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Bulls vs Hawks 7pm on TNT - 6% of teams come back from 0-2

An 0-2 deficit isn't an impossible hole to climb out of, but it's close enough that Chicago knows they certainly don't want to have to buck the odds.   Start throwing around whatever cliches you want to describe the importance of this game, for Chicago, it's true.  Losing to Atlanta would be a humiliating way to end an otherwise great season, so Chicago, who's only hit their A game once in the playoffs, better step it up.

It's MVP time

Chicago has campaigned for Rose all season long, he won the MVP, and the Bulls need their MVP to play like one now.   He's got a deck stacked against him with an ankle that clearly bothers him far more than he's letting on.   Atlanta played a "stop rookie D-Rose" defense on him last game, and it was effective. 

Jeff Teague sagged 6 feet off Rose while he was behind the three point arc as if Rose had Rajon Rondo's shot, and for game one he did.   Rose kept taking threes, and I agree that he should keep taking them, but he's got to start knocking them down at a respectable rate.

One way to improve his odds is to get the ball to Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer and shoot more of his threes in catch and shoot situations.  From the eye test, he shoots much better out of a catch and shoot from beyond the arc than off the dribble.

We all want Rose to drive more, and his zero free throw attempts for game one can't repeat if the Bulls want to win.   However, the paint will remain an awfully crowded place until the Bulls hit some outside jumpers and force the defenders to stretch the floor some.

Take off the defensive tunnel vision goggles and get Kyle Korver in the damn game

Look, I don't want to oversimplify things too much, but the Bulls were +17 while Korver was on the floor for 16 minutes.  I love Tom Thibodeau, I think he was the no brainer coach of the year, but it's mind boggling how something so obvious to anyone with rudimentary basketball knowledge seems to be sitting in the middle of Tom Thibodeau's blindspot.

We need Kyle Korver to space the floor.   We need someone on the court who can hit shots at all times and take up defensive attention outside of Derrick Rose.    Kyle Korver was +17 last game and the next best +/- guy was Joakim Noah at zero.   Given the tremendous success the Bulls had with him on the floor, how on Earth did he only play 16 minutes?

Defense doesn't win games.   Offense doesn't win games.    Scoring more points than your opponent, which is a combination of the two, wins games.   Kyle Korver hurts the defense, but he helps the offense twice as much.  

For the playoffs, the Bulls are averaging 10% better shooting and averaging 18 points per 48 minutes more scoring when Kyle Korver is in the game.   Get him on the floor for 30 minutes.   Wake up and smell what the opposing defense is doing out there just sitting with four guys in the paint laughing at our ability to knock down outside shots.

Bring the energy

The Bulls need to come out of the gate much stronger.   While they were able to climb back into the game after spotting the Hawks 9 points, the Bulls need to try to build up a lead in this thing early for once and start playing like the team we thought they were in the regular season.

Chicago's played one good playoff game in six outings.   The Bulls need to remain committed to moving without the ball and getting back on defense quickly to turn this into a half court affair where they have a player with an elite ability to create a half court shot and an elite defense at stopping half court shots.

Watch out for the guys who didn't kill you game one

Joe Johnson/Jamal Crawford may not repeat their performances, but Horford and Smith have plenty of room to improve on what they did in game one.  Smith's an every other game type of guy anyway, and Horford has shown an ability to hurt the Bulls badly in the past.

Don't overreact to hot shooting and over commit to the perimeter and give up shots on the interior.

Final thoughts

This team hasn't played like who we thought they were.   I thought their 62 wins probably represented a better total than the quality of the team, much like I thought the same of San Antonio.  Atlanta's also probably better than their record by a little bit as well.

All that said, the Bulls are still the better team, but the better team doesn't always win, and they sure aren't playing like it.    I'm not so much scared of Atlanta as I'm scared that the Bulls can't get their act together.   It's too many playoff games to ignore.  This team simply hasn't performed well in the post season, and we can't sit here and say "they'll get it together" forever.

If they don't get it together tonight, it could be a humiliating exit from the 2nd round leaving a nasty taste in the mouth of Bulls fans for the entire off-season.   We'd be on the path to becoming the new Mavericks where you simply couldn't trust whatever we do in the regular season, because we're coming off a massive choke job in the playoffs.

Let's not do that.  Let's get this thing done.

Comments

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  • I am hoping and praying for a win tonight this is the first time in a long time where my confidence in the Bulls winning wasn't very high!

    Usually I count down the hours in the day to watch them play because I am so excited but now I am just plain nervous for it to start and see us fall down 0-2.

    On Cowherds shitty ass show him and I cant remember the other guy where saying that Atlanta is just plain more talented than the Bulls and the only advantage we have at all is Rose.

    They said:

    Rose>Teague
    Bogans/Korver/Brewer < Crawford Deng

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    My post got messed up dang it

    Rose > Teague
    Bogans/Korver/Brewer < Crawford Deng < Johnson Boozer < Smith Noah < Hortford

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I dunno whats going on but it wont work lol

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Probably something with the symbols you are using being interpreted as html tags.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    A couple of points:
    1. Are Rose/Thibs trying to setup a struggling Boozer too much in the beginning and screwing up the offense?
    2. Is Rose thinking too much about half-court offense in the playoffs? He is not bringing up the ball fast and taking a lot more time to setup the offense so as to get the best shot which ends up in taking risky passes?(the talk about shots are less in the playoffs and each shot counts..)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    i think rose is just plain injured, he looks like the Nov 09 version of himself but with an irrational confidence in his 3 point shot. Remember the first 2 games against the Pacers, its a different guy.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I agree. Since the ankle injury he has not looked the same.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    or maybe his irrational confidence in his 3 point shot is not really that but more a matter of him wanting to take over the game and thinking this is the only way he can do it because he can't really push that ankle too much. Anyhow, if this is the case somebody has to step up big time, or rather, everyone should step up a little bit so rose can trust them and move the ball around instead of launching bad shots.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    In think you'll see the old Rose tonight and from now on. I'm sure his biggest fan, Barack Obama, called him and asked him...WHAT'S GOING ON?
    Rose will be at his best from now on and take the Bulls to the NBA title.
    I watched part of the MVP presentation ceremony with his mother and rest of his family in the audience, and I was greatly moved. Rose's acceptance speech was great. The thing about it was that it didn't seem prepared. I came away from that certain, foot or no foot, he'll be unstoppable!

  • In reply to Normie:

    I agree, and I get the sense that Rose is just waiting to turn it on, which is whenever he wants. It cost us a game the other night, b/c he waited til the 2nd half, but now we will see the Bulls come out like they did Game 5 against Indiana I believe.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I don't want to oversimplify either, but Kyle Korvers +/- on the year:

    +301 Total, 3rd on the team, while his minutes were 6th highest

    Net per 48 +/- of +8.8, 2nd highest among rotation players behind only Asik, highest among players with over 13 mpg

    The team just plays better with him on the court, and it was the same story in Utah

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    last year (09-10) also 1st on team in per 48 +/- of players with at least 10 mpg

    08-09 3rd highest

    07-08 1st highest

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Is Thibs scared that if Korver is not on his game if playing for long minutes and missing shots, that will lead to easy rebounds and easy buckets for the opposition? I don't believe it and I am one of those yelling at Korver to take a shot when he gets the ball instead of passing. Plus, he is a better defender on a jump-shooting team because of his length rather than a driving team where they can go around him. And Rose is probably more confident of driving and passing with Korver...Thibs probably knows something we don't know or it is the same old thing(chemistry, stubborn, don't want to change what works)..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I would have to lean towards Thibs' stubborn nature. After all, he hasn't ever really tried to go to Korver more. To me if you haven't at least tried something, it reflects upon your character more than anything.

    Don't get me wrong, love Thibs, and his stubborn personality has probably helped him a lot in his life, as there are +'s & -'s to everything, but this one is holding the team back. Still, in Thibs we trust.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Thibs is nothing if not stubborn. He is going to live and die with Bogans until PaxDorf gets rid of him(Bogans not Thibs)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    what if what works hast worked only once in the last 6 games?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Sounds like Asik could use more minutes too, gee I wonder who he should play in place of.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    last game he was +17 while everyone else was a minus. brewer was like -13. Korver could def use some more time. Only 18 minutes last gmae

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    That's probably true about the Nov 09 version of Rose. He is probably tougher in playing through pain now but maybe not experienced enough to keep his game at almost the same level before the injury. Well, if that is true..it means a disappointing end to this season.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    We'll find out tonight how healthy Rose is. He'll come out ready to go after the MVP ceremony and all...if his body holds up he'll tear it up...if not we'll see the ankle give.

    It's do or die time now...

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    That's surprising. Van Gundy, Cowherd etc. i.e paid blatherheads jumping on the Bulls stink bandwagon because their offense/team is struggling. Goat/blame game time. So Atlanta is more talented then Chicago?? Interesting that they use the word talent. Joe Johnson may be talented, but he's also a playoff dud: .275, .409, .417, .387, 40% against Orlando this year. Josh Smith is averaging 13ppg in these playoffs and 14ppg in last year's. His field goal percentages in the playoffs: .398, .421, and .402 with a notable blip last year of .480. Wow, what a stud. And with all that talent Jamaal Crawford known as one of the worst defenders in the game. Granted Horford is a good player, but not a star/prolific at 14 and 15ppg in his third and fourth seasons. And weren't these the guys who got swept with that big broom last year by Orlando?

    Lu Deng, Joakim, Boozer all have had superior producing/winning careers in the playoffs. But the team is in an offensive funk and their momentum has been plagued all season by injuries. Has Thibs adjusted well to the defenses thrown at his team? That's probably debatable. But what it all comes down to is this: Derrick Rose on his game makes the Bulls more talented then Atlanta by himself. In his first two playoffs(years) he's shot .492 and .456 averaging 27(26.9) big boy points per game last year. The real story is not why Boozer is struggling, or why Noah does not have that all-star November Jo impact. The real story is that Derrick Rose aka the guy who brought you game after game closer is shooting... .379 in this year's post 62 win season run.

    Why is Derrick Rose(Kobe, LeBron, place your MVP here) who dominated both Wade and LeBron in a Jordan like performance in a critical statement game on their home court, why is Derrick Rose shooting .379? That number, despite doubles, triple teams, poor adjustments by Thibs, no perimeter threats you name it. But that horrific number for your be all and end all player is spelling the Bull's demise plain and simple. It's hard to see it changing at this point, but who knows stranger things have happened.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Good points RW...but if you think about it the Atlanta Hawks are a bigger threat than even the Miami Heat in a way. Bogans/Brewer/Deng are good defenders than what they are on offense. LeBron/Wade are suspect jump-shooters and if you cut their driving to the paint...you can try to limit them. But because of the bad offense from Bogans, Brewer, Jamal and Joe don't expend so much energy on defense and they are definitely much better shot-makers especially Jamal.
    All that said, I agree that it is eventually for all the analysis everyone does it is Rose or bust.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    If i had to put money on a title winner - though i would burst into a fever and throw up for 2 weeks - it would have to be the goddamn mFing b#%^$#$ clowns known as the miami heat. I'm not watching that finals though, and hope none of you do either... unless they are about to get swept or something... unless its the lakers, in which case im not watching either way.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I respect my friend's(I like the guy as a poster) comments, but no one's going to "limit" LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in this year's playoffs in my opinion. It's just really such an advantage to acquire not only the best player in the league, but then to take all the pressure off of him as somewhat of a playoff choker/folder by joining him up with a top five player and playoff beast in Dwyane Wade(no I do not like Wade in fact I dislike him). Throw in Posh who is a legit scoring talent(though a wuss), and enough proven three point shooters and then take anybody and put them down low, and you have a hellatious combo(refuse to call them a team). I doubt the Lakers can beat LeBron and Wade in their prime with old man Kobe and Co. Celtics likewise just too damn old. And I'm with the other guy there is no way in hell I'm watching a HEAT spawn of satan/Pat Riley/Wade hatched duo and friends in the Finals unless the Lakers appear to be taking them out then I'll have to peek though with Kobe winning that'd be a real lose/lose situation. But I'd take it as we know now he's no Michael, and never will be.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    I won't miss a single minute of game action as Lebron and DWade propel the Heat to first of many championships. Go Heat!!

  • In reply to RichG:

    Just curious why a Heat fan is on this blog

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    there arent really any heat fans out there, it's more like the travelling front runner club that parks in a different lot every few years.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Ah, very good point...thanks for clearing that up.

    I know a lot of people who used to be Cavs fans and then once Lebron left, the suddenly had to clarify that they weren't actually Cavs fans, but Lebron fans. Now they follow the Heat. That crowd probably falls into the "traveling front runner club."

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I think they prefer "traveling douchenozzle club" :-)

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Don't count the Celtics out RW, it would be foolish to do so. They are the epitome of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team psyche. At some point this post season the Heat will have to face REAL adversity. And from what we've seen the Heat tend to fall apart for streaks of games when faced with such adversity.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Thonus, why didn't Thibs put Korver on Teague in the 4th quarter and let Rose guard Crawford? Korver has no chance to stay with Jamal, it's up to Derrick to play both ends and lead this team.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I am not saying in anyway that the Bulls have a good chance of limiting LeBron/Wade. All I am saying those two are more suspect jumpshooters compared to Jamal. There is no way Jamal/Joe are even close to Wade/LeBron in terms of all around talent. But with the other good pieces(Horford, Smith)and the deficiencies of Bogans/Brewer on offense, they can play to their strengths which is iso-shooting.
    That said, we need to see how much Boston has to even offer to gauge anyone. Even Philadelphia gave better games than Boston. Is Boston with its old legs been done and just got lucky facing a completely screwed-up NY.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I think Boston got comfortable with the joke defense they faced in the NY Knicks. Don't be surprised if they wake up and readjust in game 3 and push the Heat to 7.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    People can talk about the next level that teams play on in the playoffs all they want. I find it comical to hear Hollinger and others say that the Bulls just played too hard during the regular season while Miami and others paced themselves. That may have some realistic bearing to why the Bulls ended up with the best record. But it doesn't explain why the Bulls performed so well against top opponents. Can you honestly tell me, with a straight face, that Miami wasn't giving it everything they had, when they desperately tried to avoid going 0-3 against the Bulls? All three Heat games, injuries aside, were playoff atmosphere games. Do you really believe, that when faced with the embarrassment of being swept by a young Chicago team that all three of Miami's stars passed on in the Summer, the Big Three were "holding back"? That they were like "ok guys we want this one, but lets just save the real shit for the postseason"? The idea is laughable. The Bulls haven't struggled because they can't find that extra playoff juice, they've struggled because they haven't played up to their REGULAR SEASON level for the most part. We'll see how it all pans out.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    ^^^ Like it Like it

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Agree about the Miami games and that the Bulls haven't even played to the regular season level.
    That said, the playoffs provide some players/staff the advantage of focusing on one opponent for a few days in more detail than they would for a regular season game. Also, it is more of a do or die situation for LeBron. He has gone through this reg season success and playoff failure plenty of times to know how to prepare. We can guess that LeBron is "trying" to raise his intensity and preparation for the playoffs. Until the Bulls prove it in the playoffs, there will be doubters.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    i think they need find a playoff level, not the regular season level. That's the problem now, playoffs everyone is 0-0, its a different season and a different level of play. Forget about the 62-20 record cause it surely didn't matter to the Hawks.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Just a couple of things. When did JVG become such a genius when it comes to winning basketball. He hasnt coached in years, plus besides the 1999 Knicks what has he accomplished. His Houston teams couldnt even get passed the 1st Round. His backhand compliments about the bulls overacheiving are annoying, and I think its his way of complementing Thibbs on his Coaching ability at the expense of the players. Remember Thibbs assisted JVG, so the more success Thibbs has with an "average" basketball club, the more he feels it will reflect on him because he had him as an assistant. Yes Thibbs may have put them in position to succeed, but it takes the players to perform. This team has not lost more than 2 in a row, you have to credit their effort, drive, and basketball skill. SO I guess he feels the Heat are the most talented team in the league because of the 2.5 men. I don't know how you can argue that through 1 to 12 the Heat are better than the Bulls. Sure Lebron is better than whoever the Bulls have, but after that I like the Bulls better. Sorry, I may be bias but I would take DRose in his MVP season over DWade in a long playoff run. Even though Booz has been struggling I still like him better than Bosh because of his strength and playoff experience. After that the supprting cast of the Bulls are simply better. I think JVG is a little star struck. Everyone is jumping the gun thinking Miami is going to sweep, but dont be surprised if Boston wins the next 4 of 5. Remember in 1993 when everyone thought the Knicks figured out the Bulls when they jumped ahead 2 games. The Bulls came soaring back. Ya I know the Bulls had MJ, but with the the acception of game 4 he struggled most of the series. THe Celtics are champs they will figure it out. Also wasnt JVG an assistant on that choking 1993 Knicks team

  • In reply to argie2333:

    Even the Heat Haters would take Wade over Rose for this playoff run. Not only would I not take Boozer over Bosh, I wouldn't take him over Joel Anthony.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Watch out for CJ Watsonaaah tonight...Name of the game.

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    JoNo's my pick to click, with K. Thomas getting someaction this game & playing well

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Good pick!

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    Pat Riley won exec of the year, dammit

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    U knew he would. not to say he deserved it or didnt. but getting those 3 together all but guaranteed it even though Gar/Pax made smaller moves that made big impacts. and actually built a team, not just talent

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    The Bulls are in trouble; they have a hobbled Rose and history going against them. They're only the third number 1 seed since 1991 to lose Game 1 at home in the first and second round. The other two teams didn't win the 'chip.

    That being said, I can't see them losing both games at home to the Hawks. I expect a 15 point victory tonight.

    http://theresastatforthat.blogspot.com/2011/05/bulls-may-have-to-wait-til-next-year.html

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    still sloppy but it looks like the desire/intensity is there

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    jeff teague WTF?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    think i want hinrich to play cause teague is killin us

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Jeff Teague killing the Bulls means someone isn't playing D the way they should be...MVP?... play some defense

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    Biggest difference is the Hawks are missing the tough shots this time.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Besides that, the Bulls have also done considerably better on the boards. 8 offensive rebounds on 25 misses vs Atlanta's 7 offensive boards on 29 misses.

    The Bulls energy is better this game, but the primary difference, as you noted, is Atlanta missing tough shots.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Is this turning into a battle for the least incompetent offense?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    rose has had some terrible plays in this game.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    His box score reads like vintage Larry Hughes stats.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    AND

    1-6 from 3pt line

    Not what I want from him

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I guess Indiana and Atlanta are just really good.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    i was more impressed with Indy.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    SEVEN I repeat SEVEN turnovers by Derrick!!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    not all turnovers are the same in my book but most of these have been awful

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    BETTER PERIMETER SCORERS WANTED THIS SUMMER... CHICAGO BULLS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS THIS SUMMER FOR THE RIGHT PRICE.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Didn

  • In reply to Edward:

    How many times is Rose gonna leave the 3 short?? As many times as Boozer gets blocked or misses a layup?

  • In reply to MNBullsFan:

    they are ALWAYS short

  • In reply to MNBullsFan:

    noah the only one who has met my expectations tonight..good to see. everyone else...blah

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    ok im on board... stop shooting so any fucking threes rose

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I hope Chuck asks him why he insists on taking so many in post game

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Holy crap he just took another.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    3 free points...boozer get a clue

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    sure glad atlanta is playing like shit cause if not this could very well be a loss.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    correction... still might be

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    BOOZER rotations are absolutely terrible. If he can't be traded he needs to stay in Chicago this summer and work on his conditioning and him moving his feet on defense.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    He is not right on his ankles and his toe. I am not trying to justify his bad defense. His defense will still probably suck even if he gets healthy. But, we need to give him a healthy year(hands crossed..)to see the real Boozer who is better than what he is showing. What we can agree on is he is not a 2nd option as we thought but he is better than what he is now.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    doug, posting on this blog ingame has kept me from throwing my remote through my TV. thanks

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Dick Stockton made a very good point. We've been struggling all this time because we have "David" Rose at point guard. Derrick Rose must have really hurt his ankle back in the Indiana series and his less talented twin David is leading the way. Sad part is David Rose is still our best player.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Agreed. Rose won

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Boozer's hearing it tonight the UC. He'll be hearing the rest of the week from the media and fans
    His overall game is sub-par in every aspect

  • In reply to Waldock:

    he gets blocked on at least half of his shots at the rim

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    If it wasn't for Derricks bad 3 pt shooting and his turnovers the game would be done already

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Rose has been very tight since his ankle injury.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    With 4 minutes to go, Thibs realizes this game is too important to play Carlos Boozer.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    hes learnin

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Is it just the TNT feed or are the crowd really quiet?

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Doug will be happy about that! As all of us should be too.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I have a question.
    When a player has his shot blocked does that count as a shot attempt on the state sheet?
    Boozer got his shot blocked 4 times and was 4-12 from the field.

  • In reply to Edward:

    yes it counts

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yes, it counts as an attempt (and counts as a rebound for whoever grabs the ball).

  • In reply to Waldock:

    The Hawks that score in the 70s are the ones who will turn up a lot more often than the ones who score in the 100s.

    The Bulls aren't going to beat the Heat unless Rose can start shooting over 40% though. If it's the ankle troubling him that's causing him to struggle, we're screwed.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Shakes, what's your take on Boozer?

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I think he's injured and playing like crap because of it. He's never going to be a good defender, and I don't expect it, but he was giving us a lot offensively before he rolled his ankle in the Heat game. It's been downhill from there.

    Nothing really you can do about it except wait until next year for it to be fully healed. I don't agree with people who want to just bench him. We're stuck with him for 4 years, you don't want to get into a situation where you end up with a guy who can be a productive (if flawed) player turning on the coach. You have to think long term as well as short term here.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thanks, I respect your opinion.
    I've been concerned for some time that the Chicago fans can be extremely rough on an unpopular player.
    As much as I agree with your concern about the player/coach relationship. Ultimately, this is DRose and to a slightly lesser degree Noah's team. Their respect or impatience with Carlos and how the Coach handles it will be crucial.
    Again thanks tho for your opinion.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Rose had an almost identical game to game 1 with points and assists but even more turnovers. Boozer's scoring was crappy and his defense is always below average. But he contributed with 11 boards and rebounding was one of the keys to the win.

    People keep talking about the Bulls offense, but they didn't win 62 regular season games by winning high-scoring shootouts. They won with defense and rebounding and just enough offense to compliment their defense and rebounding. The formula isn't going to change in the playoffs.

    They didn't do those things well in game 1. But tonight they got off to a good start, defended the 3 point line MUCH better, and outrebounded the hell out of Atlanta. And guess what...they won by a comfortable margin. They need to keep doing what they do and keep trying to do it better.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thanks for the sensible take on Booze...one of the first ones I've seen.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I'll take scraping by with Rose jacking 3 pointers if it helps him not re injure the ankle, assuming we're winning of course. I really enjoy Dick Stockton's views on everything, most notably when David Rose is driving through the lane and when he completely misses the play and starts talking nonsense. PUT THIS GUY OUT TO PASTURE PLEASE?

  • In reply to MaTT623:

    I really enjoyed hearing Dick Stockton's thoughts on how David Rose had won the MVP.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    dont know how long its going to last but boozer sucks balls

  • In reply to jaymccray:

    boozer was much more active and played decent D. He dived on the floor to prevent a turnover, havent seen that in a while.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I looked up the dates

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I COMPLETELY agree with this... I think that this comes down to one thing... Based on the Bulls success against the Pacers and Hawks this season, no matter what they say, they do not "get up" to play against them... You think, for one second, that they come out to play against the Heat, the Celtics or Lakers like they have come out against these teams? Same thing for the Lakers... They underestimated the Hornets and they got burned for it.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    There should have been more breaks/shorter paragraphs, but I'm trying to take up less space, and not separate the conversation/flow. Also, personally I'm not sure Derrick's numbers up to this point have been mainly due to injury. But it certainly hasn't helped. But now if this is a much worse (re)injury then it's a shame for him/will hamper him big time.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yes they are trying to spoon feed BTB's fragile ginormous ego.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Great post Doug. Have you ever heard Jeff Van Gundy giving a positive review for the bulls? It's almost as he's always waiting for us to lose. This morning on Mike and Mike he pretty much sais that The Bulls have overachieved, that the Hawks are a better team. It's maybe paranoid but he must not have the bulls in his heart. I can't wait to hear his yap when this team is dominant again.

  • In reply to bobhot:

    He is close to Thibs and maybe Thibs tells him some stuff?
    Who knows? He also didn't get an interview with the Bulls and don't forget how the MJ Bulls screwed most of his coaching career..maybe he is still a little bit bitter about it.
    But that said, there is some truth to his words about over-achieving. Unless the Bulls beat the Heat in the playoffs, this guy will keep doubting.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I dont think the MJ bulls had anything to do with his coaching career, which saw its best years between 99 and whenever the last year he coached the rockets was. Maybe he just hates the bulls from his days as an assistant and it's unconscious thing that pops up now and then. Though if it was about hate he should despise miami, and he had them winning 73 games for the season.

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Jeff Van Gundy is one of the most overrated coaches in the game,
    He was a career assistant under Pat Riley here in New York and had Riley not walked away from the Knicks job and taken his talents to Miami where he won an NBA championship, Van Gundy would have been slugging it out longer as an assistant than Thibs.

    Van Gundy needs to focus on his overrated brother Stan who soon will be fired as Orlando's coach. They all cried when Riley told Stan to take a seat when it was obvious that Stan was way over his head with that team that Riley put together with Dwayne Wade and Shaq. Riley proved a master when he brought that same team back from an 0-2 deficit against the Dallas Mavericks and beat them 4-2.
    And the one NBA championship Jeff Van Gundy reached was with that Knicks team put together by Riley. And like Riley, he lost with that team. THE GUY IS OVERRATED!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to Normie:

    +1 mil

    great for a soundbyte, not a great coach IMHO

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    As pointed out above he also said the heat would win 73 games....we see how that turned out. Only be worried if JVG is on our side :-)

  • Doug..good points.
    I agree with defense winning championships slogan hyped a little too much. Which team can usually play suffocating defense for the whole game? They can play it in spurts from what we have seen and then the other team chokes. But, offense is required also as you say. Hopefully, Thibs realizes that this anemic starts are due to Bogans not being respected on offense and pressure on Rose. Rose has some culpability here(a combination of his MVP hype, team hype, trying to do too much,ankle injury, other team's preparation on him). Rose has to make sure he doesn't take too many jump shots until he gets into a rhythm. He always seems to struggle with his jumpshots in the beginning.
    I am really surprised that after the Indiana series, Thibs didn't think that we were struggling so as to not shake up some things. It was almost like a 4 game losing streak against Indiana. It almost feels like the Indiana series should have gone to 7 games for this team to wake up.

  • Start KK, especially today with Rose not being his rosy self! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    Yea... good joke, that'll be the day.

  • In reply to smiley:

    From Bill Simmons' NBA Playoffs Part II articles....
    "To Ray Allen, who nailed so many big shots for Boston in four years that it's reached "even if you know we're running this double-screen for him, we're doing it anyway," status and he's still as reliable as anyone. If Chicago doesn't win the 2011 title, it will be because they didn't overwhelm Allen with a three-year, $40 million offer last summer. In their defense, I think they thought they were a year away -- they never expected Rose to make The Leap that soon. But why pursue a J.J. Redick/Kyle Korver tandem for the same money that it would have taken to get Ray?"

    Interesting thought and I actually was praying after last season that they would go after Ray, thought the link to Thibs would help as well.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    From the same article...
    "For the record, I'm not willing to give up on the Bulls -- they remind me of the 2008 Celtics in that they played the regular season in fifth gear, now they're trying to find that Fast and Furious NOS button for an extra burst. If you remember, it took the 2008 Celts two and a half rounds to find the NOS. I bet the Bulls find it. You wait. And yes, I'm making that prediction while being fully aware that their only crunch-time play right now is "Get out of Derrick's way."

    People have all been talking about how this whole season was a mirage and the ship is sinking, etc, etc. I think the 08 Celtics example is a very valid one and something to consider. The current Bulls do need to turn it around and start playing with energy or this thing will end way too prematurely, but I hope and think that they will find that extra gear and turn it around. I'll take Rose and Noah's wills to win over some hot shooting from Hawks every day of the week.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    excellent

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Simmons is always a great read, but the Bulls do not have the talent level that the Celtics had in 08.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I think Ray had already decided he was going to stay he was paired up with the other 2 and they had mad the finals like 3 times I dont think he would have left the celts team for a Bulls team that was projected to be 4th or 5th in the east

    I def would have taken him though! I still would

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I agree Allen wasn't going anywhere, unless the Celtics didn't want him, which wasn't happenning either.

  • I agree that Korver needs more minutes but it is difficult when he has to guard either Johnson or Crawford. Can he guard Williams? I hope/expect Rose to get back to the FT line tonight and if Boozer can build on last game, where he appeared to get some confidence back, I think the Bulls should win this game. Atlanta can get hot but hopefully not enough times to actually win this series.

    Maybe in was the OBL killing but for some reason I was not that stressed about the Bulls Monday. Might of just assumed they were going to do their typical 4th quarter comeback. I sure the stress levels will be high again tonight since these Bulls almost never make the games easy to watch.

    So far I feared the Pacers more than this Atlanta team because the Pacers did things that could take Booz and Rose out of their game IMO. Atlanta does not overwhelm me with their D so its just about the Bulls executing, I hope the start tonight based on that 6% stat. Even that doesn't worry me that much because I do see the Bulls as the better team and they may even play better with their backs against the wall. Hope I am not just being naive.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    start strong tonight

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Growing pains... this is what's gonna have to happen with this Bulls team with the young talent they have. Can they learn on the fly?... Maybe, but out of the 6 games the Bulls have played they have trailed I think by double digits in every game but the game 5 game against the Pacers. An experienced team would not let this happen. I haven't lost confidence in this team, but at some point a players pride has to step in and be more competitive. That's what I used to love about the Jordan led teams. They took every game personal and their pride wouldn't let other means shake their play on the court, they knew how to take care of business and they had to go through growing pains to get to where they wanted to be. Again, if the Bulls want to prove they are elite and that the 62 regular season wins were no fluke, they need to put their foot on the throat of the Hawks cause their players from what I have read feel they can beat this Bulls team again tonight and sweep the series. That would be totally demorelizing for the Bulls if that was to happen. Growing pains...let's hope the Bulls can learn from the game one loss. Joe Johnson and Nanak Crawford have to be contained cause they won game 1 for the Hawks.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    excuse typing error, meant to say Jamal Crawford.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And the Bulls offense still bothers me. Rose can't do everything by himself.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    We reallly cannot use the young team excuse anymore, Rose barely even qualifies anymore, especially as the MVP

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It can be used... this is this Bulls team first year together. They have Rose and other players that have playoff experience, but they have not been together collectively as a team but this one year. If the Bulls had the type of talent of a, let's say Miami, they probably could get to a championship quicker. I'm not saying they can't this year, but the playoff performances I have watched from this Bulls team this year says they have to tweak this team a little more this summer. The defense is fine, wasn't there in game 1 against ATL but the offense has been a problem IMO all year. Sure a player can score in the playoffs but players have to learn to score on key possessions in order for a team to have success in the playoffs and the Bulls have problems doing that in these playoffs thus far. I think we all know what the Bulls are missing on this team in their starting line up, but it is what it is for now. It's playoff basketball and these Bulls players have to show some pride, stop falling behind teams by double digits at HOME and on the road and start to play like it.

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