Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Hawks try to keep the window ajar

Posted on: May 12, 2011 9:40 am
 
Bulls look to close out the Hawks in Game 6.

Posted by Matt Moore





One Big Thing: If the Hawks want to stave off elimination and force a Game 7, Jamal Crawford is going to have to get loose. The Hawks' offense is about 25% ISO against the Bulls, and it's pretty high normally. The Hawks just love the feel of a crossover, step-back jumper. But in an elimination game, the Hawks can't afford to squander possessions. Every possession has to be valued, cherished. And that means getting Crawford involved, and it should be off-ball movement that does that. Getting Crawford open looks will cause the Bulls' defense to shift. That'll open up the inside for Horford and Smith, which will create more spacing for Joe Johnson when he goes into isolation, instead of dribbling into multiple defenders. Everything opens up. But it's got to start with Crawford. The Bulls have done a great job of keying in on Crawford as this series has gone on. If they contain him for one more game, it may be enough to make their way to meet the Heat.


The X-Factor: The Bench Mob for Chicago mixed with the starters at the end of Game 5, and they were the difference. The Bulls, surprisingly, have a very capable bench unit, and it's been doing damage in this series. If Omer Asik, Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Kyle Korver can make an impact, the Hawks won't be able to counter, not with Teague having to start. It's a huge advantage for the Bulls. Can they keep up this kind of surprising play? With the defense anchoring them, it looks good for the Bench Mob to make an appearance in Game 6.


The Adjustment: The Hawks were making a comeback by putting the ball in Jeff Teague's hands. They stopped doing that. They stopped making a comeback. Teague needs to be the focal point of the offense with how he's playing right now. He doesn't have to take all the shots, but his drive and kick abilities force the Bulls' defense to react instead of just waiting for the Hawks to dribble into them. The Hawks need to trust the young point guard and let him get them opportunities. Trying to do it on their own won't fly.


The Sticking Point: Chicago is a much better team. It honestly should not have gone this many games, given how talented and capable Chicago is. It took a run from Omer Asik and Taj Gibson to close out Game 5 at home, for crying out loud. Credit the Hawks' effort. Had the coaching been better, this may have gone differently. But this is a close-out game the Bulls know they need with the Heat starting to get their rest. Derrick Rose will be in close-out mode. The Hawks have shown us a tougher version of themselves mentally than we're used to seeing this postseason. They're going to have to come out with an even more impressive to push this thing back to Chicago and give themselves another chance.  
Comments

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 12, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Hawks try to keep the window ajar

daBULLS to finish off atl 2nite.......no more rest given to the hatable heat...
give credit to atl tho....nobody ever thought they would get past orl and give daBULLS a hard time



Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: May 12, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Hawks try to keep the window ajar

I will be surprised if the Hawks can get this pushed back to CHicago. They just are not good enough, especially without Hinrich. Although they must be considered the surprise of the East, if not the playoffs. Orlando was and is a one man show so maybe that was not a surprise, but to be in games six with Chicago, that shows there is a lot to build with in Atlanta. A inside presence is probably the real answer for the future, but that will not be there tonight.


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