Double vision: Bulls, Blackhawks playoff series following similar script

May 09, 2012|RedEye

If the NBA playoffs had not been pushed back due to last year's lockout, the Bulls and Blackhawks would have been playing their first-round series at the same time in mid-April.

Instead, the Blackhawks have already retired for the season, leaving the Bulls as the only United Center resident playing.

As the Bulls-Philadelphia series unfolds, however, fans couldn't be blamed if they were reminded of the Blackhawks' six-game loss to Phoenix. The storylines in both series have been similar, but hopefully with different endings.


BLACKHAWKS: Jim Cornelison gets the United Center crowd pumped up with his stirring version of the national anthem before games.

BULLS: The Bulls borrowed Cornelison for their playoff run, and he's been doing the anthem before games at the Madhouse on Madison.


BLACKHAWKS: Captain Jonathan Toews missed the final 22 games of the season with a concussion, but he started Game 1 and made an immediate impact. He scored the Blackhawks' first goal in the first period and added an assist on Brent Seabrook's game-tying, overtime-forcing goal with 14.2 seconds left.

BULLS: Derrick Rose played sparingly down the stretch this season with an ankle injury, and he sat out the regular season finale. In Game 1, however, not only did Rose return to the lineup, but he returned to the Rose of old, just missing a triple double with 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.


BLACKHAWKS: The Blackhawks won their second game in Phoenix, but in the process lost a key piece of their team in Andrew Shaw, who was suspended for three games for a hit on Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.

BULLS: A much bigger loss than that of Shaw, the Bulls were left leader-less when Rose went down late in the fourth quarter of their Game 1 win over Philly with a knee injury that turned out to be a torn ACL.


BLACKHAWKS: In Game 3 at the United Center, Marian Hossa left the ice on a stretcher after a vicous, illegal hit from longtime Blackhawks adversary Raffi Torres. Hossa suffered a concussion.

BULLS: The Bulls, still reeling from the loss of Rose, had another key injury when Joakim Noah severely sprained his left ankle in the Game 2 loss. That meant both the Bulls' best offensive and defensive players were out for the rest of the series.


BLACKHAWKS: The Blackhawks' anemic power play, frequent line changes and underutilized players had some questioning at times what coach Joel Quenneville and his staff were thinking.

BULLS: Bulls fans were calling for coach Tom Thibodeau's head when Rose was hurt, thinking the team's starters should have been sitting with the game seemingly in hand with less than a minute-and-a-half to play.


BLACKHAWKS: The Coyotes eliminated the Hawks in six games.

BULLS: Philadelphia can send the Bulls packing in Game 6 in Philadelphia on Thursday night. Let's hope this is one area the two series differ.

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