The prudent thing to say now, if you're the Chicago Bulls, is that the must-see NBA season opener against the champs was just one of 82, not a great crusade, not a statement game, not foreshadowing, not a hint of things to come, not a re-establishing of manhood or anything else grand ... but one measly game in an endless season.
Oh, there's no sugarcoating the result. It was 12 points, the Miami Heat victory, but so much more than that.
The Heat lead reached 25 when the champs -- having gorged themselves on fresh new bling and civic adoration -- essentially stopped paying attention, and the Bulls pulled, meaninglessly, within eight points after most people had left the building or fallen asleep.
The Bulls couldn't buy a shot for three quarters, committed too many turnovers against an aroused Miami defense, committed too many fouls (especially) and never got into the kind of offensive probing and execution they'll need if they're to actually challenge Miami in a playoff series.