Bulls shouldn't get overconfident after game one win

Bulls shouldn't get overconfident after game one win

The Bulls led more or less wire to wire with the Cavs only pulling up to a tie game once after the opening tip off. However, so many things went right for Chicago and wrong for Cleveland for a game that the Cavs were still more or less into at the end.

Derrick Rose won't get two+ days of rest again

Derrick Rose has played much better with extra rest, and while the Bulls won't have any back to backs in this series, they also won't have any multiple days between games either.

At times it felt like old Derrick Rose. He was drilling mid range jumpers like crazy as the Cavs let him get to the true mid range shot far too often. Rose hit more jump shots in this game than perhaps all but a few this season.

He also knocked down three of six from down town and even finished with just one turnover which was a welcome change after that Bucks series. As a Bulls fan the problem is that Rose drew no FT attempts and was only so-so aggressive in terms of his basket attacking.

Derrick overall had a solid game, but he did so in a way that I'm not confident he'll be able to complete. He also finished with what is initially being ruled as a shoulder stinger and sat out the final couple plays of the game.

I hope, and expect, Rose has no real negative outcome from the injury. Despite his hot shooting, I think the Bulls will need to see him create/drive more in the series as a whole.

He scored 25 points but requiring 26 shots to get them is something the Cavs will likely be content to live with going forward, especially when he added just five assists.

Jimmy Butler gave us a complete game

Through three quarters Butler was struggling through a pedestrian offensive night. However, in the fourth he found his rhythm and hit big shots for Chicago repeatedly.

Butler largely sat when James sat and played when James played. This gave him fewer minutes than usual but kept him a little fresher given the defensive challenge he was faced with.

Butler harassed James into a 9/22 night for just 19 points. James had his moments, but Butler did a nice job of deciding when to just let him go at the rim and not add touch fouls on to shots LeBron was going to finish.

He largely forced him into jumpers that LeBron hit at a fairly pedestrian clip. LeBron was clearly hurt by the overall spacing on the floor which was considerably more limited without Love/Smith available.

In the end, Butler gave the Bulls 20 points on 16 shots with six assists and a turnover which was much better than LeBron's 19 points on 22 shots with nine assists and six turnovers.

And LeBron?

The best news for the Bulls and worst for the Cavs is LeBron also looked considerably limited athletically relative to what he was able to do in the past. The Cavs hid him on defense virtually the entire game to conserve his energy for the end.

The strategy didn't work particularly well as Rose had no problems scoring on LeBron at the end anyway. Despite playing 32 minutes and change most of which defending someone that required almost no work to defend, LeBron didn't look all that special on offense or defense.

We'll see if this is the new LeBron or simply an outlier, but the Cavs need a hell of a lot more from James than they got tonight. That said, Bulls fans have beaten LeBron in game one enough times to lose in five to not get too excited by the early victory.

Mike Dunleavy/Pau Gasol owning the odds

Mike Dunleavy in the first and Pau Gasol in the third really pushed the envelope for Chicago. Dunleavy got just one shot up (a missed three) after the first period and split a couple free throws to finish with 14 after a perfect 5-5 for 13 in the first quarter.

Gasol knocking down the open mid range jumper was a thing of beauty. He had it on automatic when the Cavs left him alone, and Cleveland will need to make an adjustment next game.

Gasol's 21 points on 16 shots was solid, but the additional spacing he'll create next game will be even better.

Hinrich need to go

Kirk Hinrich had a good first minute in this game scoring six points crushing LeBron James off the dribble for an And1 followed by a corner three.

That was then all you could say that was good about Kirk's night. He went back to getting utterly destroyed by Kyrie Irving on defense, making stupid touch fouls to allow and one opportunities, and generally doing nothing useful whatsoever.

Kyrie Irving was fairly brilliant

He was probably the best player on the floor (with the runner up being Jimmy Butler). Irving threatened to single handedly keep the Cavs in the game and was the one guy the Bulls couldn't stop.

Even when they had help underneath, Irving finished with acrobatic lay up after acrobatic lay up. I'm not sure what options the Bulls really have to do much else on Irving other than having Rose try and work him over on offense to even things out.

Irving's a pretty special player, and their best bet might be to simply focus on making sure he's only a scorer and not a passer too.

Cavs really hurt by lack of space

It's easy to see where if the Cavs had J.R. Smith their small ball lineup would have had a chance. However, putting Mike Miller or James Jones in that lineup simply got them killed.

Iman Shumpert hit 4/10 from beyond the arc which is probably about as much as they can expect out of him.

The Bulls packed the paint which seemed to impact LeBron more than Irving, and the rest of the Cavs simply couldn't make them pay.

Like any game, plenty of odd trend

Both teams left plenty of things on the table in the end. Both teams got quality performances in areas that you wouldn't necessarily expect to happen again and were weak in areas you expect to be stronger.

In the end, the Bulls took game one though. Winning game one is huge in most cases even if the Bulls have taken a game one from Miami twice before and lost to LeBron in the end, I'm happy to have a chance to see what happens the third time.

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  • Kyrie > Rose this game but Jimmy > LeBron, something we never expected, and Gasol and Dunleavy really got it done, got to give it to them. I posted a lot more on the prior post but most important is that Kirk Hinrich is horseshit in a basketball uniform, I'd much rather see Snell sleep on the floor than this guy ever again.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Other than the big 4, Lebron, Kyrie, Rose and Butler, the most important players in the game were Thompson and the Hangdog, with Blatt a close third. One almost won them the game(if he had started instead of Miller), and the other almost lost us the game.

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    Great game! Observations:
    1) Cavs are still very dangerous without Love and Smith. We desperately need to get game 2 as well!
    2) We had no answer for Kyrie. It seems like Rose officially can no longer guard him straight up. Running Rose thru screens is effective.
    3) Butler has officially arrived!!! Can you say max contract!?
    4) I would have liked to see Mirotic. Hopefully Thibs is just saving him for a different look next game.
    5) You cannot take any plays off on this Cavs team. They put up points in a hurry.
    6) I would run that pick and roll with Pau until the cows come home. It was there all night whenever we need a basket.
    7) Rose needs to share the ball a little more. I agree Doug that I don't think his offense output with his shot is consistent enough to depend on it.
    Next game will be even more intense. The Cavs will come out swinging! Let's go Bulls!

  • In reply to Marketus Presswood:

    and if the Cav's have half a functioning brain cell(which by starting Miller instead of Thompson, Blatt demonstrated that he may not) the Cav's will run pick and roll at Gasol with either Irving or Lebron on every single play as they did on every single possession for the first 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter to score 9 quick points to tie the game up. Then they for no good reason they just stopped.

    Doug said it all in the headline, and I doubt that the Cav's will play as stupidly in game 2.

  • In reply to Marketus Presswood:

    I disagree that Rose could not guard Irving. Kyrie scored most of his baskets off the pick and roll at Gasol and did not score during the last 9 minutes of the game.

    I thought Rose played a terrific game, controlling the tempo from the beginning despite being robbed of an and -1 /layup because the refs were afraid to call fouls against LeBron.

    It's clear to me that the only way the Cavsd win this series is if James goes off because there is no way Derrick would let Kyrie dominate him for 4 games, granted Rose' health holds up (knock on wood)

  • Get out the brooms...

  • With Love out the Cavs look like a completely different team. They don't even have a big 3 anymore and their floor spacing is below average. Lebron and Irving are gonna have to play out of their minds if they hope to win this series. The biggest problem is the rest of the team. They just don't have enough talent and depth to contribute anything. If Love and JR Smith were present then things would be more evenly matched, but as it stands this looks more like the Cavs from earlier in the season when they were struggling to hang on to 5th seed. Obviously they're gonna regroup and it's only one game but with Kevin Love out their options are very limited and predictable even. One major issue that I see is that Lebron just doesn't look like his hearts in the game. It almost reminds me of the last time he was in the playoffs as a Cav when he just gave up. Like he's just going through the motions again.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    Smith should be enough to get that spacing back. I would expect Lebron to attack the rim more in any event. When he went down there, Butler really had no answer. Lebron likes to take the easy way out with jumpers, but if his back is up against the wall, he should push himself harder and be in constant attack mode. His athleticism isn't what it used to be, but his power game is stronger than ever.

    Game 2 might just be the most interesting game of the series as the Cav's won't stagger out of the gate and should make a lot of adjustments. We need to win this one, can't be happy with "stealing" one in their gym.

    Also, the Bulls won/broke even on the boards, but they didn't really look to push the ball after misses like they did in game 6 against the Bucks. It was a lot of Rose lollygagging the ball up the court and then handing the ball off at the quarter court area just outside the 3 point line. I really don't know WTF that is, but it seems to be the baseline offense for Thibs, that and Noah screaming like a lunatic at the top of the 3 point circle for the ball.

    If my memory serves me right the Bulls game one victory in 2011 against the first year Heatles was more impressive than this one even if it came at home, and we all remember what happened after that.

    Hey, at this time of year, any win is a good win, but do we have 3 more of these in us?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think it all depends on Rose's health and conditioning. Also with what we're gonna get out of Gasol. Butler has his hands full with Lebron so I wouldn't be surprised to see a drop off in offensive efficiency. Since Gasol didn't really give us much against the Bucks, I'm hoping he can at least win the battle with Masgov which is actually one of the underdog key match-ups in this series. So far so good.

    For the record I wanna say Dunleavy has stepped up big time during the playoffs. He has his phases where he's abysmal and then others where he's deadly. When he's in a rhythm and feeling it offensively, he can at times be one of the deadliest shooters in the league. So I'm gonna also say Dunleavy is a key to winning the series. The Bulls really play their best basketball when he's knocking down threes. My only concern is getting Mirotic more involved in the series, and Noah and Gibson are both in full decline mode.

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    Kirk "Captain Crunch" Hinrick is out to lunch. Letting Snell in to play would be the Bulls best hunch!!...

  • "so many things went right for Chicago and wrong for Cleveland for a game that the Cavs were still more or less into at the end."

    That's one way of looking at it. On the other hand, how many times is Shumpert going to score over 20 ppg? And Noah 0? And what was the point of only playing Mirotic 2 minutes? But Hinrich 15?

    The Bulls made more plays down the stretch and that's why they won. Neither team has much reason to be confident from this game.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Hey, for a guy whose cup usually runneth over, thats a pretty subdued response, but surprise, surprise, I agree with you.

    Now that the playoffs have actually started any win is a good win, but I still think that the Bulls have to win both of these games in Cleveland to have a chance to win the series, and Rose just had his good(rest)game. He doesn't get another one until game 7.

  • I agree with Doug. Let's not get too excited. They did what they were supposed to do. Win the game with Cavs on big rest, Love and Smith out. And they played pretty great and still barely won.

    I agree that Hinrich played a good first minute. But why no Snell. Just like when other teams try to put a bigger person on an explosive point guard (Kawhi Leonard on Chris Paul, Lebron on DRose or Tony Parker), you need to put a bigger body on Kyrie. The only time when I saw someone play Kyrie one up and actually made him have a turnover was when one play Jimmy switched over to him for a short play.

    And Lebron just did not play well Near the end of the game, he got into the middle of the lane several times and got up in the air and threw it back outside. When they look at the tape, they will see that he was just not being very aggressive when he should have been. The Bulls need to watch out for a very aggressive Lebron next game.

    And get ready Bulls fans, but I can envision a Hack a Noah at some point in these playoffs if the Bulls are ahead in a game. He looks horrible at the free throw line and did you see him miss a wide open layup and then fail to get back to cover Mosgov, who then scored? And the Cavs started out with no respect for him by thinking Mike Miller could guard him. Fortunately, he has good movement with the ball. But he is scary in a bad way at the offensive end.

    And on defense, either he or somebody needs to throw Kyrie on his butt real hard when he drives in the lane. No way Kyrie should have had as many and 1s that he did. If that was Derrick going in there (which he should do more of), Thompson and Mosgov would be throwing him to the ground. Noah and to some extent Gasol were trying to block his shot and missing it and fouling for And 1s on ticky-tack fouls. I know Kyrie is good, but don't make him all-world.

    I think Rose at least scared the Cavs with his midrange. That is why the pick and pop with him and Gasol was smoking tonight. The Cavs will need to make an adjustment and if Rose is alright, it will probably mean him driving it more and trying to finish and getting fouled or passing out for an open 3 at the last minute.

    Still I'm happy about the result. It reminded me of a lot of games the Bulls played well in this year on a top opponent's home court. They get the lead early and just keep making plays until the end especially by Jimmy Butler. Game 2 will be different because I don't expect the Bulls get out to such a big lead.

  • Mosgov, would of, should of been Gasol's man, but he decided to pick up Thompson(outside the lane) and let Mozgov run right down middle of the lane(right in front of him) when he could see that Noah was behind him and couldn't catch up to him. Shocking since he is the best defensive player in the entire playoffs(that"s what the stats say, just ask the ayatollah Hgarbellballa), you would think that he would react better in that situation, not just better but perfectly.

    Thats on Noah for missing the layup and then not being physically able to recover and catch up with Mozgov running down the floor, but thats horrible recognition and no communication by Gasol for not helping out his teammate, especially since Mozgov is technically
    "his" man, i.e. the opposing center.

    Noah looks like total crap on the offensive end, but he is still our best(if not only bet) for keeping that animal(and I mean that as a major compliment, for you PC douchebags who see racism in every word or phrase)Thompson off the boards. And since that is my intent, that is what it means. That guy is a more athletic, bigger but less offensively skilled Charles Oakley. Heck, maybe we can trade Noah for him. I certainly hope that Blatt is Thibsheaded enough to not start him the entire series. But, I suspect that they will figure out that starting Mike Miller(twice in one game) was bad enough, there goes about a 31 point lead(even if "only" 20 of it is on Miller directly).

    Also, Snell does not have the athleticism to stay with Kyrie, nor does he have the mentality or physicality to fight through all those picks. We're kind of screwed if Rose can't do it, because obviously the corpsedog can't. I don't know, maybe Moore would be better than either the dog or Snell, maybe, worth a try.

    I expect that the Cav's will figure out the Rose/Gasol pick and pop. Its really not that hard, but maybe that results in some less contested opportunities at the rim for Rose, assuming he has the legs to go there next game and doesn't just settle for jacking up 3's.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I have been wondering why the last few days you have expressed concerns that I might behead you. Then it dawned on me. Your concern is that I won't find anything in it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'd rather see Moore in there to play D and run the point than Hinrich.

  • You wrote, "they [the Bulls] played pretty great and still barely won."

    I do not agree. The Bulls did not, IMO, play great. They did make more plays at the end, but it was not great. They can up their game tremendously.

    The refs helped the Cavs. And Shumpert scored 22. Bulls played so-so but still won. They can take this series. Not so sure about the next one against the Wiz or Hawks.

  • I don't understand Kurt getting all those minutes over Snell, or Taj getting all those minutes just so the Cavs could kill us on the offensive glass while he was in the game.

    Taj had 3 defensive rebounds in 28 minutes and was a -13 on the night. How much longer do we have to watch Thibs play him over Niko, when Niko has proven all year to be the better defensive rebounder and offensive player?

    But like I said a day or two ago, if the Bulls can win this series with Kurt playing 30 minutes and Niko zero, I'll be happy.

    Pau won us this game, 21/10/4/4 with zero turnovers on 10/16 shooting? You can't ask for anything more in 35 minutes once you throw in the team-high +17.

    Not to leave out Butler, he outplayed LeBron for the most part, if that continues the Cavs have no chance in this series, even if Thibs insists on playing Kurt/Taj over Snell/Niko.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Of course you do, its just Thibs being Thibs. and now that it has "worked" 2 games in a row, expect more of the same.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Lalalala lalalala lalalala I can't hear you... yeah I know, I guess when we go down 3-1 maybe we'll see Niko and Snell??

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Hinrich hit a few shots but his D was terrible.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Well sure, nobody bothers to guard him, which in the long run hurts the offense. And I'm also a slow, over the hill white guy, maybe I can guard Kyrie??

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    I was lmao when I saw Hinrich trying to guard Irving. I felt like I was in a twilight zone episode where our very worst imagined Thibs decision was actually taking place. I agree that Thibs should give Snell those Hinrich minutes. Have Snell guard Irving, while Rose takes Shumpert and Butler stays on LBJ. Rose and Hinrich had no chance with Irving so what is the downside of giving someone else a shot at it?

    The Bulls were very focused on keeping Thompson off the offensive boards. I thought they did a pretty good job of that. Doing so may have taken away a bit of some help defense on Irving when he got into the lane. It will be interesting to see what adjustments, if any, Thibs makes on Irving. I don't think the Bulls can win the series if they are relying on jumpers, while the Cavs get into the lane. As Doug writes, maybe the best one can do on Irving is to really attack him on the other end of the floor to wear him down.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Great point about the Bulls being so concerned with offensive rebounds that they didn't give as much help defense as they normally might.

    I can't believe that Kyrie will continue to hit some of those crazy circus shots he was throwing up, and if he does you might just have to live with it (as opposed to giving up tons of offensive boards).

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Not only was Pau extremely efficient on offense he should get props for putting the handcuffs on Mosgov. Those of us who have actually seen some Cavs games this year know how much he can effect a game with his rebounding, defense and inside scoring. Great pickup for the Cavs.

    Also agree with you on your comment regarding Hinrich and Niko. If the Bulls win the series what difference does it make how many minutes they got. Clearly, Snell and Niko have fallen out of favor with Thibs.

  • My only worry is that Bulls walked the ball up the floor a lot. Still a lot of shots with shot clock under 5. Yes,mother hit their shots,nut they need to score more in transition. Not a lot of easy baskets for either team in this game.

    This Cavs team is not so good. Spacing is an issue and that's why LeBron can't get to the rack. It's one thing to lose 1 starter, or even 2 during the season, but it's a tall order to expect them to keep on winning down 2 key starters all of a sudden in round 2. I'm trying to figure out how most ESPN writers picked the Cavs. It's not over by any means, but Bulls at full strength and looking good and the Cavs only real advantage is LeBron.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Neither is their shots!

  • In reply to Granby:

    Neither hit their shots!

  • I also question Noah playing so much. Gasol was clearly the best option offensively and defensively. LeBron and Kyrie had way more trouble inside when Gasol was in there. Would like to see Gasol and Mirotic together for a few minutes for floor spacing and length. Pick n pop.

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    Ummm did anyone watch the same game as I did? The Bulls controlled the entire game the stretches Cleveland went ont (Kyrie) was when Hinrich was in and the starters were out! Lets not even get started on the freethrow difference yes Kyrie did well but if Rose got half the freethrows he did they would be even come on that was as convincing of a win u can get! Now why didnt Snell play at all, I dont get....why did Hinrich play so much...I dont get

  • I thought the key to the game was Jimmy's D on Lebron. Lebron looked really tired the entire 4th quarter. Jimmy battled him every step and Lebron was getting the ball in the lane but did not have the energy to finish. I think this was partly due to Jimmy's physical play and partly because the Bulls got a big lead and forced Lebron to spend a lot of energy on the defensive end trying to slow the Bulls down. These two teams are evenly matched. The Bulls could easily have won that game by 15 last night, or lost it at the end. Will be a really fun game 2.

  • My biggest concern is that the Bulls will run out of gas. That Butler will be spent after about 3 games and Rose won't be able to keep this up for more than maybe 2 games. Everything seemed to slip when Rose, Butler, and Gasol were not scoring. The rest of the team will need to step up their productivity.

    As for Irving, nobody was going to stop him from making some of those shots last night. I think the key is to make sure those tuff circus shots are what he has to take. It will be hard to expect him to hit those all series long.

  • We've been on this spot 3 times. And if the Bulls don't bring their A game Wednesday, James is going to go for 60 points and crush the Bulls and everyone's high expectations. It is critical for the Bulls to break the predictability that they will lose the next 4 games in a row. Experts are still beating on Cavs to win this series, so nothing changes until the Bulls win another game.

  • I disagree with all you. Just because Rose finished with "just 5" assist doesn't mean his playmaking wasn't good. I thought he made the right play passing the ball more often than not and that's the point guards duty not just rack up assist numbers. Countless times the ball went from Rose hands on one side to the other all courtesy of Rose. Rose also needs to tell the refs to watch out for Kyrie literally pushing his waist to the sideline anytime Rose takes a pick towards the baseline which makes it impossible to turn the corner.

    And let's not forget what the Bulls strategy is on defense. Push the ball handler baseline on the pick and roll, which Rose did, but Gasol was almost never there and sometimes Noah. If you go back and watch the game they almost never put Taj in the pick and Roll and that was clearly no accident. Fact is in the nba individual defense, for guards at least, is some what nonexistent. There's not much isolation it's almost always a pick.

    C'mon with the Kirk hate also because he had a couple fouls on Kyrie? He did not play as bad as everyone is trying to make it seem. He had a bad pass, which I think Noah hit, and if you want to point to Kyrie playing well against him did anyone else see anyone else on him? He put Jimmy on skates. I think he should be in the rotation at about the same amount of minutes. People pointed to his plus minus but I haven't really seen anyone pointing to Taj's

    I thought Blatt made the mistake of not putting James Jones back out there. While he was in the Cavs made their first run even though he didn't score. Their spacing in that time was amazing

    I'm sure we won't shoot 55% from 3 too often but the Cavs defense isn't good so I can see us shooting an overall high percentage against them for the series

  • I'm very underwhelmed with LeBron and Co. this time around. This isn't the Miami heat trio. Not even close. The Bulls controlled the tempo from start to finish on the road. Perhaps if Love wasn't hurt it might be a different story, but I doubt it. Their defense is laughable. I'm glad we played the Bucks in the first round and the series went to game 6.

    Rose should have had at least three free throws, so I won't fault him for not getting to the foul line because of bad officiating. Kyrie had a blatant foul on Rose's forearm that wasn't called when Rose was driving on a fast break earlier in the game. That's two free throws. The refs also missed LeBron's goaltend on Rose in the first half. That's two points, and it's ridiculous that the NBA doesn't allow a play like that to be reviewed. Lastly, the offensive charge they called on Rose in the second half as he scored on LeBron was awful. LeBron clearly moved his feet for positioning while Rose was in mid-air. That's two points for Rose and another free throw. It was just bad officiating against the Bulls overall.

    Again, LeBron's posse this time around doesn't scare me at all. Not only does his supporting cast suck when compared to the 2011-2014 Heat; he's also losing his physical ability and dominance. I understand why Bulls fans are concerned. We always will be concerned until we defeat LeBron in the playoffs. I just think we have too many weapons this year. Our defense is improving in the playoffs, although I would like to see Rose fight over the top of screens better--Jimmy certainly has the ability to do it. Everything seems to be coming full circle. Perhaps it's not the best timing, but I'll take it. I'm very optimistic moving forward in this series. I'm more concerned about Washington than anything else.

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    It's just one game, but winning game one was huge for the Bulls, and to do so by leading wire to wire in Cleveland's stadium was big too.
    If the Bulls can manage to win game 2, this series will be over in 5 games.

    8 Distinct keys to the game:

    1) The Bulls was able to keep Mozgov out of the game as a low post scoring threat, and limited him to 5 rebounds.

    2) LeBron James is clearly the coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers as he roamed the court defending anyone he chose to like a free safety for the Cleveland Browns. Former Coach Blatt has no voice on how to control LeBron and put the team in the best defensive sets possible to stop the Bulls from scoring.

    3) Just as Derrick Rose needs 2 days rest in order to perform at max potential, so does LeBron James. He seems to be settling for his 3 pt jump shot vs driving the lane at will. I think he does this because he can no longer attack the basket without showing signs of fatigue. I expect to see a much more aggressive LBJ in game 2, but I don't think he'll be up for this for a 7 game series. He seems to be saving his energy for 4th qtr play.

    4) Kyrie Irving is gaining some valuable playoff experience for a successful MVP future. He's on his way. The only thing that's missing from his game is a Head Coach who is willing to use Kyrie as the primary scorer and playmaker. He's clearly the one to keep an eye on whether the Cavs are able to turn this into a competitive series or not.

    5) Forget about Kevin Love, The Cavs are better with Tristan Thompson playing PF. Thompson isn't able to stretch the floor, and he may not be able to throw those long outlet passes for fast breaks, but he's a beast on the boards, and he's able to draw fouls. Game one the Bulls maintained a rebounding advantage. The Bulls must be able to dominate the boards this series. Rebounding edge is crucial.

    6) Does Joakim Noah have anything left in him? 0 pts leaves the Bulls putting more pressure on Rose, Pau and Butler to score the majority of the team's points. If Jo can manage to have a good game 2 with at least 10 pts, the Bulls are in good shape to win.
    7)Mike Dun-Dun came through in game one. He's able to stretch the floor and knock down the 3, is big-time play. I've posted it before the series began how the Bulls need to drain the open 3 and outrebound the Cavs, and Mike has stepped up in both categories

    8)Thibs cannot continue to play Butler the whole game, and expect Butler to remain effective. 44 mins it ridiculous! It worked for game one after a 3 day layoff, but don't expect to see Jimmy's shot falling in games 2 and beyond if he's fatigued. Play Snell more. This is Snell's time to put up on shut up not sit on the bench. It would also help to see Niko out there more as the series progresses. Play Niko at PF. Noah can't score so Niko would help on offense. Team depth is the key and the Bulls have the advantage over the Cavs. They must take advantage of the undermanned Cavs in game 2, by rotating fresh legs in and out of the lineup.

  • Ok, seriously, do you even watch the games? If the Cavs are content with Rose playing that way, than I guess they're content losing in 5. Rose dominated the game and was better than every player on the court (yes, including Irving). Rose ran the offense and the ball moved because he established the pace. His shot selection was fine. Rose's shot total each game should be 22-30, anything less and that's not the Rose we need. Honest to god, I feel like you've never watched a basketball game half the time I read this stuff.

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    In reply to tylercc1989:

    THANK YOU!

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    In reply to tylercc1989:

    Doug wants Rose to play Doug's style of basketball....whatever that may be

  • In reply to tylercc1989:

    +1

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    Sheesh I was looking through Cleveland blogs and their own fans are evem saying that they are in trouble!

  • In reply to Ron Webb:

    Well of course, fans are typically very tough on their own teams.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yup, from what I read/hear, the national media gives the Bulls a much better chance of winning this series that most Bulls' writers/bloggers/message boards.

  • I know this is clichĂ©. But the next game is the biggest one of the Bulls season. Given the history with beating a Lebron-led team in the first game and then getting swept after it, the Bulls need to recognize tomorrow is not just game 2.

    Thibs, treat this one like a game 7. Whatever the players need, rest for DRose and Jimmy, more playing time for the bench (Niko and Snell), mixing up defenses as a change for this game, somebody throwing Kyrie on his butt when he goes into the lane, then do it. If the Bulls win two in a row at Cleveland, I believe the Cavs will start to give up.

    Yes, getting JR for game 3 will be a boost, but heading to Chicago 0 and 2 will start to break the Cavs' heart and it could make Lebron feel he doesn't have enough help this year. As I said, the biggest matchup that we have to win is the coaching matchup, and we cannot be predictable on offense. Let's get game 2.

    Noah work on your free throws and finishing at the basket because the Cavs are going to give you many more opportunities to do both because they consider you the weak link in our offense. Otherwise, get out of the way and let Taj and Niko have more time with Gasol.

    I know people have compared Gasol negatively with saying he is no different than Boozer. But you never saw Boozer play a playoff game for the Bulls like Gasol did last night where the other team was just feeling like he was unstoppable. I think the Cavs are going back to the drawing board to see if they can figure out how to defend the pick and pop with Gasol being so deadly. He is not a great pick and roll defender and I think he let Kyrie get to the basket too much while helping and not even putting a hand on Kyrie and that has to change.

    But we never had any team trying to stop Boozer from doing anything except the Bulls trying to stop him from tripping over his gym bag at home. So I'm glad we had Pao last night. And Dunleavy, too, to go along with our big two, Rose's midrange game and that clutch bank shot by Jimmy Buckets at the end. Please Bulls, let's get game 2 and then in the words of Dirk, we can say: "Shut it down. Let's go home."

  • I agree that LeBron will give up if he sees the hill as too steep to climb, he's always been that way, and 0-2 might get him there.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    That certainly seems to be his history, and he doesn't have Pat Riley upstairs to keep him in line now.

    But I don't think the Bulls can win Game 2, usually in any sort of best-of-7 series the team that is trailing comes out with much more of a sense of urgency and plays harder and with more desperation.

  • Just have to vent for a second: What is with this manufactured story line of "one day rest" Rose? These stats are pulled just from the playoffs, and what, there has been 2 games with one day rest? It's a crazy small sample size but everywhere I look people make it sound like it's written in stone (at least how ESPN makes it seem). Don't get me wrong, maybe he'll get crushed tomorrow, but it's still too early to treat this like a definite impact. It's possible to have two bad games coincide with one day rest. It does not need to seem like causation. It's just annoying how often it's brought up, simplifying what is a very complex game.

    Sorry, that's all :)

  • @ Ron Webb Cleveland fans are a funny bunch right? They also said that Delladova had success containing Rose, and should be playing 40 plus minutes a night going forward.

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    In reply to DeAndre:

    Yeah that was just ludicrous I saw that as well.....and I hope Blatt saw all the blogs!

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