This series between the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics has definitely been frustrating. The Celtics could easily be waiting for their second round opponent right now. Instead they're facing a Game 5 that figures to be a dog fight.
Missed free throws. Missed lay-ups. The return of the Doc Rivers defense. All these have raised my blood pressure a bit the past week.
(Let me explain what the Doc Rivers defense is. It's a strategy where the Celtics continually end up in a defensive matchup that overwhelmingly favors the opposition. Like Rajon Rondo defending Dwight Howard or Leon Powe covering Kobe Bryant. It returned in a big way Sunday when Big Baby Davis continually had to guard Derrick Rose off a pick on the perimeter. It happened several times with zero adjustments.)
With that said, the biggest, and most annoying development has been a new addition to the Most Hated Opposing Players list. Previous members include Paul O'Neill, Jorge Posada, Peyton Manning, Vlade Divac and Roger Clemens. It's time to induct a new member.
I had no problem with Joakim Noah before. I actually somewhat appreciated his game, or lackthereof. He's a hustle guy. Who doesn't like hustle? It's the bullshit preening and smug satisfaction he's been showing this whole series that irks me.
Let's get one thing straight, Joakim. You're dominating Glen Davis. You're beating Mikki Moore to rebounds. If Kevin Garnett were playing, you'd have a nice steak of yellow running down your legs after he dunks in your face and cuts the throat of a sheep right in front of your eyes and smears the blood on his face.
All the Bulls are guilty of this, but Noah is the worst. If KG were playing, the series would be over. It's not an excuse. It's a fact. The Yankees are better with A-Rod rather than Cody Ransom. The Pats are better with Tom Brady rather than Matt Cassel. What would happen to the Lakers if Kobe went down? And the Celtics are better when KG is playing, anchoring the interior defense, injecting the team with insane passion and making sure Davis doesn't shoot 18 shots a game.
So the fist pumping, the jumping jacks and the nauseating pony tail are beyond aggravating. It kills me to see Garnett in a suit on the bench while Noah and the Bulls act like they're one win from the Finals. It kills me not to hear Tommy Heinsohn tear these guys apart (and throw in a few jabs at the refs in the process). It kills me to hear some idiot on ESPN say the Bulls are more talented on paper. Really? The Celtics won 60 games. They have three sure-fire Hall of Famers and one of the most dynamic young point guards to come along in a generation. The Bulls have Rose, who is great, Gordon, who is hot and cold, and John Salmons, who has a neck beard.
It all kills me.
Congrats to Noah, though, for joining my elite list of hated athletes. It took you only four games, which is a record.