Bulls lose to Cavs in the first quarter

It may sound cliche, but it's true in this case.   From quarters two through four, the Bulls outscored the Cavs by one.   Unfortunately, the Cavs were +14 in the first quarter.    Give them credit for fighting back.    Give them credit for making a game out of it.   Did they figure something out or did Cleveland just get bored?

To me, the game came down to basically two things.   In the first quarter, the Bulls turned the ball over a ton and got killed on the glass.   The Cavs got a bunch of easy baskets in transition, and they had a ton of second chance points.   Those two factors made the biggest difference in the first quarter, and the teams played evenly the rest of the night.

The Bulls did a fair job on James who finished with 24 points on 9 of 19 shooting.   James had a good night, but he didn't have an epic night.   The Cavs didn't play all that great for the most part.   They had moments, but they played at a level the Bulls could have won.

They didn't.

This wasn't the Bulls best game.   Joakim Noah was unable to collect any offensive boards or really make his presence felt.   Derrick Rose may have only been three boards shy of a triple double and had 28 points, but he also used 28 shots to get his points and had seven turnovers to go with his 10 assists.   This isn't to rip on Rose, who looked dominant as hell at times, and was reffed out of a far better performance, but he can play even better.   The rest of the starters were more or less terrible.   The Bulls can do better.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, so can the Cavs.   Most of the Cavs played well, but we know LeBron can do so much more.   We won't hold him to 24 points if the Cavs need him.  On top of that, the Bulls best play seemed to come when the Cavs simply got bored with the game.

I was disappointed, but not surprised, that James Johnson didn't get a shot to take on LeBron.  Of course, given that LeBron wasn't really killing us there probably wasn't huge incentive to go that direction.   Still, with Deng playing poorly overall, I think Johnson deserves some burn out there though I find it unlikely he'll get it.

I'll discuss some adjustments tomorrow.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • True the 1st Quarter was damaging to the Bulls, but at the end of the day they lost the FRONCOURT matchups.

    Shaq outplayed and outscored Noah by 2.
    Jamison outplayed and outscored Gibson by 7.
    Varejao outplayed and outscored Miller by 4.

    Add that up. It's a 13 point difference.

    Final Score: Cavs 96 Bulls 83

    Unless the Bulls' Frontcourt (and Bench) STEPS-UP and outplays the Cavs' Frontcourt (and Bench), this won't be a competitive or extended series.

  • Bulls need to try to keep them guys off of the boards, at least make it more respectable and keep playing team defense. I think that's what slowed Cleveland down a little bit. I am not impressed with this Cleveland team cause I believe the Bulls exposed a weakness of this team by playing good team defense. The Bulls are not the far from really competing with this team. The Bulls are just offensively challenged and are a couple of players away who can put up 20 to 30 more points. I hope the Bulls can at least push this team to six games. I don't look for this Cavs team to win a championship this year cause there is a better team in Orlando who can match them if they play good defense and stretch the floor just like they did last year.

  • Surprising part of the game was how Cleveland was better when Shaq played.
    From my observations, Varejao is probably is the only equivalent to Noah in the league. He neutralized Noah.
    I wish they had played Flip more and allow him to get into a rhythm and see if he could have made a difference with a couple of threes.
    Deng's energy level is low...I guess spending so much energy on defense makes his offense less effective.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    We went 1 of 6 from deep, I cant see how you expect to win any game ON ANY LEVEL with that type of shooting. And another thing, their guards didnt really shoot great either, if that happens this could get really ugly :(

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You're right Doug about D-Rose gettin' reffed out of an even better performance. The Bulls weren't getting very many calls in the first half - especially Noah's questionable fouls. If Noah can stay out of foul trouble in Game 2 then the Bulls can be even closer. They gotta come out of the gates tho and quiet that Cleveland crowd in the first quarter. Above all, the title of the post explains where this game went wrong and especially on the road, the Bulls got to show up from the tip.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I actually thought this game was an encouraging sign for the Bulls. Only Rose had a good (but far from great) game, everyone else was basically awful. And it was on the road, and we got down early, and the refs really jobbed us. We still were able to make a game out of it. I like our chances of stealing a game in this series.

    I'm not sure about this Cavs team in the playoffs. They have plenty of solid players, but what they need is a firm #2 behind LeBron. Being deep is great for the regular season (helps with injuries, helps with staying fresh), but in the playoffs it's more about the stars. They have the best, but I think it's important to have a firm second-banana too.

    Their 6 minute scoring draught in the 3rd is exactly when it would have been nice to have that

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    They need a "firm second banana?" That's almost as good as Doug's line about no dudes preferring two Johnsons.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The NBA refs and Stern as I said before don't want LeBron or the Cavs tarnished on the way to the bank/Finals with Kobe. I expect only in the first or possibly two games in Chicago will we get any calls. But I still don't see Derrick creating a lot of contact or confronting the refs who have boycotted him from foul calls especially at critical moments such as the end of the New Jersey game. This gives the Cavs a huge mental edge knowing the refs are on their side. As if they need any.

    I stil think the Bulls can get two wins out of this series, but for one of the best rebdounding teams ion the league to get out boarded by what twenty or something? Inexcusable. Noah needs to front Shaq or he's going to get burned repeatedly in the post. Joakim is going to have provide some scoring with seals and drives and possibly two or three hooks as well. And Deng injured or not better put up 18 points or more for at least one or two games of this series.

    I didn't watch a lot of this game, but Vinny's leadership to me is a joke. Charles Barkley and his other pals can come have him "coach" their favorite teams, and see how they like it when he does nothing but look confused when the offense is failing and never back up his players when the refs shaft them.

    And regardless of percentages Miller, Deng, Hinrich, and Rose are going to have to hit some threes. Hinrich might hit two or three for at least one game in Chicago, but especially Luol and Brad they have to take and make some threes. I don't believe Deng had any attempts in that game. Bad coaching/game plan. They have to at least try to clear the lane for Derrick, and then he's got to create contact, stand up to the refs(I know broken record) so he can get 30 or more points Chicago needs from him to win.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Deng is slow for two reasons, one is he is using all his energy on defense and two I think he's still hurting but he's giving his all.

  • ESPN is saying that the Cavs went cold in the second half when what really happened is the Bulls played pretty good defense on those guys. Bulls just need to keep them off the glass and lower the turnovers. ABC and ESPN (same network) are so bias towards Cleveland that it is sickening. I tried to go on there so called blog and it was all Cleveland all the time. It might as well be called ESPN Cleveland. Just so sickening!!!

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