash Brothers — Stephen Curry and Klay Thomson — started out red hot shooting 6-of-7. As a team the Warriors shot 61 percent in first quarter and hit 6-11 from three. But Golden State was 0-of-14 from three after halftime. That was a fluke, but that and the 6-of-12 shooting on free throws did the Warriors in.
• Joakim Noah put up numbers — 18 points (on 12 shots) plus 15 rebounds — but more than anything he was moving better than he has in a while. His health seemed better.
• Draymond Green was doing it all for Golden State — defending guys at the rim, making overtime tip-ins over 7 footers, stealing inbounds pass in a key moment late.
• A resurgent David Lee, looking more like his old All-Star self. He finished with 24 points on 17 shots, plus had nine boards.
This game had it all. It was up tempo, there were big shots from both sides, it had ad overtime game winner, it was just entertaining. If we can get more of that, we will take it.