Scottie Pippen wrote (supposedly) a long, open letter to the Spare Bulls, telling them they still were the best team in the NBA, even without Derrick Rose. And the Bulls had Rose himself limp out in a full leg brace before the game Tuesday night, Game 2 of the playoffs against Philadelphia. The crowd went nuts.
It was inspirational, motivational, public relational. And then? Well, imagine Knute Rockne giving the win-one-for-the-Gipper speech, and then Notre Dame going out and absolutely getting its butt kicked.
With a city trying to find some hope for its team, the Bulls were crushed 109-92. Reality kept clanging off the front rim. It kept watching Philadelphia speed by for open layup after open dunk.
This was total failure for the Bulls, system failure. They had prided themselves on the play of the other guys all season, winning so often while Rose recovered from various injuries. The truth is, that stuff during the regular season didn't mean much.
The playoffs are differen...