Before Tuesday’s game, Ben Gordon said he needed a miracle to play in Game 5. Somehow, whether it be through treatment, massaging, or over-dramaticizing the extent of the injury (we Celtics fans know a thing or two about that), his hamstring didn’t slow him down. So are we canonizing any Saints soon? If so, we should be consider just how many miracles Ben Gordon received during Game 5.
1) Usually when a guy is hurt, a coach is forced to limit his minutes because the pain is too much or there is a potential of getting hurt more. Before the game, the Bulls’ reported that Doctors concluded that Ben Gordon’s injury couldn’t get any worse by playing. I am not a Doctor, a physical therapist, and I’ve never hurt my hamstring enough to see a doctor or a physical therapist. Still, I don’t understand how a person with a “strained hamstring” couldn’t make it worse throw exertion. Couldn’t it tear? Couldn’t he strain it more? Couldn’t it at least give out on him causing him to turn an ankle or something? If there’s a Doctor in the building, please, I welcome all explanations.
Instead of playing limited minutes, Ben Gordon played more minutes than any other Bulls’ player, and tied Paul Pierce in playing the most minutes out of anyone one on the court. He also shot the ball twenty one times, the most by any Bulls’ player. If it hurts every time you jump, surely you can’t possible be able to take twenty one shots? Which brings me to my next point…
2) Two of Ben Gordon’s six makes were miracle shots. The first was the leaner on Marbury. With everyone else covered and Marbury chesting him up, Gordon made a pick up basketball shot. You know the one where the guy defending you says, “Take it. I’ll give it to you” because the shot is near impossible. You take it to show him up, miss it while his team gets the rebound. Then, as the other team , scraping the egg off your face while no one passes to you for the rest of the game. Except he made it, sans celebratory crotch grab.
The second was the shot in the fourth quarter where Gordon dribbled into the lane, leaned a few feet forward trying to get a foul call and threw the ball up at the rim, which, sticking with the theme here, banked the shot in. The refs thankfully did not call a foul. Players have really taken the “Reggie Miller Scissor” to a whole new level. It began which Reggie Miller shooting the ball and once released, kicking his leg out on a mid-air defender and falling down like a soccer player trying to induce a red card. Then Paul Pierce made a living out of the shot fake, wait for the contact, then make the shot. Then Lebron James took it to a new level where you could sick Ray Lewis on him on the way to the basket and he’d still make the basket and flex in his face. Now, Ben Gordon is trying everything possible to a get a call- even having Tony Allen actually fouling him on a three point play (I don’t blame Tony, probably would have gotten called for a foul had he stopped playing defense and gone to get nachos when the shot went up- given that phantom fifth foul on Ray how can you argue?). Which brings me to my next point…
3) The shot Gordon took where he kicked his legs legs out and drew the foul on TA. Possibly the first thing that needs to be addressed by David Stern in the off season, narrowly edging out reviewing what an illegal screen actually is, and firing Joey Crawford, again. Oh and returning all of the fines accrued by coaches and players criticizing the officiating- it has just been awful all the way around this season. Players and coaches usually preach to officials to simply “call it both ways” but there’s another legitimate bone-needing-picking when it’s been as terrible as this season.
**Bonus Bulls Miracle** The deflected alley-oop pass to Dereck Rose that he tapped in off the glass. Definitely not the way it was drawn up.
The Celtics were also not without their miracles in this game was well. Most notably the non-flagrant (when I first saw it, I gasped because I figured it’d be two shots and the ball tot he Bulls) call on Rondo, Brad Miller getting his comeuppance for annoying players for years, Brad Miller missing the first free throw and not hitting the rim on the second, and, oh yeah, the Celtics winning the game.
*I know I was harsh on Ben Gordon, so just to clarify:
Do I think Ben Gordon is injured? Yes.
Do I think Ben Gordon is extremely tough? Yes.
Do I think Ben Gordon is playing mind-numbingly (especially for a Celtics fan) well? Yes.