Derrick Rose just MVP'd the Indiana Pacers

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With a 3:38 left in the game, the Bulls down by 10, Tyler Hansbrough making a mockery Carlos Boozer's defense, things did not look good.

Luol Deng knocked down a couple free throws, Joakim hit a tip, and then Derrick Rose went MVP on the Pacers.

It started with an incredible pass to Noah for a dunk in transition.   Noah missed the free throw and the lead was four.  

Then Derrick Rose hit an impossible spinning layup in the lane while being knocked around.   He followed it up with an incredible floater off a spin move, and an assist to Kyle Korver for the three, and the Pacers never recovered.
Derrick's the MVP, but the defense is co-MVP

Derrick Rose amazed us with his play at the game.  The two shots he hit were incredible as well as the passing and overall run of the team.   The Bulls made a 10 point deficit a 3 point lead in three minutes, but they couldn't have done that without the defense stepping up.

The Pacers, for god knows what reason, decided they'd stop attacking Carlos Boozer despite scoring on three straight possessions doing exactly that, and Luol Deng did a great job defending Danny Granger down the stretch.   The Bulls helped, and the Pacers jumpers finally stopped falling.

So while we're discussing how amazing Rose's finish was, and it was absolutely amazing, the defense at the end of this game allowed him to MVP the Pacers.

Carlos Boozer needs to get his crap together

Boozer's never been someone I've really bought in to.  He at least rebounds decently, though his stats are inflated by the way he steals rebounds from his teammates.   He came up extremely small on both ends, and I'd still feel better with Taj Gibson closing out games than Carlos Boozer.

Tyler Hansbrough is a good matchup to wake him up for the next series because Hansbrough is like the terminator.  He will not stop.  He will not quit.  He will just keep going and going.  A series against someone like that should force him to get his crap together, and this game should have plenty of tape to go back and look at.

I will say this in his defense, Boozer played almost the whole game in foul trouble, and because of that, he was less aggressive than he might have been otherwise.  In that sense, I'm not too panicked about his play, especially given that his effort defensively has been much better recently.

Luol Deng played well down the stretch

Maybe no one remembers, but Deng had a huge reputation for coming up small in the fourth quarter.  Derrick closed this one out, but Luol Deng scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.   He knocked down a couple threes, a two, and a few free throws.

The Bulls aren't in position to make a comeback if it weren't for Luol Deng playing well on the offensive end.  As noted above, on the defensive end, he did a brilliant job closing out the game defending Danny Granger.   Granger had eight in the quarter but it was all in the early portion of it, and Deng wouldn't even let him get the shot off later.

Joakim didn't have the best game, but his offensive rebounding really kept us in it at times

Noah's energy was definitely higher in this game, and while he wasn't having the best game early, he had the huge dunk and tip in the final three and a half minutes as well as back to back blocks when the Pacers were fighting on their last gasp to try and get back in it once the Bulls took the lead.

Noah's starting to look more like the Noah we know and love.

Is this going to be a series?

The natural reaction to this is that, oh my god, we almost lost a game to the Pacers, this series is going to be tough.

Doubt it. 

Look if Tyler Hansbrough could play this well normally he wouldn't be averaging 11 points a game.   If the Pacers could knock down 10/18 threes a night then they'd be one of the best teams in the league.

A lot went right for the Pacers which is why they led most of the game.  The Bulls came out fairly flat, Boozer laid a huge egg, and Bulls did not shoot the ball well.

In the end, the Bulls still ground out a victory though.   I don't expect this to be a series even though the Pacers showed a ton of heart and a ton of grit.  It reminds me of the Bulls playing the Cavaliers last season.   Bulls fans hoped that Chicago could shock the world or at least make it a series.   Never happened.

Not happening here either.

The thing is, this is the absolute worst possible outcome for the Pacers.   They had everything go right for the most part, had a huge lead and choked.   The Bulls are going to look at the film and be extraordinarily pissed off at the effort and play.

Quite frankly, the Bulls aren't likely to play this badly again, and the Pacers are going to be in for a tough road ahead of them.  Of course, nothing about that is surprising.

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  • MVP'd again and another one bites the dust!

  • It's well documented that certain Bulls players do not like early games. Perhaps they are too tired from partying the night before.

    it was good to escape this one. The next 3 may be a lot easier

  • In reply to bulls6:

    I agree, even Danny Granger said in the post game he'd rather lose a game by 20 than lose like this.

    There's nothing more demoralizing for the Pacers than a loss like this IMO.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    in the 3rd paragraph, i know you meant noah, but you wrote deng.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    Quite right, I fixed it.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    i do the same thing all the time.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Boozer was stunningly bad. I remember when the Bulls acquired him last year a Jazz fan on the RealGM board congratulated Bulls fans but indicated that he was relieved that this guy was off his team. Between his continual injuries, slow and ineffective defense, and inability to do anything on offense against bigger players, this fan felt Boozer was grossly over-rated.

    I would say he was right on the mark. The only difference to his game is now he is ineffective offensively against similarly sized average players.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    While I largely agree, I would say that Boozer's presence and ability does make Rose's life a lot easier. Even when he's not scoring well, he's a great passer, and he needs to be accounted for on offense because of his ability.

    That said, Boozer's defense is stunningly bad, and his offense wasn't helping things out today either.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I have to agree, Boozers one redeemable skill as a Bull has been his interior passing. Not sure that makes up for the complete piece of shit that the rest of his game has become, but he is a willing and good passer.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    This will deflate the Pacers big time. They played fantastic, let 97% of the time, made all crazy shots and got creamed by the Bulls when it really mattered.
    We sweep them.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    I agree.

    I give the Pacers credit for playing tough, but I thought prior to the series starting that they simply didn't have enough talent, and that's still the case.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Great game from Rose. but he is shooting too much 3's. 10 3pts attempts !! that's just too much !!
    If deng woke up earlier we wouldn't have been in this position. I would have liked pacers to win that game. It would force bulls to play better the next games.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I think the Bulls will play better next game even without the loss.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    i really hope so.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    The entire Bulls defense was pretty bad for about 3 3/4 of the game. We can't lay this all on Boozer. I found myself thinking when they took a 98-88 lead with 3 or 4 minutes left that I can't believe we're about to give up 100 pts to this team at home. Suddenly the defense clamped down and we wound up holding them under 100 after all.

    Booz isn't a great defender by any means, but I'm going to give Hansborough some credit here. He just kept hitting shots even when there was a hand in his face. It's natural to blame your own players before giving the opposition credit -- you only have to check out an opponents forum to realize this, but the fact is Hansborough can shoot and he's done it against better defenders than Boozer.

    I'm a little more frustrated by Boozer's offense. I agree with Doug in that his presence alone opens some things up, he's a good passer, and he's pretty efficient on offense. But we need more from him offensively if we're going to make a run at the title.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Great game....no,not at all! Great last 2 minutes....oh yes, absolutely!

    DRose is just awesome.....MVP...that's all!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    1. Deng played great in the 4th quarter. Was he struggling because of having to play hard defense on Granger and started playing better on offense because of not playing so well on defense?
    2. Boozer just needs to man-up on Hansborough. And just don't let him get to his favorite spots. He committed too many offensive fouls trying to stop an about to happen block.
    3. I just think some of the lethargic play in the first half can be chalked to the early start. The Pacers seemed to have done the right things yesterday night(take rest and focus on the game) while the Bulls were getting themselves drunk on too much praise. I guess that's why Thibs keeps harping on keeping the focus on the next game only.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I was really worried about that early start as soon as I heard about it. It seems like the Bulls have struggled with that this season. In the end, it only turned out to be a big scare and hopefully that will be enough to keep the Bulls focused and ready from this point forward. The playoffs are a different animal. They can't afford to get off to such sluggish starts if they expect to beat the better teams.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Hansbrough just had one of those games. He's been better at the end of the season. He's at about 16 pts/game since the end of January.

    He was actually only at 15 points until that 7 point barrage that put the Pacers up 10, but until then he wasn't exactly killing us. The timing of those 7 points, though, sticks in our mind.

    Darren Collison was lighting up DRose the same way in the first quarter when the Pacers jumped on the Bulls early. In fact, I believe Collison had 8 straight points for the Pacers at one point. The differences are 1) the timing, it was only the first quarter and we weren't in panic mode yet and 2) Boozer has become an easy target whereas Rose has earned the benefit of the doubt with his incredible play this season. We know he'll bounce back and more than make up for his lapses.

    But I really think it goes beyond any individual player. The entire Bulls defense was frustrating until the final 3:38.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    How do you like your BGBZR now, what a pathetic phony piece of crap.

    The guy shouldn't even play this series. With Inidiana's inside length it should be Noah, Thomas and Asik.

    Anybody not want to trade Hansbrough for BGBZR before game 2.

    Doug, what makes you think that Hansbrough and the Pacer's can't do this again, it is exactly what happened in the last game of the series, except it went to OT and we lost.

    Hansbrough didn't get the minutes before the coaching change, I am sure has averaged more than 11 ppg since then.

    I didn't think that guy had the talent to make it in the league, but it just shows what can happen when you have a heart and give it all, all the time.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Eh, you seem to have a very low threshold for what you tolerate in players. Boozer frustrates me greatly. I pointed that out before signing him, and I've pointed it out during the season.

    At the same time, he does give us a needed offensive dimension that we miss when he doesn't play. Like Korver, he helps alleviate the pressure from Rose offensively. He was pretty much hot garbage in this game though.

    As for Hansbrough, we'll see. I simply don't trust him to knock down his jumper like that every game. Maybe he'll prove me wrong. Could the Pacers have another good game? Sure, I suppose. Maybe they can extend the series all the way to five games.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The one thing that I have no tolerance for is lack of effort, and defense is nothing but effort, and some coaching to know what needs to be done.

    That is why I don't give Korver a hard time, he is not a good defender but he actually tries and does the best that he can. That is also why I hated Gordon, because he never tried to do anything but score.

    I just don't see where Boozer has provided us with that low post presence that we have been searching for forever. He basically gets most of his post up shots blocked by either the man guarding him or the bottom of the rim. He does not score in the post in a half court game, he is basically a fade away jump shooter.

    I think Korver's presence is far more beneficial to both Rose and the entire Bulls offense that Boozer is.

    IF Boozer isn't dominant on offense, he is absolutely worthless, because the rest of his game is pathetic. He basically has four moves, and three of them are fouls, the 2 hand shove in the back as he attempts to rebound, the forearm shiver clearout while shooting or making space for a shot, and the lowered shoulder bull rush trying to create space for a shot. His fourth and final move is the stupid slapping of his hands and screaming after every mistake or woulda shoulda coulda play.

    Yes, I have no tolerance for lack of effort and lack of honesty and integrity, or phonies. I am pretty sure that we can get 12 and 6 from just about anybody, even Taj, and at least he cares and tries.

    I don't mind failure, if that is the best that you can do and leave it all on the floor. If you think that Boozer gives us that, or that Gordon ever gave us that then we are watching a different game.

    Maybe I got spoiled watching Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier as a kid. and then Scottie and Michael and Horace and even Rodman.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Leave a comment...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    i still hav eno idea why chicago hates ben gordon. he played hard. i appreciate the amount of effort boozer put a lot of pressure on indiana on offense end, and his defensive deficiencies weren't due to effort. Boozer and bg were huge parts of the bulls success in the past, and right now. Give it a rest chicago, they're athletes. Nobody is D-rose(perfect).

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    I agree. You'd love to have a team full of guys that are great two way players, but that doesn't happen. Guys who are legit two way players are generally elite players in the league, and there really aren't that many of them.

    You have to learn to fit pieces together, some guys are high energy, low skill, some are high skill, low athleticism, some are best of everything (but those are rare and you typically only have one at most).

    The end result is to put together the best team you can, and the Bulls have a mix of talents and have put them together as best as they could.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As I said if Boozer was putting up 20-30 points you might live with the rest of his game, but he isn't and has been mostly a 12-14 ppg lately.

    IF that is all he gives you then we are a better team with Thomas, Taj and ASik getting those minutes.

    Lets face it, our problem these past 2 Indy games was lack of defense not lack of offense. It only takes one dog to kill a good defense.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I was at the game and oh man did the UC go crazy at the end. I hope Boozer gets his things together for the next game cuz this really shouldn't have been a close game at all.

  • In reply to Vedo:

    They need to go crazy the whole time

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Anyone that followed Boozer in Utah should be familiar with these types of performances. Thankfully we have Rose to bail us out, D-Will just kept feeding Boozer, which kills you! Moving Boozer this summer is something I would quietly look into. Bogans reverted back to "Bad Bogans" and Noah really struggled until the later part of the 4th. I don't think Indiana will shoot like they did tonight but we best pick it up. We might have had a good record over the last month but our play has not been sharp.

  • In reply to sukid09:

    The thing is, what are you going to trade Boozer for?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Crap space.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Awful, horrible, frustrating game to watch, but now I think this will be a sweep. This was the Pacers best game, and the Bulls worst, yet the Bulls won. The Pacers have guts, though, and they should make these remaining games interesting (although I might expect a big Bulls win Monday night).

    Noah's game was up and down, but he's an energy player, and his energy was up today. I can only hope the big plays he made at the end of the game carry over into even more energy and confidence in Game 2.

    Deng was awesome. Gutsy, clutch, determined, everything he's not supposed to be in the eyes of his critics. Loved it.

    Boozer totally sucked, and there's reason for concern, but this should also be his worst game of the series unless he keeps getting in foul trouble.

    While Korver was pretty bad during the game, he showed why he's here late--to make that big fourth quarter shot, something he's done pretty regularly all season.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    When Deng drew the tech and tehn pumped up the crowd, that was amazing.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Deng has a stoic personality just like Rose so sometimes it may appear he doesn't care or isn't into it. There was no doubting his desire today, it was great to see and I wonder what effect it had on their comeback.

    I thought Korver played quite well today actually.. did I get blinded by his clutch 3?

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Korver's in there to score and space the floor.

    He had 13 points on 7 shots, including a clutch three to give the Bulls their first lead of the game (which proved to be the game winner), and he had a few assists.

    Nope, not blinded by the clutch three :)

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    What bugs me is that this game was just like a lot of recent games against "non-elite" teams that we've played recently. We run good offense, then miss open shots, miss short-range shots, miss offensive put-backs, luck seems to go with the other team as far as offensive rebounds falling into their hands for put-backs, they consistently seem to hit EVERY uncontested jumper, we defend well for 22 seconds and they they hit the long three or get a foul-call bail-out... and a game we SHOULD have iced in the first quarter turns into a hard-fought, frustrating, ultimately too-hard victory. I love that we win! - but we're NOT playing at any kind of elite level - at least until we get to the Miamis and Bostons and etc, THEN we finally play big. Is is arrogance? Lack of preparation? Perhaps we need to realize that everyone else is as pumped up to play US as we are when WE play the Elites, and we need to treat every game as if it were against Elites. We are NOT good enough, not now anyway, to get away with sub-average offense and 95% defense for much longer, Indiana are perfectly capable of turning this series around unless we get more consistent. Except DRose will do his best not to allow that, I suppose. Whine whine... Korver and Deng the fourth quarter heroes again, but both have been guilty of wide-open miss after miss earlier in the last few games. And GOOD but not elite teams have been hitting EVERYTHING against us, at least until fourth quarters, when they must be tired out from all the long jumpers they've been splashing. Hmmmmnnn... maybe that's Thibs' plan... NOT. Sorry to grump, I'm thrilled we won, but am rather sick of this run of frustrating games over the past three weeks or so... Anyone else see this pattern?

    See you Monday... Keep them coming, Doug and Krewe. Love you guys...

  • In reply to muhammond:

    PREDICTIONS:

    Game 2: Bulls will get better play and production from those not name DRose (e.g. Boozer, Watson), hopefully in the 1st half, and will win by at least double digits.

    Game 3: Pacers are re-energized with a return to IN, and this game will determine if the series goes 4 or 5. If the Bulls can weather the storm in a tight, hard-fought game, then it's time to bring out the brooms. I'll give the Pacers the benefit of the doubt, though, and they'll pull off the win.

    Game 4: Thibs and DRose won't let them lose this game. Big numbers will come from a bench player (e.g. Korver, Gibson), and DRose will make the plays to crush the Pacers' confidence.

    Game 5: Last desperate attempt by the Pacers to make it a series. The 1st half will tell the tale of how the game goes, either close or a blowout. Either way, it's DRose to the rescue again when it matters most, and Lu, Noah, Boozer, or Korver play Robin to his Batman. No celebration on the home court, just a business-like approach as they immediately start to think about preparing for round 2.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I think you are right in that game 3 is the most likely spot for the Pacers to get a win.

    Downside for the Pacers is that Chicago is a short drive away. In fact, I'm going to that game with a buddy, and I expect Bulls fans to well represent in Indianapolis.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I forgot to saay aomething about Boozer: It's unbelievable how bad he's defending. God damn....he's not even average!!!!!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Doog you said :
    "Look if Tyler Hansbrough could play this well normally he wouldn't be averaging 11 points a game. If the Pacers could knock down 10/18 threes a night then they'd be one of the best teams in the league."

    Doog, remember the loss against the pacers when Rose sent the game in overtime. Hansbrough was also hot and the pacers were knocking shots after shots. I don't think it has something to do with luck. It seems like we have trouble playing the pacers when Hansbrough plays a lot of minutes ( he barely played when Jim O'brian was the coach).

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Let's watch the next three games, and I think we'll find that Hansbrough isn't going to shoot that well typically.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Sounds like sour grapes by the jazz fan. Milsap certainly didn't live up to expectations. Now there team's toast fo another decade.

    Boozer has flaws, but the bulls need his scoring.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    Boozer defense was bad, but his offense was, inexcusably, bad. He just couldn't get anything going, and he had quite a few turnovers.

  • Absolutely, but as you said, we know it won't happen.

    I wish it would happen by round 2 though. I'm actually not as concerned with the start of the game, because Korver tends to pick up a lot of fouls.

    I'd love to see him start the second half instead of Bogans though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Can you have Korver and Boozer on the floor together defensively for that long, I don't know.

    Boozer should be the go to scorer for the second unit replacing Deng. Start him if you must but sub for him at the 6 minute mark and bring in Korver at that point also. Boozer can then return to start the second quarter with the bench mob.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    One thing you left out was Rose's poor defense on Collison in the first half. Colison outplayed him until the final three minutes of the game. His ability to get in the lane was the key to indiana's efficient offense and a lot of the open looks for Hansbrough.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I notice alot of people on here saying Boozer is a good passer...Since when? Because like most of you on here i've watched every bulls game this season. I can honestly say I've never seen boozer make a quality pass. Thats not hyperbole either.. On occassion maybe he's made a nice pass here or there but i've never seen it. Im obviously not looking for him to make PG type passes but if you guys say he can pass I guess he can. Whatever the case...Hansbrough can shoot and boozer had a hand up a few times..but whoever we face next round Be it Josh smith or Brandon Bass..Boozer will be exposed once again.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    he would be a little less gun shy too if he had more minutes

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