You’re In The Playoffs Now: The Perils of Game One Optimism

May 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (far left) greets teammate center Joakim Noah (center) as power forward Taj Gibson (far right) after defeating the Miami Heat in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Bulls won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls 1, Miami Heat 0.

It’s an impressive-looking thing, isn’t it? The Bulls, sans two of their three best players and Kirk Hinrich, took their talents to South Beach and punched the defending-champion Heat in the mouth. They deserve all the credit in the world for that. Jimmy Butler was incredible. Nate Robinson did Nate Robinson things. Marco Belinelli was clutch.

But — and here comes the wet blanket — it’s one game. There are going to be at least three more such games played.

It was just two years ago that the Bulls — complete with the original Bench Mob and MVP Derrick Rose — opened up the Eastern Conference Finals with a 20-point shellacking of the Heat. Taj Gibson was dunking everywhere, things were great, and everyone figured the Bulls were on their way to their first NBA Finals since Michael Jordan was in town.

Yeah, not so much.

Hell, we just saw this two weeks ago! The Bulls were on the receiving end of a beatdown from the Brooklyn Nets in game one of that series, only to come back and win the series anyway. The Heat are immensely talented, and it’s hard to believe they’ll miss as many open looks as they had in game one. That doesn’t mean Chicago can’t win a few more games or even the series — I fully expect them to win game three at home on Friday — just that nothing’s been remotely decided yet.

Now, if they win game two tomorrow night, well…that’s something else entirely.

Topics: Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs

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