In the pregame, I said the Bulls needed to shoot better, and as a team, they delivered from beyond the arc. For once, it wasn't Kyle Korver playing the three point hero, but Bogans, Deng, and Rose who connected from beyond the arc to to lead the team.
With solid shooting, the Pacers simply had no chance whatsoever in this game, and even some trigger happy referees couldn't turn the tide of the game despite calling a bunch of dicey fouls on Rose and Noah.
Derrick Rose fights off foul trouble and a bum wheel to give the Bulls an MVP like performance
25 points and 6 assists almost seems like a mediocre stat line for Rose,
but when the Pacers closed the gap to four points and Rose had to come
back in the third with four fouls, he put them away.
In a short span, Rose knocked down two threes, had two assists, and
split a pair of free throws, as well as stuffing Roy Hibbert. Then the
rout was on, and the bench picked it up in the fourth and Rose sat out
the rest of the game.
It wasn't 4th quarter fireworks, but when the team started to unravel a
bit and needed Rose, he came through fast and furious and put the Pacers
Joakim Noah had a little extra motivation and delivered
Noah's grandfather, a former professional soccer player, was at the UC
to take in his first ever basketball game. First how crazy is it that
Noah's family has three generations of professional athletes in
completely different sports?
Noah definitely put on a show for his grandfather. I'm not sure how
much a newcomer to the game appreciates defense, but Noah shut down the
paint, did a tremendous job switching the pick and roll, blocked four
shots, and altered too many to count. Joakim scored 14 and only pulled
down eight boards, but brough incredible energy all game long and looks
like all-star Noah again.
He baited Josh McRoberts into a frustration flagrant 2. For the second
time this series McRoberts decided to just go off and try and deck
someone off the ball in a fairly unprovoked fashion.
Luol Deng stepped it up
Much like he has for most of the season, Luol Deng brought the complete game. Passing,shooting, and defense. He knocked down his threes and played with excellent decision making.
If Luol can continue to play at this level, the Bulls will be awfully difficult to beat.
Keith Bogans brought the military grade flamethrower
Keith Bogans scored 15 on 7 shots by knocking down 5 of his 7 threes. When Keith Bogans calls down the thunder, the game's over. Really, it's not reasonable to ask for a 5/7 night from Bogans too often, but when he delivers one the Bulls are nearly unbeatable.
Once Bogans needs to be defended out to the three point line, the Bulls offense really clicks without losing anything on the defensive end.
I've given Keith a hard time at many points this season, and I'm still not too amped about starting him, but he stepped up big in this game and was a huge factor in the Bulls win.
What the hell is with Boozer?
Seriously, this guy needs to get some confidence back. Boozer had some good looks, but again, couldn't get them to go. He was abysmal once again and the fact that he collected four fouls in 16 minutes wasn't helping his cause much.
I'm sure no one on the team will be happier than Boozer to get away from the Pacers frontline.
Taj Gibson gave the Bulls some quality minutes
Much like Joakim, Taj Gibson brought it big time with his defense and energy and defense. He also knocked down a few key jumpers when the game was still a bit in doubt mid way through.
When Carlos Boozer hasn't been able to deliver, Taj Gibson has, and if this trend continues I hope to see the minutes reflect that as well.
This was the game we were all waiting for from the beginning. The Bulls are simply a much better team than the Pacers and finally brought their A game to the table. Once that happened there was never a doubt in the outcome.
As for the Pacers, I won't miss them. Jeff Foster, Tyler Hansbrough, and Josh McRoberts all proved to be dirty, thuggish players who took cheap shots whenever they had the opportunity. Frank Vogel's delusional post game conferences were good for a laugh, but were getting a bit old. I'm pretty sure he's announcing how they're actually up 3-2 in this series somewhere now.