Bulls-Pacers: I've seen enough

The Indiana Pacers have played the
Chicago Bulls hard.  Sometimes they've also played the Bulls dirty.  The
result is that, while the Bulls hold a 3-1 lead in the series, all the
games have been close and have come down to the final few possessions.  
Pacers' forward Danny Granger has
received some well-deserved national attention and performed admirably,
averaging 22 points and 6 rebounds in the series.  Second-year point
guard Darren Collison has turned some heads with a brilliant 17-point
9-assist game 1 and then showed his toughness by quickly returning from a
nasty ankle sprain suffered in game 2.  Role players like guards A.J.
Price, Mike Dunleavy and Dahntay Jones have all had their moments. 
Lastly, the Pacers big men, Jeff Foster, Josh McRoberts and Tyler
Hansbrough have played physical defense and somehow managed to only have
their thuggish flagrant fouls called via long distance.

I salute all things Pacers...players, coaches, front office and fans.  You've exceeded expectations.

It's been a real slice, but...

It's time for the Indiana Pacers to get
the hell out of my playoff world.  Frankly they're starting to kill my
Bulls buzz and I don't appreciate it.  The games have gotten
progressively uglier with total points scored going from 203 and 186 for
the 2 games in Chicago to 172 and 173 for the 2 games in Indy.  In
games 3 and 4 combined, the Bulls shot 38.3% from the field and the
Pacers shot 38.6%.  If allowed to continue, this could set NBA
basketball back decades.


It's also getting dangerous out there,
although only if you're on the Bulls.  While it's not unprecedented for
an NBA player to have an ordinary foul retroactively turned into a
flagrant foul by the league office, I'm pretty sure that the Pacers'
Foster broke new ground in game 3 by having two fouls in the same game transformed into flagrants by Commisioner David Stern's video watchdogs.  Most impressive.

One of those, a vicious and completely
purposeful elbow-whip off the top of Bulls' foward Luol Deng's shiny
head, could have warranted ejection.  The other, a smack in the face of
Bulls' superstar Derrick Rose, was notable because Pacers' forward
Hansbrough flagrantly-fouled Rose even more egregiously than did Foster.  Hansbrough somehow got away clean in the game and afterwards.  

Perhaps Hansbrough's apparent diplomatic
immunity emboldened the Pacers' McRoberts (people get him and
Hansbrough mixed up all the time) who decided that Rose's dunk in the
second quarter of game 4 warranted a forearm to Rose's face as Rose went
back on defense.  Darned if he wasn't right...the referees on site
somehow missed this.

Honestly, I don't blame the Pacers for trying to instill in the minds of
Bulls' players, and particularly Rose, the thought that, if you go
strong to the basket, we will make it a painful experience.  I mean, I
read all about Pavlov's dogs and such in high school.  I can also
appreciate McRoberts' thinking that a punk move like that dead-ball
forearm shiver might just be enough to get Rose to retaliate and maybe
they'd both get thrown out of the game...a decidedly  favorable exchange
for the Pacers.  The Pacers are just trying to win...any way they can.

Again, kudos to the Pacers, this time for their indomitable and
unprincipled competitiveness.  However, the fact remains that the Pacers
don't belong in the second round of these playoffs and the Bulls do. 
Both teams have places to go and people to see.  In the Pacers' case, it
should be home to their families.

Game 5

Tomorrow night the two teams will face off at Chicago's United Center. 
Rose, who sprained his ankle in game 4, is expected to play.  Deng's
headache should just about be gone and Bulls' star forward Carlos Boozer
is so overdue that he should be about ready to burst. 

The Bulls have yet to play a good all-around game in this series and
certainly the Pacers have had a lot to do with this.  Look for the Bulls
to come out of the gate fast, forcing the action and taking the ball to
the rim at every opportunity.  Look for the Pacers to foul...early,
often and of course, hard.  On defense, I don't see the Bulls doing
anything tricky...just well.

Unlike the previous 4 games, the Bulls will take control of this one in
its early stages and won't let go.  They'll do this because they're
clearly the better team and because, like the rest of us, they know that
it's time for Indy to get back to auto racing.

Bulls 103 - Pacers 85.

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Tags: bulls, nba, Pacers, playoffs

Comments

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  • The Bulls are not built to come out of the gates strong because of Keith Bogans. I don't mean to turn it into a Keith Bogans sucks thing, but the offense tends to struggle when he's on the floor, and it will likely continue to struggle early on while he's on the floor.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah, well you were one of many to applaud the Bulls for NOT trading Asik for Lee. I said Asik would not play enough to warrant him being "untradeable"! While Noah is a big part of this team, teams don't need to focus on him much because he ONLY scores right at the rim AND Bogans is simply inept. Team basically play 5 on 3 and Brewer is no better. When we play Boozer and Korver together, it compromises our defense. This is why we need to make the deal!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    This is the way the Bulls have played in every game in the second half of the season. Almost every game they played has come down to the wire and now in the playoffs. The problem is that we're not a good offensive team. The front office recognized this problem prior to the season which is why they tried to sign redick and later reached out to Rip Hamilton and OJ Mayo but with no success. So here we are stuck to tough it out with Boguns who's better suited as a bench player yet he starts, and then there's Korver who's a set shooter with limited defense and Brewer who's a good defender with limited offense. Then there's Boozer who we all thought would make the biggest difference coming into this season but so far really hasn't played much better than Taj Gipson but with a much higher price tag. Honestly I think our starting lineup should be Rose, Korver, Deng, Gipson, and Noah with Boozer and Brewer coming off the bench.

  • In reply to ajay708:

    If it makes you feel any better, the playoffs aren't really a continuation of the second half of the season. Bulls went 34-7 in their last 41 and outscored opponents by over 9 points. In their 34 wins, their average margin of victory was over 12 points.

    Yeah, it didn't make me feel any better either.

  • You're right...Bogans won't be one of the guys taking it to the rack 'cause he's no good at it.

    In addition to needing a vacation from the Pacers, I need a vacation from defending Bogans.

  • In reply to Nossem:

    Bogans did well in game three, where the Bulls won in large part because of their three-point shooting.

    Boozer did well in game two.

    Noah is playing better every game.

    I agree that the Bulls will close it out. I'm not sure it will be a blowout, but I think it will be a comfortable win.

  • In reply to Nossem:

    Bogans can help with the offense by simply hitting his open threes. He did that effectively from the mid point of the season on, but has struggled with it in the playoffs so far.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You will be praising Bogans when he shuts down Ray Allen, Wade, Joe Johnson or Crawford in the next few rounds;-)...

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    They need to shoot the ball great like they did in Game 3. D. Rose started out slow, never really got going, but Deng and Korver's offense kept us right with them. I know Thibs is stuck on "units", but I don't see anything wrong with giving Butler some minutes in the later rotations... I mean c'mon, can it hurt?

  • In reply to ChristyOO8:

    I agree, in short spurts, if nothing else is working, why not put Butler in there to spark something.

    Also, you mentioned Thibs being stuck on "units", he was all season long and I think that was one of the team's strengths. I totally get playing your starters more in the playoffs but he's definitely gotten away from the "units" mentality so far in the playoffs. There have been times in this series where I wish he'd get back to those units.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The Bulls probably wont jump out to a big lead against the Pacers, but if they can throughout the course of the game demoralize this team slowly building a big lead to ultimately winning the game and letting the UC crowd get all over these guys would be better. As I said on the last thread, it's time for the Pacers to start their summer vacation. Bulls need to take them out tomorrow night.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    This was an extremely enjoyable read-and spot on in its sentiment.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    For us to come out hard and fast I think depends alot on our defense. It hasnt been aggressive or consistent the entire playoffs. We want to kill them early? Get Boozer going. Play Hard D. And Show them who is boss.

  • I think as fans if we had one game where the Bulls dominated and won by 10-15 points, we would have our feelings not hurt so much.
    Look at Miami-Phi series...it is the same as Bulls except for the second game and everyone thinks Miami is playing great.

    The one thing I worry about is how the team came back so easily in Game 4 and they don't take Game 5 kind of the same way if they trail a little or decide to play with extra intensity only in the 4th quarter especially with Rose not 100%

  • Ariza is quality. I will always take five minutes of my time to watch him on the floor. Loosing Ariza for Artest is still questionable in my mind. Yes the Lakers won last year, but I don't know if that can be credited to Artest. Ariza is playing well against the Lakers, and he's a lot younger than Artest.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Given that Artest hit a title winning shot, I think you can credit Artest some.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    I know Thibs and Derrick say the ankle is fine and he will be playing in Game 5, but would any of you bench DRose and try and win with CJ at the helm? Anyone think we could win at home without D.Rose?

    Re-spraining an ankle is most likely to occur sooner rather than later from the point of the original sprain. CJ is comfortable starting as he scored 33 in his only start and plays/practices regularly with the starters.

    I think it could really boost the confidence of all the other guys that they could win without D.Rose.

    How much scarier would we be to the league if we could close the Pacers without Derrick?

  • In reply to Crowned:

    If you're taking a poll, put me down as a "NO" on benching Rose in favor of CJ just 'cause we want to see if we could win that way. In fact, put an expletive of your choosing in front of my "NO."

  • In reply to Nossem:

    If Rose comes out really favoring the ankle and not taking it to the hole then I would consider sitting him for the rest of the game but I dont see that happening.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    It might be happening in a way. Did you see the latest tweet about Thibs putting in some new plays. Obviously, they practised today with CJ acting as Rose with the first team. They must be having new plays for somebody else like Boozer, Deng or Noah. I hope it means Rose is acting more like Jason Kidd rather than Rose.

  • Kinda off topic but I thought itd be best to ask fellow Bulls fans!!

    I can get custom made jerseys so I remember a few weeks back that we were talking about getting Rose jerseys that say badass lol

    Can I get some suggestions on what to actually put on the back of Derrick Rose jerseys, I was thinking

    MVP
    Poohdini
    Pooh

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    The Closer
    MVP
    or Badass

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    you are having multiples made up? I actually like bad ass or the last part of Stacey Kings statement .... Too Good

  • Awesome writeup! I feel exactly like you its been fun but its getting old its time for the Cat to stop playing with the mouse and swallow it whole!!!

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