Bulls @ Pacers 6pm on CSN/TNT

The Chicago Bulls haven't played their best game in the playoffs thus far, but they've still managed to put a stranglehold on their first round playoff series with Indiana.   94% of the time the home team wins the first two games of a series, they go on to win the entire series, and I doubt they'll have any trouble finishing off the Pacers in this game.

However, if the Pacers are to win a game in this series, this is the game.


Thoughts on the game

The keys to winning haven't really changed all that much.   Derrick Rose should dominate the game, especially with Collison limited or out.   So instead of reprinting similar matchups, here are some loose thoughts on the game.

Even if you can't take a lead, just keep it close the first half

The Bulls haven't played well in the first half, and while I'd love to say the key is to come out and dominate from the beginning, the Bulls have proven that they don't need to do that.

First, the Pacers aren't going to go away.  They've shown that they're going to play tough no matter the score in the game or the series.   As such, sucking the energy out of them isn't likely possible anyway.

While we'd love the Bulls to blow the Pacers out to restore our confidence in them, and it's certainly a possibility, on the road especially, you just need to remain in striking distance at the end when Derrick Rose time happens.

Work on solving the trap

The Pacers have no hope to defend Derrick Rose one on one.  They're going to go with hard double team traps 30 feet from the basket frequently.   These traps have occasionally forced the Bulls into high turnover play.   While the Bulls can fight through that against the Pacers, they're going to see this defense over and over again in the playoffs.

As such, work on solving the trap by finding your exit angles to get the ball in the open floor.   The play in which Rose got the ball to Noah who kicked it to Korver to end game two is the type of outlet option the Bulls are going to need to consistently find and exploit to stop these trap defense in the long run.

If possible give the bench some love

The Bulls bench hasn't played with the same energy or ability that it did in the regular season, and if the Thibs can find a way to get these guys some minutes together to develop continuity and go back to his previous bench rotation of Watson, Brewer, Korver, Gibson, and Asik more I think that might help.

Thomas has been needed in this series due to his toughness, and he might be needed next series for the same reason against Dwight, but the Bulls bench plays at a lower tempo while he's in the game which might be hurting their jib a bit.

Final thoughts

I'll be at the game, so won't be commenting live during it, but I will try to tweet about it if I get cell reception in Conseco Fieldhouse.   I think the Bulls should win this game, but I won't be panicked over a loss, this is the toughest game of the series for Chicago, down 0-3, the Pacers are going to have a much harder time getting up for the game.

I expect the Bulls to have plenty of home town support for the game and  a crowd consisting of at least 30% Bulls fans.

Comments

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  • Doug, are you SURE TNT is carrying this game? Up here in Madison AND on the TNT website they're saying they're showing Heat at Sixers beginning at 7:00 pm Central Time. As far as I know, unless you live in Chicago or its environs, the only place to watch this game is on NBA.tv, which I don't have. I am royally pissed that, with all the time between games and all the networks available (ESPN, TBS, etc), my buddies and I have to go out to a bar to watch the game. Well, at least at the bar my wife won't keep hollaring at me "Stop yelling!"

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    You're lucky. I have to go to the bar to watch, and my wife is tagging along. A double-whammy.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    lmao!

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    What's crazy is we will probably get more fan support tonight in Indiana than we did in the 1st 2 games.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yes, NBA TV not TNT... I had to call FIOS and order one month of sports package just to get this one game.

    Cost me $14.99.. its bad but its worth it! GO BULLS!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Hope NBA picks Stace & Funk! Should get better rating with them even if they're the road team's crew.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Pacers are getting a lot of B.S. calls! And no calls!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Seriously, I wish we could get this kind of home cooking at the United Center.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Most non Bulls fans seem to be saying say we did, so I'm not going to complain too much.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    most of the analysts pointed out the difference in free throw differential was due to the shot selection. pacers took jump shots. bulls(rose) drove to the hoop.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    I was more talking about some of the calls at the end of the second game. Seen plenty of people upset about those. If Bulls fans are saying that it was badly ref'ed but didn't advantage either side it's pretty safe the truth is it advantaged the Bulls (because we're obviously biased).

    Also Rose's and-1 at the end of game 1 was a blatant palm of the ball when he started his move (although Rose gets away with travelling all season long so I don't think it was home cooking).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    in the NBA, everyone gets away with that traveling call

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree, in real time it's too hard to call accurately so they err on the side of letting it go. But the thing is that a player like Rose has the quickness to exploit getting away with it more than most players.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I agree with that

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Rose needs to recognize the double team earlier and attack it. He needs to stop back peddling to mid court. It's easy to trap that far away from the basket. If the big is running at you full speed, use the momentum against them and go to the basket. Mid court and sidelines are death.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Love having to beat the Pacers and the refs

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Tied at halftime; not too bad for playing 5 on 8.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    It never fails with the B.S. calls in Indiana

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Turnovers again keeping Pacers in the game.

    When did McRoberts start getting the superstar calls???

    Why can't refs just be consistent? ggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Had to come on here for the sole purpose of venting about the refs. akjdkljkladjkaljjdj

    God damn calls and non calls alike. For God's sake! I mean that call on Noah below at the rim? Or that non call with Rose getting raped by McRoberts(Who, by the way, is a complete douchebag, I've experienced it in person).

    Oh just a thought, does any one else sense some tension between Scotty and Stacey from time to time in the broadcast? I get the feeling that Stacey feels threatened by Pippen, kind of a "You may have been the hall of fame player but this is my gig, I'm the better broadcaster" type of thing? Its not like I'm noticing a glaring lack of chemistry between the two, for the most part they work together well. But from time to time I catch a suggestive look or competitive town. Is it just me?

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    And by Scotty I mean Scottie

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    OK they are trying to hurt the Bulls now, the foul was on Foster and they are saying its not...WOW!!!

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    please do tell about the experience with that bag of douche

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    McRoberts is originally from Indiana. As I'm sure you remember he played his college ball at Duke. In my senior year at Purdue I was with a buddy up at his fraternity hanging out before hitting the bars. We went to the bars and arrived back at my friends frat relatively late. Apparently McRoberts had a friend in the house and decided to visit Purdue as it was late second semester and McRoberts had apparently already withdrew from Duke for the draft. Long story short, we ended up having to throw McRoberts out of the after party because he was basically sexual harassing girls and picking fights with members of the frat. He kept saying to girls "Do you know who I am bitch?" and then he'd proceed to grab them and try to make out with them. Girls were basically scrambling away from him and he'd grab them and forcefully make out with them. He eventually did this to a brother in the house's girlfriend which resulted in me and three other dudes physically removing him. It was epic. Ahh college, those were the days. The thing is, dude if you can't successfully mac on drunk girls without harassment when you're about to be in the NBA, you're a douche.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    can some body please tell me why boozer is still on the court?

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Because hopefully he'll eventually make a shot ... maybe ... if we wait long enough ...

  • In reply to bobhot:

    This would be a gd time for Kurt to get into a fight with Foster
    1 to show not to play dirty esp with DRose
    2 to get him out of this game and next as Pacers have no centre depth

    hehehehe

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Use Omer!!!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Noah just picked up his 4rth foul because that piece of shit Bozo the Boozer backed off helping on Collison and just let him blow by Rose and into Noah, just another thing that nobody ever pays any attention to, and why Boozer wrecks Noah's effectiveness.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I've said this before Boozer is a plodder and Joakim is a racehorse.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    thats rich Buckner compaining about a non call 3 seconds on the Bulls, the only time that Hibbert leaves the lane is when he is on the bench.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    WTF is going on with Rose? I'm out of town and of course my hotel doesn't have NBA TV. Are they defending him that well or is he just having a terrible shooting night?

  • In reply to magestew:

    I'm checking the box score on Gamecast so I only see the numbers, not the game.

  • In reply to magestew:

    listen here

    http://www.wnta.com/WNTAPlayer.aspx

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    or watch here

    http://www.myp2pforum.eu/threads/55267-NBA-Today!-April-21st-Playoffs

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Good lookin out! This just made my night!

    Thanks!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Kyle "Hot Sawce" Korver!!!!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    BAM!!

    Go Kyle

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Remember when Rose couldn't get to the line ... seems like a million years ago with this series.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Naw they are hacking the lining shit out of him evry time he gets the ball. In the head elbowed. They are trying to fuck him up purposely.

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Living Shit that is!!!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Hot sawce again!!!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Boozer with the Dunk!!!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    who knew boozer could dunk

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Pacers' getting that home cooking 2nite

  • In reply to magestew:

    It been so homey, they ain't got out of bed. Ref's truly calling a questionable game....

  • In reply to magestew:

    How about these guys play one decent game this series

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    you're like sidney from white men can't jump, rather look pretty and lose than look bad & win

  • In reply to magestew:

    D one time!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Let Get Buckets, Give Some Pain, and Go Home with the win!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Who takes the last shot? Korver, Deng or Rose?

  • In reply to magestew:

    They have to try to take the game out of the referees' hands when they're on offense and make some freaking shots in these last few seconds. They can't depend on Rose getting to the line.

  • In reply to magestew:

    D the Mutha Vuckin Playa Rose!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Now make sure Granger is not free...

  • In reply to magestew:

    ROSE!!! Let's get freaking stop NOW!

  • In reply to magestew:

    And they still didn't call the foul!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    That should've been an AND 1. They're bullshitting (no pun intended)

  • In reply to magestew:

    Game Time!!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Got-dam right! BULLS baby!!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    I know that I will be excoriated for saying this but Rose has capitulated to the Pacers defense in the 4rth and most of the half.

    Deng has been gassed the entire quarter, he has stopped fighting over screens and stepping out on the pick and roll.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    And yet we still get the win

  • In reply to BigWay:

    And well done Ronnie

    3-0!!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Once again, Thanks! Good lookin out!

  • In reply to magestew:

    No worries, any time

    Living in the UK I have to know where to find the games online lol

    Well good night everyone - early night tonight 240am hehe

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I may ask you for a link sometime, wish I knew this last year

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    www.ATDHE.ME is what you to go to to access the games online. You may have to download a couple of add-ons, but its a great site to watch everything...

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    I think I've checked it out before, but the quality was poor, and the stream was always breaking up

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    good morning Chicago, Its a lovely sunny day here in ole England lol

    I have always found the best quality links on
    http://www.myp2pforum.eu/forums/10
    or
    http://www.myp2p.eu/competition.php?competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=basketball

    Some of the links are HD quality (especially the ones that use Veetle and hence vlc as the player) but it is a case of trying the different links to find the most stable/best quality.

    If the streams are really poor (not likely now its playoff time) you can always tune in to Bill and Chuck on http://www.wnta.com/WNTAPlayer.aspx which is better than watching gamecast.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    how was that not a foul.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Rose couldn't hit jack, Boozer made me wish for Bogans to start at PF, still get the win. Looks like it could be the ugliest sweep possible but who really cares at this point.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    DRose is just Amazing!!! He was determined to get that last basket going to hole, "By Any Means Necessary!!!"

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I reckon Asik could not have done any worse than Boozer did. At least he would have knocked a few people over and probably got the same if not more boards.

  • In reply to davebursill:

    iF you ask me with Noah, Thomas, Taj and Asik plalying all the minutes at 4&5 we wouldn't need to win every game in the last seconds.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well if you're not going to play some of these guys anyway you might as well send one of them after Granger seeing as they're targeting Rose. Two can play that game.

  • In reply to davebursill:

    no, he was refering to his complete hatred of Carlos Boozer

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Not true. Thomas is not athletic enough, Asik is not playoff yet. Give Indy some credit. You all keep trashing the Bulls players for not blowing yhem out. Now you all want to trade what we have for Indy's players. All this talk is CRRRRAAAAZZZZYYYY!!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    +1

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Love sending these douchers home with another demoralizing loss, esp after watching all their cheap fouls, primal screams, chest pounding, & struting. Sure feels good.

    After a little broom shopping on Saturday in the Indianapolis area, bring on the Magic. How sweet that is going to be seeing Derrick accept the MVP trophy infront of Howard.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yeah, sure hope this one finally broke their back. It felt like it was a tipping point for the Pacers' confidence. They gave everything they had for 3 games and they came up empty. With any luck, they'll just go meekly into the night come game 4.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I don't think they'll give up, but it doesn't matter. They just can't match us, even when we can't get most of our guys playing well on the same night. All the better. I want to see them get demoralized one more time. Especially Foster & Hansbrough.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    & Granger. Talk is cheap mother effer!

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bulls have now won 12 in a row.

    Sure wouldn't know it by some of the comments and clammoring on sports talk radio.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Or blogs :)

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Two Thumbs Up!!!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    One Thumb Up!!!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    sorry thats what I meant, comments on blogs, clammoring on sports talk (even though I haven't heard it, not being in the area, I know its there)

    but I know right? No one is mentioning 12 in a row. All you hear about is someone stepping up as Rose's #2, about Boozer being overpaid...

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yeayuh BoiYY!!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm not too concerned about the "Rose's #2" questions. All year it's been by committee. Most times it's been Deng or Boozer, but Korver has made clutch shots, and someone from the bench mob can also step up and do some damage. The MO is keep it close, hunker down on defense, and let Rose do his thing in the 4th. It's a formula rather like Jordan's Bulls, actually.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I'm not concerned about any of the questions.

    Just win baby, just win.

    12 in a row.

    12-0 over the last 12 against the other top 8 teams in the league.

    I like my team.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The Indiana series was a no win situation for the Bulls. If the Bulls grind out wins like they have then instead of being happy with the win people want them to win by more. If they'd been winning by more it'd be said that Indiana are a bad team so who cares.

    Bottom line is when you're the 1 seed you can't do anything to impress anyone when you play the 8 seed, you're expected to win so there's only downside risk.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    absolutely

    Bring on the Magic then the Heat, & we'll show people what we're really made of

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    This is a TRUE fans thread. Yes we can critise the poor performances but we never lose sight of the overall success!!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Kudos to the Bulls. The glass is now officially half-full instead of half-empty. They hung tough and the supporting cast stepped up when Rose was having an off night. Deng, Korver, Bogans, Noah and Taj all played well.

    My sense is Bulls may continue to play less than spectacularly, but will grow along this playoff journey. I don

  • In reply to Edward:

    Well said Edward; couldn't agree more

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Can I Git a Broom and Sweep Away Some Trash. Somebody Git Me A Broom!!!!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Somebody help me!! I need to do some sweeping on Saturday. A Broom and a Dustpan!! Thats All!!!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Props to Deng, too!

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Boy would I like to have that guy Paul George on this Bulls team, he really could be Rose's Scottie Pippen. and Danny Granger would look awful nice playing with Rose also. Any chance Indy takes Boozer and Bogans off our hands for those guys, I'll even throw in the Charlotte pick.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Stop Dreaming Mane... It ain't happening....

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    obviously, I said that last part with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    but I have always said that I would trade Deng for Granger, and I still would.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    & head firmly up ass

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Only if the GM is the trade AI in NBA2K11 (and even then we'd have to throw in draft picks ...)

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Deng, Boozer, $3 million and 3 # 1's for Granger and George, does Indy even think about it.

    Our dynasty would be set to go.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Our #1 picks aren't worth much, the #30 pick in the draft is worse than picks 31-40 or so because of guaranteed contracts.

    I thought Indiana was the one place that might have been interested in Boozer earlier in the season, but now they seem to like Hansborough so I doubt they have any interest.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    obviously Indy is not going to take on either Dengs or Boozers contract, I am just fantasizing, just like I do about getting our hands on Al Horford, even if he doesn't like Noah.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'm sure you could find teams that would trade value for Deng. 40 million over 3 years isn't that much future money for a guy who is in his prime and playing well on both ends. Granger is paid the same amount +/- a million or so.

    Personally I think Deng is a better player due to his defense but whatever, it's close.

    Boozer could only be dumped, not traded for value, but I think we knew that when we signed him we'd be stuck with him in sickness and in health.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    True but the 30th pick and their own 14th pick is worth more than just the 14th for a team looking to add talent. Especially in today's NBA where it seems more and more talent is coming from the back end of draft rounds, I've seen less and less definite lottery picks and more and more surprises like Taj Gibson and Landry Fields.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    All of this trade Boozer talk is STUPID conversation. Give Indy some credit. They have mucked the game up. The refs identify it as their style and they've made it difficult. Bulls are up 3-0. They will win this series and play Atlanta or Orlando. He'll match up better then. When we signed him everyone was soooo glad that we signed him after LeBooHoo went south. He 's good player having a difficult series. We won. Look to the next game...

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Something has to be done about Boozer, the guy is barely contributing

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I know it will be hard to trade him but the Bulls definitely need to explore some options and hold on to Taj.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Put a hit out on him and get some salary relief lol

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    WEll his PER was 11.4 before this game, it has to be in single digits now, but thibs is still defending him, at least on TV.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    and Asik, even though Houdini(I mean Thibs)has made him invisible in the playoffs so far.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Basketball is all about match-ups. Asik doesn't match up well against the pacers repertoire of players. If we end up playing the Magic, watch Asik's number increase significantly since Asik matches up with Dwight Howard rather well.

  • In reply to lmille27:

    That's what you think? Have you watched the Orlando series? And you think Asik matches up to Howard? Dude, you been eating Brownies laced with weed... Are you serious? Geez...

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Last time we played the Magic pretty sure Asik did a nice job.

    You probably didn't catch the game on account you base all your knowledge off of Sportscenter where they only show the dunk Howard had on Asik.

    Here's an article as proof.

    http://www.chicitysports.com/2011/03/05/chicago-bulls-vs-orlando-magic-omer-asik-shines-in-sunshine-state/

    Pleased to obliterate your baseless opinion. Have a nice day =)

  • In reply to lmille27:

    Been saying it all along, Bulls gonna sweep this one, then will get at least 4 days rest, possibly 7+ if either Orlando or Atlanta doesn't run the table

  • In reply to lmille27:

    Actually, Asik would seem like a perfect matchup for that 7'2" storck, Hibbert.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    anybody else feel like I do right now, that even though we are up 3-0 this series is not as much fun as the Celtics series was 2 years ago.

    I guess being the hunter is more fun than being the hunted.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I suppose if you don't expect as much, and the team wins, there's a certain level of excitement. But for me, it's always fun to win.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's a series we're expected to win without much trouble ... if the Bulls win they've just done what is expected of them so it's not exciting. It's always more fun being the team with nothing to lose.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    this series is more like last years against the Cavs. That Boston series went 7, this one is a sweep

  • In reply to Reese1:

    still hoping for thr 76ers to really go head hunting and put wade out of the playoffs

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    ??? What??? Dude, thats lame... Very Very lame...

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Great win. I am getting the confidence back as we have had with MJ that somehow MJ will find a way to win the game. That is what we expect from Rose.
    We can complain all we want about Boozer, Deng or Noah. They are not perfect players and are not consistent offensive threats. But one of them does show up in every game on offense.
    Indiana is playing hard, rough basketball. And with the Bulls not being a great offensive team to begin with, they lose the rhythm with all the hard fouls. They just have to stop losing their mental focus on offense and they will be fine.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    agreed. you just have the feeling all along that we will win, and that Derrick will come up in the clutch.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    if you hate Boozer, it would be pretty entertaining listening to you go off about Granger after watching him chuck it 80+ games. I don't think he is in a Pacer uniform next year

  • In reply to BigWay:

    YES SIRRRRRRRRR!!!! BULLS WIN LEAD SERIES 3-0

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Wow...Rose is growing up in basketball like how you see your own kid grow

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Thibs need to get his key players a little more rest. An extra 3-4 minutes would go a long way.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Brewer put some icing on this freaking cake!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Just Win Baby... Just Win!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Gr8 Defence

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    They need to stop giving Granger his comfort position. They need to rattle him a little bit by pushing him out. He has been going off for 3 games now.

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Bulls are getting hosed big time by the refs

  • In reply to Reese1:

    That was a serious flagrant that Foster did. Bring Omer in the game to take out one otheir guys. This is really,really bad officiating.

  • In reply to bobhot:

    5 years $75 million reasons

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Now they purposely foul Rose at tyhe 3PT line. Outrageous...

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Quinn Buckner is the biggest homer this side of Tom Heinson in Boston, and I thinks the ref crew tonight is next in line.

    I've felt this way all season, NBA officiating has never been worse and I've been watching since 1970

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Dude, I know QB. He's from Chi...He's just doing his job. He knows the game better than that...he's supposed to a homer for them ;-)

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Loul's playing really really big!!!

  • In reply to bobhot:

    The Pacers are basically using Jordan rules like defense on Rose, they already admitted that they have been coached to hit Rose Before, during and after he shoots.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Both offensive foul calls on Derrick were complete and utter BS.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    you're right, its on NBA TV

  • It is not listed for San Francisco area either for TNT. I just checked bulls.com and they only show CSN-Chicago & NBA-TV

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