Colleague Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News said this to me today:
"Today is the biggest game for the Bulls since Game 6 of the 1998 Finals."
Perhaps, although the pivotal Game 5 of their series with the Heat last season was pretty large as well. Nonetheless, as I prepare to leave for tonight's game against the Bucks at the Q, I have a feeling it could be one of the weirdest nights in recent team history. All expect the Cavs to smash the seriously depleted Bucks (and if they don't, wow, is there going to be a nasty blog entry) and then may have to wait 30-45 minutes to see if it will be Miami, Washington or the Orlando Magic coming this weekend.
If it is a close game in Jersey with the Bulls and Nets, which I think it will be, I can only imagine the sights and sounds coming within the arena and the locker room as all twist and turn with destiny out of hands. Ohhhh, could be wicked good fun to watch...and relate to you, of course.
It's the difference between being matched with the Wizards or Magic and then potentially the Toronto Raptors in the second round with homecourt advantage vs. being on the same side of the bracket as the Heat and Pistons. Not to overstate things, but whether this season is a success or failure very well could be determined tonight and everybody knows it.
My predition: I decided last Friday when I saw Ben Wallace hit an off-balance 18-foot jumper that this is the Bulls year. Everything has been going their way.
Meanwhile, Bill Simmons votes Larry Hughes the 297th best player in the NBA and instructs me to start on a book. Between you and me, blog readers, there may indeed be a LeBron/Cavs book coming and well before 2010. Around about late 2007? We'll see, I'll have to check with Terry Pluto, who was kind enough to go back to his roots and cover the Cavs game in Philly for me last night.