Frustration reigns for Bulls on ejection night
BY HERB GOULD email@example.com May 8, 2013 10:09PM
Updated: May 9, 2013 9:56AM
MIAMI — The Bulls know Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson lost their cool. They know that’s unacceptable.
But their teammates understand it. They support two players who put so much into this team — and they say everyone will move on from an ugly situation.
‘‘They’re competitors,’’ Nate Robinson said after Noah and Gibson were ejected Wednesday from the most lopsided playoff loss in Bulls history. ‘‘When things aren’t going like you think they should, you get mad. You get frustrated.
‘‘They’re human. They’re not robots. They have feelings. Of course, they’re going to get upset, they’re going to get angry. We just have to play better defense, and we’ll be OK. Game 3, we’re going to be ready to play. This game’s in the past. We’re looking toward the future.’’
For all their frustrations, the Bulls head home for Games 3 and 4 with a split. They have home-court advantage in their bid to oust the defending champion Heat.
‘‘After we won Game 1, we wanted to get both of them,’’ Carlos Boozer said. ‘‘But at the same time, we split. We’re going back to our building. We’re looking forward to that. You know how it is in Chicago.’’
Like Robinson, Boozer said emotions got the best of Noah and Gibson.
‘‘This is the playoffs,’’ Boozer said. ‘‘It’s part of basketball. Some of the calls, we didn’t feel were fair. But that’s the way games go sometimes. We’re not going to put any excuses on the referees.
‘‘When things don’t go your way, when you feel like you’re getting cheated, you’re going to say something. Regardless, we don’t put the blame on anybody else. We put it on our shoulders. We just have to move on and play a whole lot better.’’
The strange part is, by gaining a split, the Bulls put themselves in a good position in this series. They know that; and yet, they were unable to control their emotions.
‘‘I should have handled it in a better way,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘It was just frustration. It’s the playoffs. And we were getting blown out.’’
It was an ugly episode. But what matters now is to move on.
‘‘We just let it get out of hand,’’ Jimmy Butler said. ‘‘They let the refs get to them. We can’t let that happen. That’s not who we are.’’
On this night, though, the Bulls let their intensity become a negative instead of a positive.