23 April 2011
The issues that the Bulls have had in this series have been well documented. Crappy shooting, turnovers and allowing the Pacers to control the pace. Those three things should be recipe for disaster. Instead, the Bulls are ahead 3-1 in the series, with a great chance to wrap it up in Chicago on Tuesday.
By losing, the Bulls hit the proverbial reset button. I'm not saying the Bulls are using this loss as motivation for Game 5. I'm not saying that the Bulls players and coaches needed a loss to get them on the right track, either. It might be a game that refocuses them. I'd rather refocus up 3-1 in the first round then have the same issues in a series vs. Orlando or Atlanta (I think it's going to be Atlanta.)
Mike Fratello alluded to it today - and he made a great point. It's a lot easier to gloss over the mistakes because you're winning. Losing is what causes change. And that's what the Bulls need. Watching film of a win can only do so much, because in the back of your mind, you know you ended up winning the game.
The reason I think the Bulls can win it all is because of the on/off switch they have. They can turn it on at any point in the game. Today, they turned it on too late. And the team knows that. The comeback should have started at the beginning of the second half.
I'm not so quick to give the Pacers a ton of credit - they're a pretty good team, and they're controlling the pace. The reason they have this control is because of the sloppy turnovers the Bulls have made. They've tried to get too cute with passes inside the paint, which have really hurt them. Also, when Derrick has been doubled when he crosses half court, nobody on the Bulls is coming to the ball with any urgency. It's hurting the ball movement, and has led to more difficult passes which aren't being completed.
The Bulls need to get back to doing the things they do best - playing solid defense and taking care of the basketball. If they do that, we know Derrick is going to make enough plays to get us the win, even if Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng aren't playing at a high level.
With all of these "issues," I reiterate that the Bulls are up 3-1. They're going to win Game 5 on Tuesday, and make everyone forget about this series. Cut the turnovers in half, and the Bulls will run away with this game.
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