The Chicago Bulls failed to win against Atlanta in game one, and what's perhaps most disconcerting is that they lost the game in the fourth quarter where they've typically owned opponents. After rolling around the results of game one in my head I came up with the following things which need to change for the Bulls to win game two.
Defend the early offense better
The Hawks dominated the Bulls in early offense in transition or in pseudo-transition plays. The primary problem is that while the Bulls frequently had someone back defensively, that person wasn't stopping the ball on the perimeter but was setting up around the charge line.
The athletic Hawks players easily scored from this position. In an ideal world, the Bulls would have more players back at all times to make a play in transition, but they need someone to pick up the ball handler closer to the three point line so that he's not going with a full head of steam at the basket with a stationary player there.
One of the primary ways the Bulls can slow down the Hawks offense is to force them into a half court game where their decision making and shot selection are frequently questionable.
Derrick Rose needs to step up his game
The Hawks spent most of the night single covering Rose with Jeff Teague, and Derrick simply didn't do a whole lot with that situation. Unless Jeff Teague has some preternatural defensive ability we haven't seen yet, this indicates that Rose either had a horrific game, or Derrick's ankle is cause for considerable concern.
I'm betting on the ankle. Rose simply wasn't slashing to the hoop like he has in the past and settled for a lot of mid range and long jumpers which weren't falling for him. Teague played Rose like it was his rookie season, sagging up to 6 feet off of him when Rose was behind the three point line.
If Rose just shoots that three in Teague's face and buries a few of them, the entire Atlanta defensive scheme will fall apart on Rose. However, Rose shot plenty of threes last game and simply didn't bury them.
If Rose allows the defense to treat him like he's Rajon Rondo shooting the ball without punishing them from the outside it's going to be a long series for Chicago.
Get Luol Deng some more touches
The man was 8/12 last night, why did he only shoot the ball 12 times? Luol found his way into the paint with regularity and drew fouls and made close shots. The Bulls need to make sure he's getting plenty of looks when he's playing that hot.
Joe Johnson spent a good amount of time playing SF, and when he defends Deng, we need Deng actively involved to help wear Johnson out on the defensive end.
Fight a little harder on the glass
The teams were basically neutral on the boards last night. The Atlanta Hawks are a decent defensive rebounding team, but they're one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the NBA. There Bulls are the best rebounding team in the league.
To come up neutral there, especially when the Bulls missed so many shots, it simply an unacceptable performance from the Bulls big men.
Wait for the shots to stop falling
Sounds like an excuse, but Joe Johnson's not scoring 34 on 66% shooting from the field and 100% shooting from the three point line again. The Hawks will cool off. The theory has been put out there that Atlanta shot well against Orlando, but that's really not all that accurate.
Outside of Jamal Crawford and Kirk Hinrich (not playing) they didn't shoot well from the outside against Orlando, and while Crawford was a very good 46%, Joe Johnson only hit 33% of his threes.
The shots won't fall forever.