Conclusion: Sebastian Pruiti Breaks Down the Bulls & Pacers Better Than Anyone

Conclusion: Sebastian Pruiti Breaks Down the Bulls & Pacers Better Than Anyone

Sebastian Pruiti at the ESPN TrueHoop-affiliated NBA Playbook previewed the Bulls first round matchup with the Pacers in two posts — one on the two teams’ offenses and the other on their defenses. Luol Deng and Mike Dunleavy will be the two teams’ “X-Factors,” he added in a third post.

Pruiti broke down the numbers with video analysis filling both posts and expresses the nuances of the game better in the most through — yet comprehensive — manner you might find leading into the playoffs.

The Bulls’ defense is so good that the only weakness I can find is that they have average transition defense…less than a minute ago via Chromed Bird Favorite Retweet Reply

The Pacers are one of the worst ISO D teams…the Bulls are one of the best ISO O teams…Collison is the Pacers worst ISO defender…less than a minute ago via Chromed Bird Favorite Retweet Reply

Pruiti lists the Bulls offensive strengths as off-ball motion and isolation with the weaknesses being their inefficient spot-up shooting and their low post game. He isolates Taj Gibson facing up too much, but I’ve been highly critical of Carlos Boozer for doing the same so often that it makes me wanna throw shit. A clear message needs to be sent to the Bulls’ bigs: back your man down more often or re-post and do it next time. As for the Bulls’ spot-up game, I wouldn’t be so concerned, as Luol Deng has been a sniper with Booz and Joakim Noah in the rotation together.
He continues to list the Pacers’ offensive strengths also in off-ball motion, but with more of an above the rim and basket cutting game. (The Bulls have added a lot more basket cutting recently, as we’ve seen assists go up for Boozer.) The Pacers struggle to convert in transition and ball handlers are dribbling too much after using picks, he found as their weakness.
The Bulls defensive strengths are made to exploit Indy’s weakness, he found, with an already excellent pick n’ roll defense. Indy likes to catch n’ shoot a lot and the Bulls also close out well on shooters, hence the NBA-best .509 TS% from opponents. The Bulls struggle with transition D, he found, and we’ve seen that most against the deadly-in-the-open-floor Heat. Fortunately, the Bulls have greatly improved with not turning the ball over as much as the first 15-20 games of the season and grab a ton of offensive rebounds without the timing of resetting their defense suffer.
The Pacers frustrated the Bulls in the halfcourt this season with the strengths Pruiti found: off-ball perimeter defense and the low post. That said, the Bulls didn’t attempt to pound them well and did pretty well using Derrick Rose‘s dribble penetration to collapse the perimeter and get higher-percentage catch n’ shoot opportunities — minimizing their spot-up efficiencies, when it all clicked in their three wins. That dribble penetration comes so easily with Indy’s glaring weakness: isolation defense.

Pruiti, I suppose, will be doing this with all eight of the coming playoff matchups, so I highly suggest subscribing to the RSS feed of his blog and following him on Twitter.

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