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Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 8:10 am  |  137 responses

Post Up: Three For Three

Miami continues its strong run against Philly; DRose saves the Bulls late.

Chicago 88, Indiana 84

A lot of people have wondered how well the Chicago Bulls would do if Derrick Rose doesn’t play phenomenally every single night. The MVP candidate has done all of the heavy lifting offensively all season long and in Games 1 and 2 of the Playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.

That’s the one doubt that people have when it comes to taking the Chicago Bulls seriously. Well, they got their answer last night. The Bulls can still win.

Rose was less than spectacular last night, shooting 4-18 from the field, but when everything was on the line—as he’s done all season—he made the play that mattered the most. It was a straight line drive to the basket and a finish with his left hand over three Pacers defenders with the game tied at 84 points apiece and with 18 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter.

His layup was essentially the game winner, and the dagger through the collective heart of Indiana.

The Pacers gave a valiant effort once again by playing the Bulls tough and physical, although Jeff Foster made some plays that could’ve been considered as “dirty,” but it’s the Playoffs, where hard fouls happen. Indiana once again threw everything they had at Chicago only to once again come up short. It was the proverbial game of death as they fell to 0-3 in the series and no team has ever come back from that kind of deficit to advance in the postseason.

Game 3 was a game that the Pacers had to win, and had they won, nobody, including myself, would’ve been surprised after seeing them play so hard in two consecutive games on the road at the United Center. But they didn’t win. So instead of a renewed sense of confidence, the Pacers are now having their faces photoshopped on a fishing boat or a dock in preparation for a display on TNT come Saturday.

It’s over. They’re done. —Bryan Crawford

Miami 100, Philadelphia 94

Last night’s contest between the Heat and Sixers ended with a classic, gut-wrenching Philadelphia loss. The Sixers probably played their best ball of the series, yet it was not good enough. Philly led 75-73 going into the final period, but a 27-19 final push from the Heat secured a 100-94 victory.

The Heat’s Big Three finally broke out—in unison—combining for 75 points, and 31 rebounds as well. LeBron James grabbed 15 boards of his own. The key to this game had to be the Heat’s rebounding. Miami set a team-Playoff record with 20 offensive rebounds, constantly getting put-backs from Dwyane Wade and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Heat’s 24 points off offensive rebounds and 48 points in the paint ultimately spelled doom for the Sixers.

Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand paced the Sixers with 20 and 21, respectively. Brand was the Sixers’ only real threat on the boards, as he grabbed 11 rebounds. Andre Iguodala continued to struggle on the offensive end. His 3/10 shooting performance triggered a blizzard of boos from the unyielding Philly fans. Thaddeus Young was also bottled up in this one, as he went 1/8 from the field. The stellar defense of the Heat’s Joel Anthony has clearly affected Young’s play in this series.

The Heat will look to end this series in just four games on Sunday. —Cris Jones

Portland 97, Dallas 92

Bigger than the story of Portland falling behind 2-0 in its Playoff series against Dallas was its co-captain, Brandon Roy, fighting back tears after Game 2 and talking about his disappointment with his diminished role on the team to the press.

Coach Nate McMillan did his best to put out the media fire by stating that no one wanted Roy on the court more than he did, but the damage was done.

But after ripping off 16 points off the bench to contribute to a Game 3 W at home in the Rose Garden in front of the Blazers’ rabid and rowdy capacity crowd, Roy had nothing left to cry about. In a post-game interview, the three-time All-Star revealed he had the support of the entire city of Portland and received an uplifting text message from Inside the NBA’s Charles Barkley that said simply, “Keep Ya Head Up,”

The Chuckster may have channeled Tupac in his attempt to be the Hoops Whisperer, but it was enough to wake the Blazers’ sleeping giant. Roy was inserted into the game early on in the first quarter and immediately went to work, showing flashes of his once unstoppable fade-away J. But as impressive as he was, Wesley Matthews was even more so. The Marquette standout went off for 22 points in the first half, including four shots from behind the arc.

Wesley’s jumper was wet, but so was the Jet’s. Jason Terry posted 29 points and 7 rebounds off the pine in a losing effort. Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 25 points and 9 boards but no other Dallas player scored in double digits. The biggest swing in momentum had to be Tyson Chandler fouling out of the game with 7:24 left in the fourth.

With the Mavs’ best interior defender forced to sit, Portland went to work, taking a 85-74 lead after consecutive three balls from Nicolas Batum and Gerald Wallace. A controversial replay gave Jason Kidd two points on a clear three-point basket, but it was still a two-possession game regardless. Andre Miller put the nail in the coffin when he iced two freebies on a Kidd foul with 8.9 ticks remaining and the Blazers avoided the dreaded 3-0 hole with a 97-92 victory.

Matthews finished with 25 points for the game and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20. Dallas now holds a 2-1 lead in the series as both teams stay put in Portland for Game 4 on Saturday. —Maurice Bobb

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  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    Eboy whipe the slurp off your mouth before commenting today.

    Thanks

  • JoeMaMa

    It was great to see BRoy and his sneaky fast crossover go to work yesterday. There was a series of plays in the 3rd Q when he hit his J, crossed dudes over, found the open guy…what a great way to assert oneself. Also, the Pacers must be killing themselves, but there are positives. They’ll be much better throughout the season next year, Paul George has stepped his game, and they’re getting great experience and confidence playing against the top team, record-wise, in the league. I’m officially a fan of the Pacers.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    ayo, Bulls fans, get at me real quick.
    where the F*CK was boozer and his post moves last night with which he’s supposed to be feasting on indy’s inferior bigs?
    thank goodness for luol deng, real talk.
    you wanna talk ridiculous calls? the ref’s were the pacer’s 6th, 7th, and 8th man on the court, horrible.
    and one more note, screw efficiency/per. i already know someone is gonna bring that up in relation to derrick today, but a W is a W and can’t no poor FG% take that away.
    happy good friday y’all, PEACE

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Portland wins by 5 against a team shooting very well from the field and the 3pt. Line but uncharacteristically missing 10 free throws. (and losing the ball 16 times: thanks Mr. Kidd). Not really something to be too optimistic about going into Gm 4.
    But a win is a win, especially in the playoffs.
    Paging Shawn M. Will Shawn M please show up for the Dallas Mavericks postseason? Thanks.

  • bull22

    keep it up CHICAGO! we have had dominant teams before so screw the prettiness that many are looking for from the BULLS, if we get 13 more ugly wins, so be it…..

  • riggs

    didnt shawn marion show up game 1?

  • burnt_chicken

    I don’t think the lack of offensive support from Bulls other than Deng is that much of a surprise or necessity–they’re built to win ugly.

  • burnt_chicken

    …I’m really hoping for a Bulls-Thunder Finals. It would be mean and awesome.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Shawn Marion, as he played in March and early April has been AWOL this series. The 16/10 guy? That Matrix? Nowhere to be found atm.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Not to start sh*t but CP3 would NEVER have such an inefficient night and commit FIVE turnovers. You know its gonna be said sooner or later so why not just get to it!

  • bull22

    CP3 needs to learn to get out of the first round like derrick rose is trying to do….
    rose simply finds a way to win, and when the entire team is coming at you during that last drive and you score, and win, those 5 turnovers are of little importance….

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    The Pacers were up 70-65 early in the 4th..
    Then, they suddenly stopped ball movement. Started jacking up jumpshots. Forgot Korver on the other end. By the middle of the 4th the Bulls defense are back on high gear. Then Rose happened. 3-0.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    @bull22, Cp3 has been out of the first round…

  • Fat Lever

    Well, the game went like I expected. Sixers came out with effort and intensity, but our best simply isn’t good enough against this Miami team. This is absolutely the worst matchup for the Sixers and it’s showing. Jrue Holiday is not good enough yet to exploit the talent gap between himself and Bibby appropriately. Bron is rolling right now and everyone else is falling in line. Thanks Iguodala for proving me and every real Sixers fan right, that you are an overrated “star”.

  • bull22

    @angelofstern, whoops my bad.. forgot they knocked mavs a few years ago….

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    no worries, In a little while you can say “CP3 needs to learn to get out of the second round like derrick rose just did….

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    Told you all Luol Deng is making noise !!

  • http://slamonline.com zoom

    If Iguadala wasn’t so expensive, he’d make a nice 3rd option on the Knicks. He plays defense and passes pretty well. With him and a decent center the Knicks would be pretty scary. Just saying…

  • bull22

    @angelofstern lol, but dont get me wrong, i do respect CP3 game alot, when his focus is basketball instead of listening to where he is going to be a few years from now,, he is one of best players in the league..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    “CP3 has never been out of the first round.” Ladies and gentlemen, the fountain of infinite basketball knowledge that is Bull22.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    I actually thought the Pacers had a good defense on that Rose game winner. He was triple-teamed. If Granger had blocked him from behind it might be a different story. George can’t collapse on Rose on that play because he’s closing out Korver who’s having a hot shooting game.

  • http://slamonline.com zoom

    Slam, quit blocking my comments. Thanks

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    PROPS to the Bulls for their gritty W last night! My god, Derrick Rose is amazing! *throws rose petals*

  • T-Money

    Remember when everyone was arguing that one ball wasn’t enough for Bron and Wade and that they were too similar? Me neither.
    Miami showed that they’re still vulnerable when CB is off, as he was at the start of the game.
    It’s getting harder and harder to keep Joel off the floor. Can’t believe I’m saying that.
    Mike Miller – DNP CD. Got nothing more to say on that.
    Jrue Holiday is a baller and Dre Dala is stealing money.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Speaking of Roses, how ’bout dem Blazers at the Rose Garden?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    co-sign T-Money, The Heat offense is exponentially increasing in fluency. They were stagnant for about 60 games and ever since then its just getting better and better. Lebron and wade are making good cuts at the right time and its a nightmare for defenses.

  • bull22

    @nickthaquick, quit being an idiot, like any other fan i dont have everything memorized… worry about your cp3 beating the lakers brother instead of reposting other people’s comments like a 10 year old….

  • http://slamonline.com hoopskooter

    Ok, D Rose is killin all point guards and is the best finisher rite now, don’t hate, Can yallyall say MVP! Nuff said.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    @bull22, I try not to get involved in the CP3/D.Rose debates cause I love them both and their are things about each of their games that I like. I think Derrick fits his team perfectly and if they had cp3 instead, they would not have won 62 games. This is because I feel Rose actaully fits better with teams that have trouble scoring because he is so willing to score. This would have helped NOLA last game cause while CP3 was technically making the right basketball plays, he team consisted of undersized big men and wing players named marco belenelli who have major trouble scoring. If I was going to pick a player to add to a team like Miami for example, it would be cp3 for sure because he is a master of efficiency and a better long range shooter. So, I really think it just depends on which situation fits the players stlye best.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    Thats just my personal Opinion and sorry for the long comment lol, I didnt realize how long it was until after I submitted it.

  • http://slamonline.com hoopskooter

    Also, yes this is playoff B Ball, and there will be hard fouls, but some should remind the Refs and the Pacers that this is basketball and not the WWF. You don’t want to hurt a francise player because your team lacks talent to close out games.

  • Feez22

    @Angel Of Stern I agree. That’s why Knicks fans are salivating over the possibility of getting a cp3-d-will. They have the scoring intact. They need a playmaker on both sides…. And defense… And a new coach… And a big lol. The Knicks need a lot of things.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    2011 PLAYOFF STATS: The Knicks on D are giving up 91.5 PPG against the Boston Celtics, who just so happen to be the defending Eastern Conference Champs. Meanwhile, the Bulls are giving up 91 points per game against the 8 seed Indiana Pacers. SMH, looks like Thibs was right, the Knicks are playing much better on D and in the REAL SEASON. Go Knicks!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Co-sign T-Money on everything he wrote. I was thinking the same thing the entire game.
    Not only are Wade and Bron unstoppable on the break, they are no figuring out how to cut to the hoop when the other one drives. On two occasions last night either Wade or Bron got to the middle and hit the other one with a pretty pass on a baseline cut. And I don’t know if Chris Bosh can dominate later in the playoffs, but if he continues to play like this, Miami is going to be a super tough out for anyone.
    The Pacers didn’t execute down the stretch on either end, and the Bulls did. When the game got tight, the cream Rose to the top. Lol. That jumper by Collison when the game was tied at 84 was just horrible. Just a horrible shot at that time, particularly with Granger heating up. And that play and the next play the team ran were horribly designed and executed.
    So the Sixers have to move AI, right? Who do y’all think makes a pitch for him, if anybody.

  • paul

    Iguodala had ten assists, so he found a way to contribute when his shot wasn’t falling. I think the Philly fans should respect him for that.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    My opinions on the game last night – A big knock was the Bulls can’t win if Rose has a bad game. Well last night Rose and Boozer had bad games and the Bulls still won. @airs – Boozer let me down last night. He got in early foul trouble and let it affect his game…which really worries me. You’d think a veteran making $80MM would be able to play through that. I do like that he still got big boards despite his offensive struggles. I have a feeling he’ll be more aggressive in game 4.
    Indiana Pacers – really put off by their game plan. If you want to be the rough and tough team that dishes out hard fouls, then be that team. Don’t follow up that style of play with team-wide flops. I counted 5 different players on the pacers taking deliberate flops. If you want to be tough guys, then be tough guys. None of this in between sh*t.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    IAMORANGE – I love the world you live in. You’re team can do no wrong even as they get swept out of the playoffs. Your team giving up only 91 points per game would be much more impressive if your team wasn’t scoring just 89 points per game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    Did anyone else have to watch the bulls game without the commentators? I probably would have liked it better if the commentators voices weren’t substituted for Boozer’s obnoxious screams…

  • Tyrant56

    hey, gotta shake b-roy’s hand he came out and produced and someone please tell the refs on that jkidd 3 he walked its obvious! thtat aside Can’t wait till tonight n 2morrow Knicks/celts, lakers/hornets, grizz/spurs, blaze/mavs, its gonna get ugly out there!

  • bull22

    @angelofstern, if miami had their choice it would be him, but iam sure in the draft they would have loved to have rose… but cp3 would make NY better, but unless they play defense, it will be difficult to win a title..

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @diesel: I don’t know what world I live in, but in the REAL world the Knicks have been without Amar’re and Chauncey. As a team, I’m impressed with how the Knicks have responded to their absences. Can’t wait for tonight’s game at the WMFA! Go Knicks Go!

  • Fat Lever

    Paul, are you a Sixer fan?

  • bull22

    @iamorangeforever, i think the knicks just giving up 91 points a game is a result of boston’s ugly ball mentality, but like a true knick fan you won’t give up.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Knicks actually scored more points without Chauncey and Amare in Game 2 than they did with both players in Game 1.

  • tRay

    Man Jeff Foster put the hit on Rose I like to see sh*t like that. I don’t like seeing players get hurt but I’m not gonna let some guy in the paint by my basketball and watch him do layup lines.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    Props to the Knicks then ORANGE. All I know is you’ve been saying “nobody wants to face the Knicks” & “wait till the real season starts” for a few months now. And now that its started, you’re satisfied with moral victories. Appreciate your enthusiasm though.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Maybe I don’t read enough ESPN, but has anyone else gotten the sense that Brian Windhorst goes out of his way to be anti-LeBron since The Decision?
    I remember dude at the Plain Dealer, and he was always touting LeBron. Now, it feels like he goes out of his way to criticize him, or minimize dude’s impact. Like, he’s really playing up the fact that Wade killed in Game Three (which Wade did) but ignoring that LeBron has been consistently great on both ends the entire series.
    Maybe I’m tripping.

  • tRay

    @Allen na you’re not tripping cuz a lot of people have been doing that all season and now lol

  • http://bulls.com airs

    im just sayin, boozer is overrated when it comes to his post up abilities, he faces up and dives to the rim too much for my liking.
    for such a big dude, he’s gotta back down in the post more.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    and bulls gotta stop bein so soft, i really wanted to see kurt thomas just lay collison or granger out.
    or elbow psycho T again, something!

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    @Allen – yeah I’ve seen it too. That happens in all sports. I feel like a lot of sports media take things personal. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but it seems like their hall of fame voting and the nfl’s is all “this writer won’t vote for you because you were mean to him back in the day”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Allen..
    I don’t think so. Been reading many of his write-ups since Cavs days. I’m not in any way a journalist or whatsoever but I think he’s been pretty fair to Lebron. And I believe.. didn’t ESPN get him to cover Miami because he’s pro Lebron? I think he’s somehow balancing to avoid the tag of being a bron-praiser.

  • http://www.slamonline.com AllBall

    Rose was terrible last night. It would not have been a game had Bogans and Korver shot 100% in the 4th. If I were a Bulls fan I would not find confidence in winning 3 games against the Pacers by these deficits. Yes, a win is a win, but even the biggest of Bulls homers knows deep down there play has to improve.
    Nick Tha Quick, Paul would not have those type of shooting or turn over numbers, but Paul would also not stubbornly drive the lane making FT’s and eventually the game winner down the stretch. How ever, with CP controlling the game against these Pacers, with that Bulls team, I would not be worried about close games.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    The play has to improve, but these games are giving me a lot of confidence in my team. They’re playing bad and winning. Rose and Boozer are playing bad at the same time and the team still wins. These are the type of games that I didn’t think they’d be able to win before this series. I really don’t see why the bulls should worry but teams like the spurs, lakers, and heat shouldn’t worry. Lakers and Spurs have both won a close game and lost a close game. Heat have won 2 games that have been just as close as the Bulls – Pacers games…to a team on the same level as the Pacers. They’ve had one blow out. So if the bulls blow out the Pacers in game 4 if everything suddenly ok in your eyes? Every single series has been a competitively close game.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I went from having no opinion of Jeff Foster to now hoping Kurt Thomas lays him out.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com airs

    you simply can’t judge how well the bulls will do in the rest of the postseason based on one series. its dumb.
    2008 celtics versus hawks, pushed to 7 games. celtics win championship.
    2010 cavs bulldoze through rounds 1 and 2, lose in ECF.
    one series does not define the team in anyway, and this series doesn’t worry me at all. because like ive said, if youve wacthed the bulls all season their play shouldn’t surprise you.
    bottom line is, bulls are up 3-0.
    oh and great stat: bulls are 17-8 in games decided by 5 points or less, thank you TNT

  • JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, while he’s at it, why not lay out boozer also? It would save everyone’s eardrums and make the games more watchable.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen I feel the same way about Windhorst and have noticed that all season long. – And Chicago is the exact team I thought they were pre-playoffs. Dependent on Rose to create offense, and not really there yet as a title contender.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com airs

    id go out on a limb to say most teams depend on either their point guard or star player to create offense.
    just so happens that those are one in the same for the bulls.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Mars

    agreed

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    He’d have to like, knock him out COLD, JTaylor.
    I’m sure Boozer yells in his sleep.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Celtics rely on their offense, and Rondo but they proved they are fine without him this season. LA relies on the triangle. Miami has 3 guys. San Antonio has 2 1/2. Every team even SA who I don’t feel is a legitimate title contender has more then 1 way to create offense. Deng and Boozer can score for Chicago but they aren’t creating anything, they’re finishers.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Same reason Cleveland’s offense came up short for 5 straight years, even though they are clearly less talented then this chicago team they had the same problem.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    And yeah, I have been thinking the same thing about Windhorst too.
    Which is very strange because the very reason he left Cleveland was to follow LeBron.
    Just like he has been since Bron was in high school.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Celtics can’t win now if Rondo plays like crap. Maybe earlier in the year, but not now.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No I am not saying that. I am saying their offense still works without him, they don’t “rely” on him to create for anyone. They let him create because he is the best option they have but he isn’t imperative to them scoring their points. Derrick Rose in Chicago? I don’t think that team can compete in a playoff series against a truly title worthy squad not for 7 games atleast. They are scooting by indiana, you can bring the “they play down or up to their competition argument” into this if you want, but I am more comfortable saying Indiana is outlining how to beat Chicago, they just don’t have a true go-to guy down the stretch, if they did, this series might be 3-0 Indiana, it should be atleast.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    They really do seem to play down to their competition though.
    Since January 1st their only losses have been to the Nets, Sixers, Bobcats, Warriors, Blazers, Raptors, Hawks, and Pacers.
    Only half those teams are in the playoffs.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    right but they play just as hard in the regular season as they do in the playoffs. That’s why they are the 1 seed even though they are the 3rd most talented team in the conference. They play way harder in the regular season then Boston and LA do that’s for sure. More then likely a lot harder then Miami does, judging by their regular season which lacked any kind of urgency and the total dismantling of Philadelphia that’s taken place in the first round. Is it ever a good sign to win 3 straight go down to the wire against a team that finished 37 and 45, its like people are somehow under the impression that Indiana is good team, I mean they are ok but they only won 37 for a reason.

  • JTaylor21

    Don’t take Indiana for granted. There’s a reason why they made the playoffs after such a horrible start to the season. Their record really doesn’t tell the whole story because I remember them going into LA/Mia and laying the smack down on both elite squads. They have come real close to beating an elite bulls squad in 3 straight games only to come up short in the closing seconds. Their only problem is the lack of an elite go-to scorer and rebounding because DGranger is not that guy.
    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think Indiana also has hard horrible game management down the stretch. There doesn’t seem to be a clear idea of what are good shots and what are bad shots and who should be shooting.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Ef what yall talkin bout I think D. Rose is showing great toughness right now. indiana threw the kitchen sink at that man and he still made big plays. they threw two strong wing players who are just as athletic on him while walling him from the paint, all the while aggressively trapping and double teaming him,plus full court pressing him, while committing hard(some dirty) fouls on him. I dont think for one second I seen him lose his composure in that game.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    They beat Miami at the beginning of the season, then got beat by them twice during their winning streak/stretch when Vogel first got hired. Also they beat LA in the first 15 or so games of the season with a different head coach as well. Team shouldn’t be giving Chicago (if they are a title contender) this much trouble.

  • JTaylor21

    What? The 08 Celtics went through the same struggles in the first round, same with the Lakers a couple of years back. Stop acting like a championship contender is supposed to destroy every team it faces in the first round for them to be considered chip favorites. Look at what happened to the cavs team from a few years back that steamrolled through the first two rounds only to lose to a much better ORL squad.
    How a team performs in the first round vs a lesser opponent tells us little about how they will perform vs teams with equal or better talent.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    LA played a 50 win team a couple years back, any 8 seed in the west over the last 8 or so years has almost 10 more wins then the 8 seed in the east. Boston in 08 played Atlanta, the same atlanta team that is the 5 seed now, same best 3 players. Indiana with Danny Granger as their best player, a 5 seed? please.

  • JTaylor21

    Bravo, I like the way you ignored the Cavs example and choose LA/Bos. Great job of selectively choosing only the things that could make your argument seem valid.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    What’s to ignore about the Cavs, they got kicked out of the playoffs and weren’t a true threat at the title. Which is what the mainstream media and a lot of people are considering Chicago. What Cleveland did was what they should have done, smashed inferior teams and lost to better ones. Chicago is barely getting by inferior teams and will show their colors against the better ones. The writings on the wall IMO

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I have to agree with JTaylor.
    That “same Atlanta Hawks team” that’s a 5 seed now?
    When they faced Boston in the first round of 2008 they were…*gasp* 37-45 on the year!
    Hmm… 37-45, that sounds familiar…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    if anything Cleveland was just straight up irrelevant, they didn’t win anything. I don’t understand bringing up the opposite circumstance, your gonna use a team that obviously wasn’t good enough to win anything important that actually did beat inferior competition, but lost in the following round as evidence that Chicago is ok because they are struggling? what? how does that make sense?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Actually that Atlanta team was 36 and 46. But they were more talented then this Indiana team. Joe Johnson > Danny Granger. Al Horford > Roy Hibbert. Josh Smith > Josh McRoberts. Mike Bibby > Darren Collison (that years Mike Bibby compared to this years Darren Collison) Infact looking at that Atlanta teams record tells you almost nothing, considering they acquired Bibby with only 20 games left in the season.

  • JTaylor21

    The reason why I brought up those Cavs teams was because you’re always talking about how this DRose-led Bulls squad reminds you so much of those Bron-led Cavs squad.
    You can’t just dismiss the bulls chances based on their first round struggles because with they way the rebound and play D, they have a great chance at getting out of the East.
    Also please explain to me what does struggling to a good pacers squad in the first round tell you about the Bulls championship chances?

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    No, they went 37-45.
    And you’re really gonna argue that the Bulls, who went 62-20 and are up 3-0 against the 37-45 Pacers, don’t look like contenders?
    Despite the fact that a 66-16 Celtics team went to 7 games against a 37-45 Hawks team and won it all?
    But the Hawks were more talented than these Pacers, of course…

  • http://chicagonow.com/sports/bulls Diesel

    More talented team is an opinion. IMO Indiana vs Sixers, the current Knicks, New Orleans…all those series go 7 games.

  • T-Money

    Allen – To answer your question about Windy from ESPN: yes. Bron and Windy had a fall-out, they used to be really tight when Bron got drafted because they could somewhat relate to each other: youngest player in the NBA, youngest beat writer in the NBA. Windy had almost unlimited access to Bron and they would sometimes spend hours talking and just shooting the sh–. Then life happened, Bron doesn’t do 1vs1 unless it’s Larry King or 60 minutes. Bron’s entourage was actually pissed off when they learned that Windy was going down South too. Nowadays, Windy said that Bron goes out his way to not make eye contact with him even when he’s asking him a direct question in the middle of the scrum. Professionally, Windy’s goal is also to become a Marc Stein or John Hollinger at ESPN and cover the whole league. He feels he has to dissociate himself from Bron to achieve that even though that was basically his meal ticket to an ESPN job. Things are complicated, I guess lol.

  • http://slamonline.com hoopskooter

    Uh @tRay, D Rose gets to the rim so much because of sheer talent and explosive speed. He is a nightmare for any guard in the league. Beating him up is not answer, all ur going to do is put him on the free throw line, where he is shooting 91 percent! Not a smart move. You can’t stop what can’t be stoped . Maybe they should play a zone :) remember it doesn’t matter how you win, just win and move on.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Cleveland was one of the best defensive and rebounding teams in the league too. They also had a better more efficient best player. – Indiana is just highlighting what is going to give Chicago issues in the rest of the playoffs. Except they don’t have a guy to give the ball to at the end of games when its iso-time. Its like tell for a poker player. The Bulls have a tell, Indiana is exposing it, I know Chicago is going to beat Indiana and will likely beat Orlando or Atlanta in the next round, but will they be able to get passed Miami? Boston? LA? Boozer is playing against Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts right now and he’s doing close to nothing, what happens against Chris Bosh/KG/Pau Gasol? He’s supposed to be your second best player. Its not like i’m saying something a lot of people don’t already think, including Bulls fans.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yeah, I remember they were cool back in the day, but when Miami came to NOLA, Windhorst didn’t have any special rapport with Bron or anything. And I remember he got sort of locked out in the weeks prior to the decision.
    But, shading your content is always a little shifty, in my opinion. It makes you look less intelligent. Even if you don’t like someone, treat them fairly and let the record say what it says.
    But, with ESPN, the line between reporting and editorializing is very blurred, so I guess that leads to problems. Seriously, almost every “writer” also interjects their opinions into the stories. How can you do that, and then turn around and claim the objectivity mantle? And I mean they interject their opinions obviously, not just the subliminal stuff that often happens.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Apparently, Windhorst and Bron even went to the same high school (not at the same time) and he’s been covering Bron since his high school days.
    Kinda tough to break away when you’re that much associated with one player.

  • JTaylor21

    “refuses to make eye contact with him” What?
    Dude sounds like a scorned lover.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    My bad I was looking at Basketball References projected wins (why do they keep that up after the season?). Are you gonna ignore the fact that that Atlanta team had Mike Bibby for only 15 games? Or the fact that I just outlined how Atlanta was better? Its pretty f’n obvious Atlanta was better, they finished the next season with the same roster, 46-36. Ya’ll keep acting like a team that CLEARLY upgrades at the trade deadline is the same as a team that didn’t make a move and was below .500 the whole entire year are the same. If you can’t see the difference between that Atlanta team in 08 and this Indiana team then i’m sorry I wasted my time, its obvious to me.

  • http://slamonline.com hoopskooter

    And @airs is right, you can’t judge any team after 1 playoff series
    Sometimes the hunter becomes the hunted, just ask the Lakers and the Spurs.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I’d say making a coaching change was a pretty significant move, and it was clearly an upgrade.
    And I think you’re confusing how good the Hawks are now to how they were then.
    Horford was a rookie, for one.
    Plus, you saying “its pretty f’n obvious Atlanta was better, they finished the next season with the same roster, 46-36″ makes no sense because you have no way of knowing what Indiana’s record will be next year.
    They could win 50-plus games, with the same roster. You don’t know that.

  • T-Money

    Allen: ESPN rewards biases. Controversy drives traffic. People will click to approve of or hate on writers. Bill Simmons openly dislikes Kobe and now the Miami Heat because that team goes against every principe of his book and his “secret” (I’ve never read the book but I strangely feel like I have). Ric Bucher and Skip Bayless openly dislike LeBron. These analysts will never give credit to the people they don’t like. 1st thing Skip wanted to do was to compare Melo’s game 2 to Bron’s game 5 of the ECF vs Detroit. I get my basketball fix from SLAM, Hoopshype and RealGM now.

  • T-Money

    Lol I’m actually looking at Skip’s take again, he said that Paul Pierce was the best wing defender in the NBA to illustrate that Melo’s game was better than Bron’s ECF game.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Skip Bayless really irks me. I can’t stand to watch him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if this Indiana team has the same roster next season they will not win 50 games, they will not win 45 games. I have no doubt in my mind. Indiana making a coaching change wasn’t significant enough to change their personnel or the fact that they don’t have a true #1 option. They should be beating Chicago 3-0, i understand how some of you feel about Chicago, or arguing your own point but seriously they are in trouble and its not like I jut started saying this, i’ve been consistent since they emerged as one of the best teams in the regular season. Even you said said you don’t think they can win it all without a SG, so i don’t even understand what your trying to argue. Are you disagreeing that I’m wrong about Chicago? Or that its ok for them to be struggling this bad? Or have the playoffs actually being here changed your opinion and/or clouded your judgement?

  • JTaylor21

    What has Chicago shown you the past 3gms for you to dismiss them as championship contenders? If anything their path to the ECF is easier than Mia’s or Bos’ path which makes them the favorites out of the EC’s elite teams to make it to the ECF.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I’m mostly not agreeing with the notion that a 1 seed struggling against an 8 seed somehow implies that they are not a true contender, when in actuality there has been precedence set for a 1 team struggling in the first round and winnning it all.
    I do beleive the Bulls need more scoring and ballhandling from the 2 spot, but I refuse to come out and say they’re not contenders, more like I’d be pleasantly surprised if they won it all.

  • http://slamonline.com hoopskooter

    @nbk, remember close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades. The simple fact is the Bulls can turn up defensive pressure for the strech run and have a guy who is like the U.S. Mail,meaning he will deliver! This is not rocket science. D Rose is just that good.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Also, who in their right minds really thought Atlanta would become a 50-win team?
    And in my opinion, Joe Johnson is not much better than Danny Granger as your number one option in the playoffs.
    Johnson sucks in the playoffs.

  • http://pickand.tumblr.com airs

    Whoa I agree with jtaylor

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ nbk: I agree that the Pacers need a real #1 option, but I think you’re also underrating the players they have currently. They’ve got a future All-Star at the point in Darren Collison, an All-Star caliber SG/SF in Danny Granger, a rookie with huge upside in Paul George, and two good young bigs in Hibbert and Hansbrough (who plays bigger than he really is).
    Youre saying none of these guys are gonna improve next seasonÉ (question mark).

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Johnson murdered Boston that series so there’s that. And I’ve felt the SAME about Chicago all year. This series hasn’t proven anything new to me just highlighting Chicago’s issues down the line. And I am pretty sure most of everyone had Atlanta winning between 45-52 games after that season/series. Do y’all not remember that or something?

  • T-Money

    And doesn’t Troy Murphy feel stupid right now? He’s the fifth option in the middle for Boston! He could play 15 mins a game for Miami.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Johnson averaged 20 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists that series, on 40% shooting.
    Not exactly what I’d call the Boston Massacre.

  • JTaylor21

    Co-sign Enigmatic. DG and JJ are two peas in the same pod. Both are overrated and over-payed players with a false sense of their value and worth. Both players actually believe they are go-to guys on playoff squads when in reality they should be nothing more than the 3rd best player on a playoff team. The Pacers would be wise in trading DG in the offseason because they are going no where with him as their best player/leader.
    The Hawks on the other hand should hire a hit-squad to knock off JJ from the face of the earth, so they could void his contract.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com airs

    i’ll say this again.
    if you HAVE WATCHED the chicago bulls play all season, they way theyre playing should NOT surprise you. not one bit.
    plus, how the hell can you guarantee that the pacers won’t win 50 games next season? on some nostradamus sh*t right there.
    bet you had the bulls pegged not to win 62 this season too??

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    He didn’t average murder but look at the games Atlanta won

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Like airs said, the Bulls have won many, MANY ugly games this season.
    They’ve won lots of games by single digits where they should’ve blown the other team out.
    It doesn’t matter how they do it, when it matters most they get the job done.
    And against the truly elite, they’ve beaten them all and haven’t lost to any since December.

  • http://chicagonow.com/sports/bulls Diesel

    I love that the Bulls on the verge of sweeping is them “struggling”. And nbk can predict with 100% accuracy that Indy won’t be good next year. They have a bunch of young players. Why wouldn’t they get better again? Regardless, the playoffs is about matchups. Pacers match up well with the Bulls. You know who doesn’t? Every other team in the EC playoffs accept for Boston.

  • http://chicagonow.com/sports/bulls Diesel

    And my opinion on the series is…when you beat a team THREE times in a row the exact same way, then there’s nothing lucky about it. Bulls aren’t fortunate, no refs bailed them out, and the shouldn’t feel relieved…Bulls are just flat out better when it counts, regardless of what happened during the course of the game.

  • JTaylor21

    Spelling for Big Dummies would come in handy just about now.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Allenp @11:18 am:
    Pat Croce. lol

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    In the early-to-mid 2000′s I saw Jamal Crawford come by at a summer rec game outside. We split into teams and he put himself on a terrible team versus our vastly superior squad. I guarded him for most of the game and he hung 40 on my head without trying. Afterward, I got in his face and told him that he’ll never make it in the NBA and that he’ll never win the 6th Man award. A very specific threat, yes. After he won the award he e-mailed me a picture of it with the subject line “Tell me how my success taste”. To this day, every time he makes a 4-point play he texts me asking if I want a re-match.
    The majority of that story is false, but it’s still a great story. I’m coming after you, Crawford!

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^^Another gem…

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Ha!
    Except Crawford was already on an NBA squad in the early to mid 2000′s.
    LOL

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Look at me “over-reacting” saying an unchanged Pacers team won’t win 8 more games next year then they did this year. What? Lol what team improves by 8 games in 1 season without changing players? I never said the Bulls were in trouble against Indiana either, just that they are foreshadowing what is to come/be taken advantage of

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com airs

    mmhmmm..

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I’m sure plenty of teams have improved by 8 games or more in one season without changing players.
    The Thunder won more than twice as many games from ’08-’09 to ’09-10 and only added rookie James Harden, for example.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com airs

    spurs, sixers

  • T-Money

    by the way, i don’t follow ncaa ball but who’s the coach at ucla and why hasn’t he been fired? guys like holiday, westbrook, collison, afflalo, lrmam, and love were definitely not killing it for the bruins and they are very good nba players. he couldn’t do anything with that talent? rick barnes 2.0.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    T-Money – it’s Ben Howland, and uh, they were killing it in college too.
    UCLA went to three Final Fours from 2006 to 2008.
    Westbrook, Collison, Afflalo and Love all played on at least one of those teams.
    They were 26-9 in Holiday’s only season there.
    Three finals fours and a 182-80 (.690) record in 8 years is really not bad for a coach who took over a 10-19 team.

  • feez22

    the over-ration of the pacers… Soon it will be the over-ration of the magic/hawks.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Absurd stat of the day – Kyle Korver is shooting 87.5% from 3 in the playoffs.
    Albeit through three games…

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Elton Brand was a non issue last year in Philadelphia, he’s their leading scorer this year – upgrade. Tony Parker and Manu Gibobili were healthy, the spurs were better then this year with the same core 4 years ago. Didn’t that Thunder team add Westbrook too? And Harden came with Ibaka didn’t he? Or Ibaka never got minutes cause he couldn’t speak English and had only been playing the sport for 3 years…either way. Unless Paul George transforms into Indianas best player there is no way they improve by 8 games. Not with Danny Granger as your go to guy I can’t see it. I do however think they will upgrade and compete for the 6 seed next or whenever the next season is. And the fact that Indiana should have won the games is not why I say Chicago’s in trouble it because they are showing how to beat the bulls, a blueprint of it minus the last 2 minutes with the least skilled team in the playoffs.

  • T-Money

    Enig: I guess it came out wrong – I was more talking about the player’s development. they all looked very ordinary coming out of UCLA.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Sooper, come on now.
    No, Westbrook did not join that team when Harden did.
    He was a rookie the year prior.
    And you’re right, they did add Ibaka as well.
    Dude averaged 18 minutes a game.
    They improved because they were a young team whose players got better.
    And because they had their first full year under Scott Brooks.
    Much like Indiana’s youngins will improve and they will (should) have their first full season under Vogel next year.
    Now you say you can see them as a 6th seed next year, but you don’t see them improving by 8 games next year?
    Huh?
    I know the East is top heavy, but you really see the 6th seed in the East will get only 37 wins next year?
    I get what you’re trying to say, Sooper, that the Bulls are in trouble blah blah blah, but you’re really reaching with this whole “Indiana sucks now and will always suck” argument.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    T-Money – I do have to admit some of the UCLA guys have surprised me with what they’re done in the L.
    Holiday especially, he struggled in college and I thought he was nuts for declaring for the draft after one year.
    But his development in the L has been solid.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Note to the Knicks: PASS THE FUKKING BALL TO AMARE STOUDEMIRE AND STOP TAKING JUMP SHOTS. FUKC!

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    I am not saying they won’t improve, I think it’s pretty clear they will, but 8 games, to 45 with that roster? Come on, theydont have a Durant or even a Westbrook. Y’all have to realize that championship picture, Indiana blows, if IAMYELLOWFOREVER started posting about how Indiana would win the title we would jump down their throat about how Indiana sucks. People are saying that about Chicago and they are being exposed for what they have been along and that’s all I am saying.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Teddy + Caps Lock key = Unf★ckwitable™
    I’m Audi 500, it’s Friday.
    Peace, Slamily!

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    LOL @ “IAMYELLOWFOREVER”
    Shots fired!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yeah nobody wants to see the Knicks in the first round.

  • JTaylor21

    Just another day in Melo’s neighborhood. One game he goes for 42/17/6 then turns around with 15pts on 4-16 shooting in a pivotal gm3 at home.
    Best scorer, my a**.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    You can tell Amare’s back was still bothering him, but still, how the f*ck does your (arguably) best scorer put up only EIGHT shots?! Feed him the f*cking basketball!
    But seriously, I’d initially thought the other guys on the team played a lot worse than they really did–all of them shot the ball pretty well, actually (aside from Landry Fields, who has been terrible this post-season… though he’s only a rook).
    This one’s on the team’s two stars. I mean, even Jared Jeffries shot 5 for 11.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Man, Jamal. U gotta call glass first!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Yep, you guys definitely underrated Carl Landry yesterday or two days ago or w/e. He’s clearly the Hornets’ best scorer right now (excluding Chris Paul), and they don’t feed him ENOUGH. He is the only player who can score on the Lakers’ defense at will. It’s a shame he only had 12 shots, while Marco Belinelli shoots 2 for 8…

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    And Jarret Jack shoots 1-10, and Willie Green plays terrible. At the end of the 3rd quarter, New Orleans are down 7, 6 seconds to go, the ball is in bounded to Willie, CP has a running start, but Willie keeps it himself and shoots a terrible contested jumper, killing all momentum from Landrys huge dunk.

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