This was a night where I would have much preferred to be relaxing on my couch, as opposed to being stuck here at the office.
Too great playoff games for Chicago teams tonight, one that ended happily and one that ended in disappointment.
How about Joakim Noah? His steal, dunk over Paul Pierce (left) and free throw gave the Bulls the lead for good in a 128-127 epic, triple-overtime thriller at the United Center. Derrick Rose blocked a shot attempt by Rajon Rondo to preserve the lead, and all of a sudden this series is tied 3-3.
I didn't think the Bulls were capable of pushing the Celtics to seven games, but you have to give them full marks. This is one of the best NBA playoff series I've ever seen, if not the best. Never before has a series featured three overtime games. This one has had FOUR. Two single-overtime games, a double-overtime game and now a triple-overtime game.
I'm not the biggest NBA fan or the biggest Bulls fan, but if you can't enjoy this great series, you might as well turn in your sports fan card. The drama has simply been awesome -- great shots by both teams, and also some critical mistakes under pressure. Hard fouls, fights, heroes, villains all kinds of shifts in momentum. You just can't ask for more.
Now, it's back to Boston for a decisive Game 7 on Saturday. It would only be fitting if that game goes overtime as well.
The Blackhawks game was a great one tonight, too, although that one ended in disappointment as the Vancouver Canucks prevailed 5-3 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
The Hawks faced a 3-0 deficit heading into the third period, but they rallied on a pair of goals from Patrick Kane and a game-tying strike from Dave Bolland. Unfortunately, Sami Salo scored with 1:13 left to give Vancouver the lead, and the Canucks added an empty-netter to ice the win.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Vancouver. We'll see how the young Hawks respond as they face their first series deficit of the playoffs.
Great time to be a sports fan in Chicago, huh? You just can't beat this excitement. This is the first time since 1997 that both the Hawks and the Bulls made the playoffs in the same year. No matter the outcome, this has been a joy to watch.