While we're running out of superlatives for the way we feel while watching the Bulls and Celtics play what seems to be a never-ending game on one-ups-manship, there is a underlying factor that this series has created. And it's a variable that David Stern is very thankful for. More after the random picture...
I would like for you to drift back into the Basketball mental state that you were in before the postseason started. You may have been wondering if the Rockets were really better without McGrady; whether Chauncey would bring some stability to the unfocused Nuggets; whether it was really over for Detroit, Dallas, and San Antonio. But really, in your hoops heart of hearts, you were just praying that there was a way to skip to the NBA Finals--to the matchup of the Superhuman versus the Supernatural. You wished that there were no injuries, while hoping the elites in the playoffs would give you something to talk about around the water cooler.
Well, that did happen to an extent. Billups showed that he still deserves to be placed among elite floor generals. Miami and Atlanta are in the most boring 7-game series in history. Portland and Philly (and Orlando, to some degree) showed that they're still one year and one piece away from being thoroughly respected. Dwyane Wade is still a superhero. But even with all that, this first round would be nothing without Bulls/Celts. This is the diversion Big Commish was looking for--somthing to grab ahold of the people and bring more eyes to the TV screen.
Because of the glaring flaws of each team, the series was allowed to be more than just The Champs vs. The Baby Bulls. Throw in the unpredictability of the plays--and Chicago's inability to get the memo about Ray Allen and screens in crunch time--and you have speechless Basketball fans after six games anxiously waiting what the seventh will unfold. Instead of sitting with our heads in our hands waiting for the Kobe/Lebron promo, we're awaiting what tricks Rondo will have up his sleeve. We're wondering if Rose/Rondo is the CP3/D-Will of the East, at least until Devin Harris gets into the posteason, and that D-Rose's block was the drawing of first blood. We look forward to the possibility of Ray playing like Jesus, whether or not his last name is Shuttlesworth; and if Paul Pierce can bring the Truth to John Salmons to create some space at the free throw line. We're pulled in like a new audience in front of an experienced magician that hasn't seen his close-up illusions before.
Shot after shot, defensive stop after defensive stop, and whatever possessed Joakim Noah in the third overtime, the Bulls and the Celtics have temporarily provided misdirection; averting our eyes from June and into the first round. And David Stern is all smiles for it.