Let’s be perfectly frank here, no one was expecting this first round series between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls to be this damn close, nor were they expecting it to be this damn entertaining. I don’t recall the last time a series has been so close, so emotional, or so filled with drama. It’s overtime after overtime, buzzer beater after buzzer beater, and dagger after dagger.
Last night with the series tied 2-2, Game 5 of the series was no exception. Up until this point the late game heroics for both teams have been reserved for Ben Gordon of the Bulls and Ray Allen of the Celtics. But last night, Paul Pierce had enough. He didn’t play particularly amazing in the first half, but in the fourth quarter and in overtime Paul Pierce was once again ‘The Truth’. It was the Ben Gordon vs. Paul Pierce show in the late game moments.
If you missed the game, here is the final 20 seconds of the fourth quarter:
And so another overtime ensued. Both teams must be completely exhausted at this point, as game after game is a physical and emotional battle with many overtimes having been played. As the time was winding down in the overtime Paul Pierce just refused to lose. The trouble with trying to guard Paul Pierce in these late game situations is he is a great mid range jump shooter, but he’s probably even better at taking the ball to the cup and drawing fouls. Probably the best in the business at the latter. So you’ve got to give him a little room or he’ll blow by you for an easy two. He’s just that good. So Chicago gave him a very slight bit of daylight. And on cue Pierce pulled up for the mid range J, and sunk the dagger.
The Bulls still had a few seconds to try and tie the game again at the end of OT, but Brad Miller was dealt a knockout punch by little Rondo, who surprisingly drew blood on Miller. It probably should have been called a flagrant, but given the timing of the foul, there are probably not too many refs in the league that would call a flagrant in that spot unless Miller got wheeled out on a stretcher. Miller missed the free throws, and the game was done.
So after Game 5 we know a few things: Paul Pierce is still the truth, Ben Gordon is still “Mr. Clutch”, and according to some Kevin Garnett still has no class. Here is the video of the Pierce dagger:
(H/T to NBA.com for supplying The Hoop Doctors with the Videos)