Blog Entry

Bulls still lead 3-1, but it doesn't feel like it

Posted on: April 23, 2011 6:18 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2011 6:40 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Despite the loss on Saturday, the Bulls still lead their opening round series over Indiana 3-1, and will most likely close things out Tuesday in Chicago. Losing is never fun, but the Pacers stealing a game at home isn't really anything to panic over.

But here's a little something to at least re-adjust your collar over: The Bulls haven't played one good game yet in the playoffs. Again, they're 3-1. That's good. They're going to advance. That's good. But if you made both teams go shirts and skins and you didn't know Derrick Rose from Derrick Coleman, I'm not sure you would be able to pick out who the 37-win team is and who the 62-win one is.

The Bulls have shot under 40 percent in three of the four games. In the last two, Rose is just 10-40 (25 percent). Carlos Boozer has yet to really have one good, complete game. Luol Deng is the same. Same for Kyle Korver off the bench. Honestly, I can't tell you one player that has definitely played well all four games.

Again, no reason to completely panic. The playoffs are tough. Teams don't want to lose. The Bulls are adjusting to that and they've taken care of the most important part -- they've won. Still, the idea is that you're playing your very best basketball during the postseason. Chicago's defense hasn't really missed a beat, but if they play this way again Boston, or Miami, they're not moving on.

Either someone else has to step up with a couple key buckets -- i.e. Korver -- or Rose has to play wonderfully -- i.e. Games 1 and 2. That's the position the Bulls have put themselves in so far in this series versus the Pacers. Maybe it's actually a good thing they get another shot to work some of this stuff out before it gets serious against either Atlanta or Orlando.

Because if you take even the best of these four games and translate it into a series against the Magic, Hawks, Celtics or Heat and I don't think Chicago is winning. I'd say their best performance was probably Game 2, and even then they shot under 40 percent and won because of the free throw line and offensive rebounding.

The Bulls have never claimed to win pretty. They've never really done a lot more than just play excellent defense. Again, though, to put yourself in the position to expect a perfect game from Rose isn't a model for success in the playoffs. It's not just about someone else stepping up. It's about playing better, period.

This Chicago team came in with the best regular season record in basketball and aspirations to maybe even win an NBA title. The Chicago team that has played four games against the Pacers isn't doing that, and probably wouldn't see the Eastern Finals.

It's way, way too early to come to any conclusions based on this series with the Pacers, because the Bulls will likely take care of things in five. And, it's better to get the bad play out against a lesser opponent. But, I promise you, Tom Thibodeau is a bit anxious. You can just keep saying they'll snap out of it, but the road to glory isn't easy and it gets far tougher the more difficult you make it on yourself.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: April 23, 2011 7:31 pm

Bulls still lead 3-1, but it doesn't feel like it

The Bulls are OK.  Their playoff experience is very minimal, yet they're mostly figuring how to get the necessary wins.  They have this series right where they need it to be.  I give them alot of credit for the results they have achieved.  Now it has been ugly, I agree.  That's the Bulls' style though.  They will focus on one series at a time, and one game at a time.  They have been known as a team that will do whatever it takes to get the win, and they have a great coach to help them adapt.  I know alot of people think they're in trouble, but I'm sure the Bull's are feeling they're right where they need to be in this series.  And they will simply focus on their next game.  They've got a great group of players on this team.

Since: May 13, 2007
Posted on: April 23, 2011 7:19 pm

Bulls still lead 3-1, but it doesn't feel like it

This is really hard to believe.  The Bulls could have very easily lost all four of their games in this series and already have exited the playoffs.  How did they have the best record in the NBA this year?  The Pacers really aren't even close to being a good team.  And they could have beat Chicago in every single game.  The Pacers simply don't have the composure of a veteran team with playoff experience.  I think the prior two psts here are spot on and the Bulls better come up with something else if they want to be competitive in the next round (assuming they get there).  This has been the shocker of matchups so far in the playoffs.  I don't think four games in a row is by any means a fluke.  There's definitely something wrong with the picture the Bulls are painting hare.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2011 7:05 pm

Bulls still lead 3-1, but it doesn't feel like it

I've been saying all along the Bulls are really overrated and that no one should let their number one seeding in the playoffs fool them.  The Bulls are far from the best team in the playoffs.  Because of their number one seeding, they opened the playoffs against the worst team in the playoffs.  Up until today the Bulls have not had a single good win, and now they have a loss in this series.  I can understand a sloppy game or two from a top seeded team, but not four in a row in the same series, and not against a low seeded team, on top of that.  The Heat, Magic, Celtics, and Hawks have to be licking their chops over this.  While the Bulls will get through this first round, the second round will not be just a little bit tougher.  It will be geometrically tougher, and the Bulls probably will not make it out of it.  This is the core of a team of the future, much like the Knicks.  They're still way to reliant on Rose.  They still have a few key pieces to add before being a championship team.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2011 6:28 pm

Bulls still lead 3-1, but it doesn't feel like it

Wow, the only thing the Pacers didn't do for the Bulls was scoring their own basket. Indiana for the 4th time basically stop playing the last 2 minutes of the game nad I blame the coaching for that. The reason why the Pacers was in all 4 games was because they were attacking the basket and scoring and the reason why they lost the first 3 was because they wanted to hold on to their lead by holding on to the ball instead. Once again the Pacers was playing not to lose as oppose to playing to win. The Pacers could easily be 3-1 or even win the series right now but thanks to the coaching philosophy, they are 1-3. Boooooo.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or