The Bulls were a vaunted one seed with the best record in the league when last year’s playoffs began. They considered the Pacers a speed bump on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. It was a competitive series in the sense that the games ended with the teams having scores that were close to one another, but there was really no doubt which franchise had the better squad. It was the classic “gentleman’s sweep” in which the superior team is gracious enough to give the scrappy underdog a bone before sending them fishing.
So in that sense, Indiana/Chicago is far from a rivalry. But after a big Pacers win tonight in the United Center, which the Indiana players were apparently pretty excited about, and this quote from Derrick Rose, we might be able consider this a fued.
DRose: “I will never forget how they celebrated just from winning this game. I can’t wait to play them again.”
Indiana and Chicago of course had some pretty heated games back in the 1990s. Reggie Miller used to get under the skin of the best player ever as Reg yapped at MJ like a little lap dog. We’ll see if anything comes of this or it just blows over.
“When you’re walking off the court, you’re in the same corridor,” Brewer said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “And we were walking into our locker room, and you could hear those guys celebrating, cheering, screaming, and that kind of hit home with a lot of guys on our team.
“We’re all competitors. They’re in our division. Every time we play them it’s a tough matchup. And especially in front of our fans, you don’t want to have a letdown and lose at home. To hear them do like that adds a little fuel to the fire. We talked about it after the game.”
So, not just Derrick.