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Bulls Sun Apr 25 2010
There are many ways to explain Chicago's loss to Cleveland on Sunday afternoon: Kirk Hinrich (after a stellar game three on Thursday) fell back into his atrocious slump; Luol Deng went back to being awful; collectively, the Bulls shot terribly (37.4%) from the field; it goes on. But simply put, there was no answer for LeBron James.
LeBron had one of the best playoff games in his career. A series-defining, cliche-inducing, game of pure, hardwood brilliance. 37 points, 11 dimes, 12 rebounds, two steals, one block and only two turnovers in 36 minutes of action. He made mistakes (he must've, right?) but his game was too dominant. Chess amongst checkers; man amongst boys; wolf amongst sheep, et cetera.
Offensively, the rest of the Cavs were fairly uneven. Shaq has been sputtering since his nice game one effort; Anderson Varejao (along with O'Neal, and JJ Hickson) has been thoroughly outmatched by Joakim Noah, who had another MONSTER game with 21 points and 20 board. Fairly poor rebounding effort for the Cavaliers, but great shooting from Antawn Jamison and a quietly efficient day at the office for Mo Williams. Something else (aside from LBJ) that helped the Cavs? Cleveland's handcuffing defense in the second half of the game. Chicago was fighting through invisible barb wire every single time they tried to enter the lane. Short of buckets of confetti and tied shoelaces, this game, in the second half, became more reminiscent of the Harlem Globetrotters vs the Washington Generals than an NBA playoff game. Cleveland (as everyone has mentioned) is very, very, very good and this is what can happen when a very average Bulls team collides with a very good Cavaliers squad.
This was probably the last home game for the Bulls this season and it's a shame Chicago couldn't have put on a better show; but the fans did get to see a bright star, unfortunately, this 23 was wearing the "Cleveland" jersey.