Look, no disrespect to the Pacers, but I'm a bit tired of hearing about how hard they're playing. You know, if you were playing that hard, maybe you wouldn't have given up 20 offensive rebounds this game, because if you controlled the glass, you wouldn't have lost the game.
However, listening to people, you'd think the Pacers are getting all the hustle points out there. The numbers don't back that up. They're playing Rose really physically, they're playing aggressive defense, and they're playing hard. However, they've been murdered on the glass in both games, and that's really been the difference both times.
The Pacers have heart, but the Bulls have just played bad
Look, this has nothing to do with the Pacers and everything to do with the Bulls. Chicago looks like a young team in the playoffs. They look like a team that's pressing, trying to ramp up their energy and intensity without an outlet for it.
They're overpassing, overdribbling, playing tight, and frequently not making the simple right play. I wonder if Thibodeau is having similar problems as well. Asik is completely gone from the rotation while Gibson's barely playing.
At one point, the Bulls ran out a five man line up of Rose, Brewer, Korver, Thomas, and Gibson, and I thought "have these five ever played together?". Thibs was so stubborn about his rotations all year, but now in the playoffs he decides to go away from them, but not go away from Bogans?
The whole team, coaching staff included, needs to get a better grip on things. Fortunately for Chicago, they're playing the Pacers. Thankfully, they got the number one seed. Thankfully, they have an easier matchup.
The Bulls playing like this will not beat Orlando. This has nothing to do with the Pacers playing them all tough or doing anything crazy. It's Chicago now playing to their level.
Keith Bogans had a nice third quarter
I give Keith a hard time, so it's worth noting he had a really nice third quarter, drew an offensive foul, forced a TO, pulled down an offensive board and made a great pass to Rose for a dunk, and knocked down a three all in about 4 minutes.
Thought he had a lot of energy there.
Carlos Boozer gave us something
His game felt a lot more quiet than his stats, but Boozer gave us some productivity out there, and we really needed that. He scored pretty well, defended with much more energy, and pulled down a ton of boards.
Also led all other players combined in obscenities screamed that could be heard over the broadcast.
Hard to watch
The refs were terrible in this game. Not necessarily against us all the time or for us, but just bad. There were probably four or five missed/bad calls in the last two minutes of the game alone.
Dick Stockton and Chris Webber had basically no chemistry whatsoever, and Stockton kept screwing up the play calls. When they went over the offensive foul on Hibbert where he cleared off Noah's blocking arm with his off arm and couldn't figured out that it was an off arm clear out and not a charge, I wanted to throw something at the TV.
Kyle Korver coming up big time
This is what we paid him for. Korver may not be killing it out there, but he hit the go ahead three in game one, and he hit the three that broke the Pacers in this game. The pass was made by Noah, but it was all set up by the Pacers foolishly deciding to blitz Rose from 30 feet away.
Rose saw the double team coming too fast, easily hit Noah, and with two guys out of the defensive picture overall, Kover's man had no choice but to help which led to a wide open KK three.
Derrick Rose is still an ultimate bad ass
Derrick had a terrible problem with turnovers for a stretch in the third, but excusing that, he was unbelievable again tonight. He provides so much offense for this team that it's simply ridiculous.
Even when he doesn't get the hoop or assist, so much of the Bulls offense is derived off of a pass from Rose to someone else with another pass to an open man as the defense tries to recover.
Rose was simply amazing down the stretch again, and in the important moments, it just feels like the opponent can do nothing to stop him but to hope he gives up the ball after a double team trap.
Close game, and I'm a bit concerned with the Bulls lackluster play outside of Rose, however, the Bulls are one step closer towards a sweep, and I think the Bulls should have an excellent chance to close this one out in just four games.