Tag:Roy Hibbert
Posted on: April 26, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Pippen thinks Boozer is wasting fouls

Bulls Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is not amused by Carlos Boozer's lack of hard fouls in the playoffs. 
Posted by Matt Moore



(image courtesy of Getty Images, EOB illustration )

Bulls fans are discovering the same thing Jazz fans have been saying for years. Yeah, Carlos Boozer is a great post player offensively with nice touch. But his defense is bad. Not "problematic" or "below-excellent." It's bad. He gets taken off the dribble, backed down in the post, worked over, inside and out, doesn't rotate well and has trouble closing. That's just who he is. The whole season he's been available, Tom Thibodeau has done a tremendous job covering for him with his system, to the point where it's unlikely to be the deciding factor in if the Bulls win the championship. But in a series that turned out to be much closer than expected, with the Bulls up 3-1 but still not able to come away with a convincing win against the Pacers, there are some questions about the Bulls' defense, and how tough if its. Especially when you start asking questions about why the Pacers are hammering Derrick Rose with hard fouls every time he enters the lane and Darren Collison skates through. And those questions aren't just coming from fans. 

They're coming from Hall of Fame Bulls. Scottie Pippen spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times about the fouls Boozer's leaving on the floor, and M.J.'s running mate isn't too pleased with how that's gone. 
‘‘They’ve all got two legs and two arms,’’ the six-time NBA champion said. ‘‘You’ve got Carlos Boozer out there who’s spending fouls and a lot of his fouls are not needed at the time that he’s giving them. Those could be hard fouls. Those could be fouls that you knock a [Darren] Collison to the floor, you knock a [Jeff] Foster to the floor.

‘‘Utilize your fouls and make them more valuable for you and your team.’’
via Bulls’ Derrick Rose likely to play despite sore ankle - Chicago Sun-Times .

Pippen's not so much with the watching of the Jazz the last few years, is he? That's not who Boozer is. Never has been, and at his age, never will be. 

Boozer's defense in this series actually hasn't been bad. His numbers in ISO and spot-up defense from Synergy Sports are actually pretty decent.   He's only been posted on defense four times, though he's given three scores in that frame. As long as the Bulls don't have to play anyone with dual posting threats, they should be fine. But Pippen's point remains. If the Pacers are going to take shots at Rose aimed to send a message, the Bulls' bigs have to respond in kind. Joakim Noah is clearly willing to do so, as is Kurt Thomas. But Boozer?

Well, Boozer's willing to yell a lot, if that helps. 

(Note: It does not.)
Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Can the Bulls finally play a good game?

Posted by Royce Young



There's one lingering question hanging over the Bulls-Pacers series. Well, I guess it's really two but they're related. How is Derrick Rose and can the Bulls finally play a good game?

Rose is "questionable" (the quotes are there for a reason) but he'll most definitely play. The Bulls though have played pretty questionable the first four games of this series. They've allowed a lesser Indiana team to basically win 90 percent of the first four games. It's an "if" and if's are stupid, but if the Pacers had finished just one of those three games a bit better, we'd be looking at a real deal series here.

But this is an opportunity for the Bulls. They're returning home and have a chance to correct some of the issues plaguing them in the first four games. Rose needs to find a better rhythm. Chicago needs someone that can create a shot on his own. The Bulls need Carlos Boozer to wake up. Defensively, they've been their normal selves. Not that they were great on the offensive side during the season, but they've been fairly brutal so far.

It's become way to obvious that this team has to have Rose scoring 30 points in order to succeed. Where's Luol Deng? Where's Boozer? Where's Keith Bogans (just kidding). Kyle Korver is basically the only player providing some consistent scoring punch alongside Rose.

The Bulls are taking way too many jumpers and surviving because of rebounding and free throws. Those two things weren't there in Game 4 and guess what? They lost.

I wrote about it after the Game 4 loss that really, the Bulls haven't played one good game yet this postseason. Rose was pretty stellar in Game 1, good in Game 2 and then average to almost bad in 3 and 4. The Pacers are rolling out a pretty good blueprint for everyone to see. Here's how you beat Chicago everyone. Challenge Rose and force their other guys to beat you. Hang in there on the glass, keep them off the line and present yourself a chance in the last five minutes and dare them to execute.

It's worked all four games for the Pacers except they didn't hold up their end by closing in the first three. The Bulls needed a bit of a wake up call and maybe it came in Game 4. It's time for them to prove a little something and get right in Game 5.
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:29 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Officially, Rose is listed as questionable

Posted by Royce Young

He's going to play. I'm pretty convinced of that. Mainly because he says he will. But officially, the Bulls have listed Derrick Rose as questionable.

“It’s not broke, so I’m definitely playing,” Rose told reporters.

Rose turned his left ankle in the second quarter of Game 3 on a drive to the bucket. He briefly went to the locker room but returned to the game to start the second half. He wore a walking boot the past couple days and had an MRI, which was negative.

Today at practice though, Rose showed up without the walking boot, instead wearing flip-flops. I would take that as a good sign. He didn't practice but said he would definitely be getting a painkilling shot.

Really the only "questionable" about it is how healthy Rose will be Tuesday. He probably won't be 100 percent but obviously a 75 percent Derrick Rose is pretty darn good. The Bulls are back in Chicago after dropping Game 4 to the Pacers and have a chance to close the series out. Though the Bulls lead 3-1, this game is dangerous. If Rose isn't healthy and the Bulls somehow were to drop another to the Pacers, this series would go back to Indiana with a chance for the Pacers to force a Game 7.

And on top of that, that's less rest for Rose.

So the Bulls are taking Tuesday's game seriously. If, and that's a big if, Rose isn't able to go, the load will fall to C.J. Watson. Don't think the Bulls want that.
Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Derrick Rose's MRI on ankle negative

Posted by Royce Young

Not that you shoud've been worried, but rest easy Bulls fans. Derrick Rose is fine.

The result of the MRI on his left ankle were negative as expected. (Here's the play Rose sprained it on.)

Rose rolled his ankle pretty good in the second quarter of Game 4 versus the Pacers. He briefly went to the locker room but returned and finished the game. He's been wearing a walking boot on the foot for "precautionary" reasons.

As for his status for Game 5, I'm sure Rose is likely to start and play his normal amount of minutes. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau definitely isn't concerned.

"He's fine," Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune. "He's going to have his ankle checked and hopefully he'll be ready. When we ask him, he says he's fine. (Athletic trainer) Fred (Tedeschi) said he has a little soreness. But Derrick said he's fine. He said the swelling isn't bad."
Posted on: April 24, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 7:06 pm
 

Derrick Rose in walking boot, to have MRI

Derrick Rose to get an MRI after ankle injury, in walking boot at practice. 
Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.




Derrick Rose sprained his ankle in Game 4 versus the Pacers on Saturday. On Sunday at practice, Rose didn't participate, and via ESPN Chicago, was in a walking boot at practice. 

Ruh-roh. 

Rose is getting an MRI this afternoon, and will be re-evaluated by team doctors after that. Now, the walking boot is likely precautionary. It's not a sign of significant injury, it's usually just used to stabilize the ankle and foot. It's not a good thing, but it's not a terribly bad thing, either. X-Rays were negative, which is the biggest concern. 

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed the severity of the injury to the Chicago Tribune.
"He's fine," Thibodeau said. "He's going to have his ankle checked and hopefully he'll be ready. When we ask him, he says he's fine. (Athletic trainer) Fred (Tedeschi) said he has a little soreness. But Derrick said he's fine. He said the swelling isn't bad."
Assuming, and again, that's an assumption the MRI clears, Rose should be good for Game 5. But the next couple of hours will be tense for Bulls fans. We'll keep you updated on his status.  

It should be noted that after the injury, Rose's game went down the tubes, and he was unable to close the game out. He had a huge dunk off a blown Dahntay Jones defensive assignment, but his explosion was limited and his jumper was off, moreso than it has been this series. The ankle clearly affected him, even though the Bulls still almost won the game and Rose's key steal and dunk were part of that comeback. It simply should be noted that Rose was not at full capacity after the injury. 

Here's video of the injury. 


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

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

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.
Posted on: April 23, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Finally, Indiana holds on -- but just barely

Posted by Royce Young



With the Pacers holding an 18-point fourth quarter lead over the Bulls, everyone inside Conseco Fieldhouse could feel it coming -- half of those being Chicago fans. You knew this game wasn't over. Not with these Bulls. More importantly, not with these Pacers.

Chicago ripped off a 13-1 run the last four minutes to cut Indiana's lead to one with 15 seconds left and it just looked like deja vu. The Pacers were about to somehow, someway, give away another game to the Bulls and in turn, close the series. It would've been in a new way too -- not rebounding or late execution to blame as much as the 12 missed free throws.

This time, though, the Pacers did just enough. And I mean that. Just enough. After Danny Granger drilled two from the line, Indiana kept the ball away from Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver instead of forcing Carlos Boozer to attempt a game-tying 3 with a few seconds left. He missed and, finally, the Pacers took a game.

Here's the funny thing about this game, at least to me: It was pretty much the exact same game as the first three. The Bulls didn't play well, the Pacers did and Indiana had a lead in the fourth quarter with a good chance to win. The only difference on Saturday, is that, for once, the Pacers actually finished with more points on the board.

Don't underestimate the importance of that either. No, they aren't winning this series and probably won't take another game, but hanging on for a win really says something about them. They played virtually the same game, except this time, they won. That's maturation. That's development. That's important.

It's not like the Pacers did a whole lot better in crunch time, though. They still just scored seven points the last five minutes with only one basket. The Bulls still almost came back from the dead to break Indy's heart. Two things that changed for them:

1) The hole Chicago fell in was a bit too deep. Down 16 in the last four minutes is a pretty tall mountain to climb. (However, how bad is it for the Pacers when absolutely NO ONE was convinced they had this thing won when they were up 16 with four minutes left. When does that ever happen?)

2) The Pacers made a couple big plays. The biggest was probably Darren Collison's block of Rose at the rim with 1:13 left. Rose would've cut Indy's lead to just three with a minute left, but instead the Pacers had the opportunity to run off 24 very important seconds. 

And there were subtle signs that this game might be different. A Kyle Korver 3 was disallowed after review for being after the shot clock expired, and later, Korver air-balled a 3 with 4:40 left. The previous three games, Korver had hit a number of big shots to sink Indiana. In Game 4, the two big ones he had either didn't count, or didn't even touch iron.

Because, as I wrote after Game 2, it's gotten to the point where Korver sort of has to carry the Chicago offense in late-game situations. That sounds crazy, but in this game, Rose actually missed 10 consecutive shots before making a layup. After a 4-18 effort in Game 3, he went just 6-22 and 1-9 from 3. He did a much better job this time around of involving teammates (10 assists) but there's just no denying that Rose hasn't been the Derrick Rose the past few games that will win the MVP.

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. 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.

But, back to the Pacers. This is big for them. Maybe this means Frank Vogel gets the interim tag taken off. Maybe this encourages the front office to spend a little this summer. Maybe this gives the team a lift and some momentum into next season. Don't underestimate the value of winning a game like this, even if it just delays the inevitable. Not only would blowing an 18-point lead be something devastating, but getting swept in a series where there was a real chance to win not just one, not two or three but all four games, would be difficult to swallow.

The Pacers were never given a shot coming in. There was no reason to give them one. They entered the postseason eight games under .500 and were playing the team with the best record in basketball. But Indiana has scrapped its way to a win. It's a bit overdue and definitely a little late, but there's no denying it ... it's pretty important.
Posted on: April 23, 2011 1:38 am
 

Series Reset Bulls-Pacers: Playing for pride

Posted by Royce Young



The Narrative:
This series is over. No team has ever come back from 3-0 down in NBA playoff history and the 37-win Pacers are not about to be the first. The thing Pacer fans will remember about this postseason was just how close they were to making this a competitive series. It's hard to get over the three losses coming by a combined 15 points. That's just tough to get over. A rebound here, a basket there or a stop somewhere and maybe this series is 2-1 and still interesting.

Instead, the Pacers are sunk. It's over. Now it's just a matter of crossing some t's and dotting some i's.

The Hook: Will the Pacers roll over? What do they have left to give? Every game has been very close and very competitive with the better Bulls just figuring out a way to win. That's probably what'll happen again here, but the question is how the Pacers will respond to this situation. When the series began it was just about "happy to be here." After a tight Game 1, it was "can they steal a game in Chicago?" After a tight Game 2 it was "can they regroup?" This time it's "will they fold?"

The Adjustment: At this point, I think Indiana has done all the adjusting that it can. The Pacers know they aren't as good as the Bulls and though they've been close three times, they now know they can't beat Chicago even when Derrick Rose plays badly.

Chicago though, has a couple things to clean up, especially as they prepare to advance on. The Bulls need to refocus on the offensive end. Rose did not play well in Game 3 save one brilliant drive to win the game. Chicago needs to put together a better offensive strategy to attack the athletic Pacers and build a bit of confidence moving forward.

The X-Factor: Well, it's become Kyle Korver. He's 7-8 from 3 in this series and in the big moments where all the focus is on Rose, Korver has found space for clean looks. And he's about as good as there is at drilling open looks.

The Bulls don't have a crunch time secondary scorer right now, but Korver has sort of stepped in as such just by the product of him being a good shooter and being open.

The Sticking Point:
I've gone back and forth about 25 times on if I think Indiana has tossed its best shot and is ready to just concede the series. Part of me says the Pacers are still game to send the series back to Chicago, but another tells me that three tight crunch time failures is just about enough to snap their backs.

So I'll just settle in between. The Bulls are going to win this game, but the Pacers will keep it tight for a good 40 minutes. But the Bulls are finally going to impose their will and finish Indiana late. We're all waiting to see that. We're all waiting to see the Bulls that won 62 games. We're all waiting to see this team that can supposedly contend. This would be a good place to start.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com