"The Pacers are a much better team then their record/people think." Repeat.
Sure it's debatable that Indiana is playing better then say Philly, New York, Atlanta..? Still I mean you're talking about a team with a novice, post firing replacement coach, and only one all-star at best in Granger. Stars are always subjective, but many have said Celtics have two at minimum in Pierce and Rondo. Miami has three. Atlanta Horford and Johnson. And the Bulls? We can rationalize Horford's not an an all-star or Rondo etc. But many people would support these guys as viable. Lakers with two though Gasol has slumped lately. OKC Westbrook and Durant. Again the Bulls? Right now Noah is coming back to solid starter status, but offensively not yet back to all-star November Jo. Yet maybe he gets there. Boozer? Hahahahaha(continue). Though I'm sorry I called the guy the P word which is bush..? I'd really only bag on a guy for dirty play or phony behavior/actions detrimental to the team. But never for poor play or simply folding. Sucks, choked, worthless, but not swearing about one of your own. He pisses some fans off wherever he's played with some of the lame crap he pulls, but still if the team's play rises, I think he could follow/do his part. Deng? He's played close to that level at times. And needs to remain there, and skip the 3-13's.
I agree the last thing I want as a Bulls fan is someone disrespecting the team or being overly negative in a playoff setting where everybody is vulnerable. Upsets do happen, and a new group of Korver, Rose, Boozer, Noah have all been put together in their first playoff test. Racking up 62 wins deserves respect, and likewise the coach who's defense and also basic offensive principles and plays is largely responsible. Yet he is in his first post season brawl himself as the handler of player's psyche's, egos, minutes, roles/instructions(offensively) as well. And you also have had Derrick Rose at your disposal.
Honestly, I just don't want denial and abject homerism. The Bulls IMO just did not look like a well run/coached offense in Game 3. I've had problems with the defense at times as have many national NBA columnists, former players etc. noting the Pacers elevated assist totals in Games 1 and 2 etc. But beyond arguement should be the Bulls offense has largely been ineffective and often downright ugly. And really if Thibs would just look a little more calm and collected at times responding to adversity or blown calls I'm not completely rejecting his take no prisoners Vince Lombardi style. Though i do think he should embrace(perhaps not literally) Derrick and Jo at times more with respectful or even encouraging interactions.
Pip said it best
You can take your pot shots at Scottie Pippen for the "1.5 seconds" he refused to play, or how he's handled his finances, hopscotch paternity etc. My view is biased of course as a huge Bulls fan of the Michael and Scottie years. And karma has a way of punishing transgressions as far as I'm concerned. Beyond the moralisms and his poor showing on ESPN as a short lived NBA commentator, voices from Phil Jackson, Pax, Steve Kerr and on have stated Scottie knows the game. Of course knowledge, and being able to implement that knowhow in the pressure of the playoffs with diverse personalities is a different matter.
But in Game 3 Pippen pointed to the pick and rolls setting Derrick up for an easy double team/vice rather then enabling him to drive. How many times did Derrick get chased all the way to the half court line, and have to heave the ball ahead like he was falling off the deck of a ship? I agrree with Doug that Noah being the double buster on the drive would be huge, but with his only recently upped minutes and lack of fundamental integration into the offense as he used to handle the ball a ton on high post/cutter distributorship it would be asking a lot for him to bust those doubles with any consistency. Still, if Thibs purposely puts Joakim in that roll, and Jo gets 38 minutes and up he may find his groove, and get it done. Or at least be a factor i.e 15-16 points with 4 or more assists.
Another adjustment should be Boozer; as in adjust his as* to the bench. I'm kidding. Seriously the atavistic, cro-magnon Jeff Foster or "the scowling Neanderthal" god does he look like a post lobotomy zombie, is just crawling all over Carlos on post ups. Carlos needs to take advantage of this overcomittment(and cheap ass play), by slipping that resistance/turning it against Uncle Goony by sealing him off and spinning to get an open lane to the basket. And appropriate Bulls players Bogans, Korver, Derrick etc. should hopefully have practiced the best angles to feed him the ball once past his defender/deep in the paint.
Hopefully Thibs has made the adjustments, and maybe without saying it embraced the players with a little more encouragement and a little less scolding i.e some of the fault lies with his lack of/poor adjustments. If Thibs had them practice some of these adjustments then the Bulls might take the first half to get the momentum rolling, and then wipe the floor with the Pacers in the second half. This in some ways humbling series could be a blessing in dsiguise to give the Bulls the keys to addressing/correcting their weaknesses without losing a series over it/being against a lesser opponent. Maybe this series becomes, "The Scrum With the Bums" aka that changed everything towards a strong run at Miami(and beyond).