Tag:Roy Hibbert
Posted on: April 22, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 6:53 pm
 

NBA hits Jeff Foster with 2 flagrant fouls

The NBA investigating hard fouls by Indiana Pacers forward Jeff Foster and upgraded them to flagrants. Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver

Update: The NBA has retroactively assessed Indiana Pacers forward Jeff Foster with two flagrant 1 fouls according to ESPN.com.
The NBA upgraded two hits Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster leveled against the Chicago Bulls during Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Thursday, making them both flagrant 1 fouls.
Flagrant 1 fouls are less serious than Flagrant 2 fouls and the ruling will not require Foster to sit out Game 4.

Original Post: Jeff Foster nailed Derrick Rose with an elbow in Game 3 between the Pacers and Bulls Thursday night, and ESPN reports the league is investigating the collision to see if further punishment is necessary. 
The NBA is reviewing two hits Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster leveled against the Chicago Bulls during Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Thursday, according to a league spokesman. "Whatever they want to do," Foster said with a shrug as he walked to the locker room Friday afternoon. He was unaware of the league review.
via 2011 NBA Playoffs: NBA reviewing hits by Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster - ESPN Chicago.

The foul was clearly intentional. Wouldn't you intentionally foul Rose at some point if he was continuously slicing past your defense with no regard for anything? But the problem with the foul was the contact of Foster's elbow into Rose's face. And that wasn't clearly intentional. It's apparent Foster was aiming to make contact with his elbow to Rose, but it's not certain that Foster was trying to hit Rose in the face. 


 

So Foster probably will recieve some sort of punishment, based on how little of a play on the ball he made, and even had he missed the head, he would have clotheslined Rose. The biggest reason he'll get tagged, though? It's a superstar in a major market. Not all hard playoff fouls are created equal and the call to protect the presumptive MVP will be considerably greater than it will be for other players. 

The league is also taking a look at a foul from Foster on Luol Deng in the same quarter. Popular guy, Jeff. 

One thing you can count on? There will be other, harder fouls than this in the playoffs that won't receive as much fan or league attention. 
Posted on: April 22, 2011 3:28 am
 

Pacers-Bulls Game 3 Reactions

Reactions from around the web to Game 3 of Pacers-Bulls. 
Posted by Matt Moore




George, for one, believes he can continue to keep Rose in check.

"He got a good estimation of what I can do defensively," said George, who has hit 4-of-18 shots in the series. "It seems like it's in the back of his mind sometimes when he wants to drive. He's not as decisive as he was in Game I, I believe. Hopefully my length will continue to bother him."

Still, Rose had the last word with his game-winning layup, doing what the Pacers have failed to do throughout the series: close out a game.
via Pacers' George thinks he's bothering Rose - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago.

Other than the obnoxious style of this post (yes, let's bring up the shooting percentage of the defensive stopper rookie when talking about defense), the quote's got some umph to it. Rose did struggle tonight. He hit the game winner, because he's awesome and that's what he does, but he also had an absolutely terrible game. 23 points on 18 shots, 5 turnovers. It was the way those turnovers came that were most perplexing. And George is right, here, Rose was less aggressive than he has been in this series. But that's partially due to the fact that the Pacers sent two and sometimes three players at Rose in half-court traps. They, naturally, abandoned that strategy on the final possesion, likely fearing getting Korver'd again. And if I were George, I wouldn't want to speak confidently after Rose destroyed his team in consecutive games, then had a bad game and still wound up sending them into an 0-3 hole. Just doesn't seem smart. 
Noting Chicago's history of traveling in large numbers, Pacers coach Frank Vogel asked the fans to support the team, joking that metal detectors would keep Bulls fans out of the building.
via Rose's late drive lifts Bulls to 3-0 lead on Pacers - NBA - CBSSports.com.

That's... uh... Coach? Is that what you meant? Because that does not come out right at all. Turns out, her's what Vogel actually said.  
"We need to fill the building with blue and gold," said Vogel, who joked that the Pacers have a plan to keep Bulls fans away.

"We're going to have metal detectors out there to scan the metal people are bringing in the building, but people who are wearing red ... they're not going to get through the metal detectors, either."
via Pacers return home down 0-2 vs Bulls - USATODAY.com.

So that doesn't sound so bad. That sounds a whole lot different from how it's tabbed in the beginning. Because one is a joke about not letting people wearing red in, and the other is about people wearing red not being allowed in because those people are armed. Which would look really bad, especially for the coach of Indiana. That said, how disheartening is it to have a playoff game in your own building and the arena is split between your fans and the visiting team. That will go away if the Pacers can build on their success. But in terms of tryin to get that advantage that comes with a home playoff game, the energy's got to be sucked out a little bit when Rose is fouled and the crowd cheers.
And I thought this was the first time in a while that Joakim Noah looked like his old self again. The rebounding has been there all-along, but tonight Joakim was a real threat in the half-court set, willing to drive and launch the tornado. And while the Bulls won't get another true ballhandler to help Rose, an active Noah can fill that role admirably for a big man.
via Slightly different story, but same ending: Defense, physical play, and another close Bulls victory - Blog a Bull.
It's baffling that Hibbert isn't more aggressive. Hibbert's actually done really well against Noah when he's elected to give the effort in going at him. But instead he takes a step back. And if you take a step back against Joakim Noah, he'll own you, your house, your block, your zipcode and county. Noah's relentless and he's starting to get his legs back under him from injury moment by moment. The stronger he gets, the tougher the Bulls are low. He even hit a mid-range jumper. If he gets back to full strength, the Bulls are a whole other animal because he can cover for Boozer's weaknesses. Speaking of Hibbert...
The starting frontline wasn’t as effective, combining for 6-24 shooting for 16 points and 12 rebounds. Roy Hibbert continued to have trouble settling into any kind of rhythm, and Tyler Hansbrough once again had trouble getting his midrange jumper to start falling again. Hansbrough did make some solid plays down the stretch, grabbing 4 of his 5 rebounds on the offensive glass.
via Chicago Bulls 88, Indiana Pacers 84: Pacers Play Tough Yet Again, But It's Still Not Enough to Avoid 3-0 Hole - Indy Cornrows.


Hibbert's problem is largely asserting himself into position, and maintaining it. Instead, he'll start a game strong, then totally vanish into the background for the rest of the game. Hibbert can neutralize the Bulls' biggest advantage in this series, or rather, could have, but simply chose to fade. Take the last Pacers possession for example. Hibbert drifted to 16 feet for a spot-up J, instead of attacking the glass for a tip-in. That's the difference in this series. It's not fair to put it all on one player, but in reality, Hibbert could have been the difference maker, and instead was just part of the scenery. 
Ultimately, once again, in the midst of what is, and always was, probably an un-winnable series in terms of talent, Game 3 showed shades of what Pacers fans should be excited about in the years to come. The Bulls as a cohesive team are so far beyond where the Pacers are right now that talking about the clutch stuff, the times when good teams loaded with talent truly separate themselves from those middling squads with some guts, isn’t all that relevant here.

Derrick did what no one on the Pacer is able to do. Granger isn’t capable of that stuff. And everyone else on this roster is so incapable of it that mentioning them by name isn’t even necessary.
via Pacers Drop Game 3 But Validate Playoff Berth.

They key for the Pacers is that they have a bunch of guys they hope will become that player, but no clear option A. And usually option A.'s are pretty apparent. Darren Collison seems like he might be able to, but it would take a pretty big jump. Danny Granger is no longer the young, developing raw player he once was. Hibbert we've covered. Tyler Hansbrough? No. So even though the Pacers have a great core, they miss that star player. Ask the Rockets how that works out long-term. 
Here was a scene from the postgame locker room that captured the essence of a team still fighting through an ungainly adolescence. Roy Hibbert, who just hasn't taken advantage of a good matchup with Joakim Noah in this series, stood in the corner and groused about how he wasn't getting the ball often enough in the low post.

Next to him, veteran Dahntay Jones sat in his chair and, overhearing Hibbert, shook his head.

"He's young,'' he said. "He'll learn. They'll all learn. It's a progression. But we've grown a lot these last few weeks.''

The lesson is, you can't complain about a lack of low-post touches when you shoot a mushy 3-for-12 and take zero free throws. Hibbert is the most likable personality on this team and has shown flashes, but he's got to be tougher if this team is going to break through in the years to come.
via Close might have to be good enough | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com.

Dahntay Jones showed the kind of aggression Hibbert has needed this entire series, and didn't see time until tonight. He was the biggest reason the Pacers took the lead in the second half. You have to wonder why it took Vogel so long to go to a defensive wing with experience when he's been so willing to feed George to the wolves. Meanwhile, Hibbert wanting the ball is great. But he has to be more aggressive when he gets it. That 25 percent from the field is largely due to his hesitation in the post, waitin for help to come and Noah or Thomas to adjust. It can't be that hard for him to score. Dude's 7-2 for crying out loud. 
Rose can play better. But he can’t close better.

On a 4-for-18 night when his jumpshot wasn’t falling, when even his drives were rolling off the rim, he got to the free-throw line. And he made 13 of 15 foul shots.

‘‘Derrick’s going to work the game,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s not going to get discouraged. He missed some good looks, but you can count on him late. He went into an attack mode. He kept driving. He got to the line. He’s a tough competitor. He’s going to do whatever we need him to do.’’
via Another strong finish by Derrick Rose leaves Pacers frustrated - Chicago Sun-Times.

 Rose is eventually going to get worn down taking these hits and going to the rim over and over again. It's happened to every great player. He'll adjust and still be a great player, a transcendent one. But until then, even when Rose has a terrible game, you can count on his ability to get to the line. And if they don't foul him?

Series, blouses. 



Posted on: April 21, 2011 10:07 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 12:12 am
 

Bulls take 3-0 lead, but not on Rose's shoulders

Posted by Royce Young



It's a lesson every team learns at some point in the postseason. Your star simply cannot do it all. Someone else has to step up. It's just about the oldest playoff adage.

For the Bulls, Luol Deng was a no-brainer. But Kyle Korver? Kyle Korver is now the Bulls big shot taker and maker?

Korver knocked down two more massive 3s late in Chicago's 88-84 Game 3 win over the Pacers. During the three games, Korver is 7-8 from deep. In big moments, the Bulls space out, let Derrick Rose isolate and look for a kickout to Korver. Who would've thought that would be Chicago's best crunch-time option?

But without Korver (12) and Deng's (21) secondary scoring, the Bulls are long gone in this one. I'm not going to sugarcoat it -- Derrick Rose stunk. He went just 4-18 from the floor and 2-6 from 3. Once again, he attacked the rim mercilessly which got him to the line 15 times. Thirteen of those trips were makes, and he finished with 23 points, but Rose was far from excellent.

Rose's game will be overlooked because a) the Bulls won and b) he made the game-winning shot with 15 seconds left. But he just wasn't very good in this game. There's no way around it. Not only was he missing shots, but he turned the ball over five times and only had two assists. Fawn over his layup to win it if you will, but, please realize, Derrick Rose is not the reason Chicago won this game.

Really, it was kind of a solid explanation as to why some were anti-MVP with Rose. It wasn't at all about Rose's game as much as it was about Chicago's stifling defense. The Pacers, who are a solid scoring outfit, notched only 84 points on 37.9 percent shooting, including 1-10 from 3. This is a Pacer team that loves to fire the 3, and the fact they only made one says something about Chicago's perimeter defense.

Here's a small secret though: Rose has not shot the ball very well at all so far this postseason. He's shooting just 37.8 percent from the field and 4-20 from 3. Take away his free throw dominance and he goes from apparently dominating the series to being incredibly average. On top of that, his assist-to-turnover is 14 to 14. Not very good.

That sounds like a dig at Rose, but it's not intended to be. Without him, the Bulls aren't up 3-0. Not even close. But let's not get overly worked up about Rose's first-round performance here. He hit a big, late-game shot in Game 3, and scored 75 points in the first two games. He's been pretty good.

But the Bulls are winning because the Pacers have no idea how to execute in the fourth quarter, they can't rebound, Korver has been huge, and, tonight, Luol Deng stepped up. Keep in mind that this is a 37-win Pacer team against the best record in the NBA. Yes, the Bulls lead 3-0, but it's just by a combined 15 points. By no means is this panic talk from me, because I definitely don't believe in that stuff, especially when you're winning, but I don't think the Bulls or Rose would tell you they're happy about how these first three games have gone. I think they all expected more.

At the same time, it could be a good sign. To get major, key crunch-time performances from players not named Derrick is huge for Chicago. Especially when you picture a series versus Orlando or Miami. Korver is notorious for coming back to Earth after a great stretch of games, but just having that threat on the floor is big for Chicago. And, if Deng shows up like this consistently, between Rose and the defense, the Bulls will be fine.

Which is all that matters really. The Bulls have never claimed it to be pretty. They just give you results.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Noah: Hansbrough is not a dirty player

Joakim Noah understands why Tyler Hansbrough is fouling Derrick Rose hard, says he's not a dirty player. It's not cool, but, you know, it's cool.
Posted by Matt Moore




Joakim Noah has a habit of not getting along with tough power forwards. Kevin Garnett, for example, Noah pegged as "mean." But Tyler Hansbrough, who took som flak from Chicago players and fans after delivering a hard foul to Derrick Rose in Game 2, doesn't think that "the 'Brough" qualifies as a dirty player. Although he is willing to add doubt as to Psycho T's (worst nickname ever) hygeine. From ESPN Chicago: 
When asked before Thursday morning's shootaround if Hansbrough is a dirty player, Noah said: "Like dirty as in he doesn't take showers?"

It's obvious Noah doesn't believe Hansbrough is a cheap shot artist.

"I don't think so," he said. "I just think it's the way the game's played right now. It's just the way it goes. Nothing easy to the basket. And when you have a little point guard going in there every time the way Derrick's going in, you don't want to be on a highlight reel, so you've got to give a hard foul. It's just the way of the game. Sometimes, yeah, it's frustrating because you never want Derrick getting hit like that, but it is the name of the game right now."
via Noah: Hansbrough not a dirty player - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago.

Hansbrough looks pretty shiny, but that could be grease from not showering, I suppose. It's nice that Noah's reasonable about the fouls being given to Rose. If you're going to go the basket every single time with relentless intensity and brilliant finishing ability, the NBA is going to foul you hard. That's how this whole playoffs thing works. And were Rose on the other side, it would be Joakim Noah delivering those kinds of fouls, and not feeling bad about it. 

Because it sure as heck wouldn't be Boozer giving them. He might try, but it would only result in an and-one highlight reel. And yelling. Lots of yelling. 

That said, it's not like the Pacers have really hacked at Rose all that much. To do so would mean they would have to catch up to him first. And in general, even when he's running right at them, they seem unable to get a lock on him as he spins around and scores again and again. We'll have to see if Noah continues to have this attitude when it's Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, or ... Joel Anthony (?) sending Rose to the floor as the playoffs advance. 
Posted on: April 21, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Series Reset: It's now or next year for Indiana

Posted by Royce Young



The Narrative:
So close. I mean so, so close for the Pacers. They would probably trade T.J. Ford and a bag of money to be bringing back a tied series to Indianpolis, but they weren't far off from holding a 2-0 lead. Instead, things are exactly where we expected. Down 2-0 to the superior Bulls, it's pretty obvious that the Pacers have to win this game. It would be a pretty substantial victory for Indiana to take one playoff win with them to the offseason, but this feels like a sweep if it doesn't happen tonight.

The Hook: Will Darren Collison play? He's a game-time decision as it stands now, but if Indiana wants any legitimate shot, they need a healthy Collison. He adds so much and not just in terms of solid point guard play. Collison is a scorer, a creator, a defender and a leader for the Pacers.

He's not the type of player that will take over a game by any means, but it's more a function of process of elimination for the Pacers. Subtract Collison and that means it's all A.J. Price, all the time. Indiana's just not winning if that happens.

The Adjustment:
Here's something: rebound the darn ball. The Bulls have completely crushed Indiana on the glass in the first two games. The Bulls haven't been that great offensively, but because of 41 offensive rebounds, the Bulls have had plenty of extra opportunities to let Derrick Rose kill the Pacers. I don't see an adjustment coming for Indiana in this department mainly because the Pacers just don't have the horses inside to compete on the boards with Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

The Bulls are much better than the Pacers already but any time a team is getting 20 offensive boards in a game, it's near impossible to win. And yet there the Pacers were in both games. If they can keep the rebounding margin to 10 and limit the Bulls on the offensive glass, maybe there's a chance.

The X-Factor: The Pacers are going to be searching for one tonight. That's the best way underdogs win is because someone unexpected elevates their game and has a big night. In Game 1, the Pacers almost pulled off the win because of Tyler Hansbrough. But he was a non-factor in Game 2.

Who is the prime candidate to possibly make a difference tonight? How about Roy Hibbert, who has been a bit inconsistent so far in this series? The Pacers want to beat you by outshooting you on the perimeter, but what makes them pretty solid is when Hibbert has things working inside. He's good enough to score on Noah one-on-one, but he hasn't been able to get going and the Pacers sort of stopped looking for him in both games. Indiana has failed to execute late and the best medicine for that are easy baskets and Hibbert can give you those.

I'll throw out Paul George as a potential impact player too just because he's done well defending Rose in stretches. And with the way the Bulls are operating, if you can stop Rose, you can win.

The Sticking Point:
It's really hard to get past the fact that it just feels like Indiana missed its opportunity. The Bulls aren't going to continue to coast for long. They are plain and simple much better than the Pacers. And they have Derrick Rose, which is quite the trump card in itself.

Lose tonight and it's time to start thinking about the draft. You're not digging yourself out of a 2-0 hole most likely anyway, but you're definitely not coming out of a 3-0 one against Rose and Tom Thibodeau. If the Pacers have any thought to try and get back to Chicago for one more game, they have to take this one. Just doesn't feel very likely though.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: April 20, 2011 11:27 am
 

Collison says he'll play if he's not 100 percent

Posted by Royce Young

The Pacers were dealt a big second half blow against the Bulls in Game 2 when point guard Darren Collison rolled his ankle on a baseline cameraman. He tried to come out for the second half but was forced to shut it down.

Coach Frank Vogel said he was "going with the mind frame that they'll be without Collison in Game 3." But Collison said he liked his chances of playing Thursday against the Bulls.

"If I'm at 60-70 percent, I'm going to play," Collison told the Indy Star. "This is the playoffs. I was disappointed I couldn't get in the game in the second half (Monday night), but it's unfortunate it happened."

Having Collison is a near must for Indiana. The Pacers nearly pulled off a Game 2 upset without him, but he's a very valuable piece to their offense, especially in crunch time situations where the Pacers have struggled.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:42 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Pacers are drowning in the clutch against Chicago

Posted by Royce Young



Two games, two leads with five minutes left. In both Games 1 and 2, the Pacers had the top-seeded Bulls backed up to a wall in crunch time. Ask Frank Vogel honestly if he expected to be leading late in both games and he'd probably say yes. But I think he'd be lying.

There was a pretty clear difference in the Indiana offense in those last five minutes. Yes, the Bulls absolutely cranked up their defense. That must be mentioned. But there's no doubt that the Pacers had no idea where to go with the ball.

The bad part is, they have a go-to guy in Danny Granger. The problem there is two-fold, though. One, Granger had Luol Deng guarding him, who is absolutely one of the most gifted one-on-one defenders in the league, and two, because Granger himself had no idea how he was supposed to score.

Here's what Granger did those last five minutes on Monday: missed a 17-foot jumper, made two free throws, missed a 26-foot jumper. That's it. That's all the Pacers' best player did in the biggest moments of the game. His fault? Hardly. Granger is the type of player that is a product of the four other players on the floor with him. He doesn't isolate, he doesn't score well off the dribble and he doesn't really create his own shot. He's best coming off a screen or finding the ball on a kick-out. He's a very good scorer, but only within the flow of a game.

In terms of clutch stats for the season (clutch is defined as the last five minutes of a game within five points), Granger shot just 30 percent from the field, took fewer attempts overall, but actually took more from 3. That tells me that Granger was forced to force. As the main offensive weapon, he's looking to score. But, he can't seem to get a normal look, so he had to launch from 25 feet.

The last five minutes of Indiana's 104-99 Game 1 loss in which the Bulls outscored the Pacers 14-1 down the stretch, Granger was just 0-2 with both shots being 3-pointers. This is a big, big issue for the Pacers. Granger averaged 20.5 points a game on the season and very obviously needs the ball. But Monday, the Pacers were actually running through rookie Paul George late. The assumption there is simply that George had a weak defender in Kyle Korver on him. That's not the best reason to go away from your best player, though. Then again, maybe it was Indiana's best option.

Against a team like Chicago that is truly an elite defensive team, you can't expect to get the same shot you got in the second quarter in the last five minutes. The game gets more physical, defenders crank up their energy and the officials let the game go a bit more. That hurts Granger, and the Pacers. In Game 1, Indiana was outscored 18-8 the last five minutes. Monday, it was 17-12.

That's why any coach would tell you what a gift it is to have a player like Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Pau, LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Dirk Nowitzki. The ball has a place in those last five minutes, and, not only that, it's in reliable hands. We can talk about clutch stats all we want, but the reality is, scoring in those last five minutes is tough. Having a guy that can at least get a look is a starter. Having a guy that can make it is even better. Indiana's lacking both right now.

The real shame is that the Pacers had a legitimate chance to win both games. They can point at a lot of things -- namely rebounding -- but offensive execution in the clutch is probably what will be the focus.

This is a team that had a solid 7-3 post player, but avoids him late in games (Roy Hibbert's field goal attempts drop by nearly two a game the last five minutes of a close contest). This is a team that has one of the better scorers in the league but can't find him a shot outside of a 3-pointer. This is a team that can score well the first 43 minutes of a game, but just can't seem to figure out the last five.

If they can somehow climb over that mountain -- against the Bulls, much less -- the Pacers will threaten to scare Chicago a little more than they already have. But it's going to start with finding shots for Granger. Because he's not going to find them on his own.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:50 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 2:13 am
 

Bulls crush the Pacers on the glass... again

Posted by Royce Young



Coming in to Chicago's series with Indiana, the Bulls had a couple clear advantages. Defense. Talent. Coaching. Derrick Rose. One that most didn't necessarily see coming? Rebounding.

Whoa boy, have the Bulls dominated the boards in these first two games.

The Bulls outrebound Indiana 57-33 in Game 2 which included 20 offensive boards. This comes after Chicago pulled in 21 offensive boards in Game 1 and held a 49-34 edge. Let me do the math here ... that's a 106-67 rebounding edge in favor of the Bulls after two games. I wonder if Pacer coach Frank Vogel feels a little silly telling his team that they're a better rebounding team during a timeout in Game 1?

In both games, the Bulls have gotten quite the push from the eight-seed Pacers. And, in both games, the Chicago offense sputtered. Monday, the Bulls shot 38.6 percent and turned the ball over 22 times. Without the work on the glass in both these games, the Bulls are down 0-2. There's no doubt.

Carlos Boozer had 16 rebounds (five offensive) and Joakim Noah pulled in 10 (six offensive). On the other side, the Pacers didn't have anyone grab more than six.

My question is, why is this happening? The Pacers employ a 7-3 center and two high-energy power forwards. Why are they getting crushed on the glass so badly? A lot of it is really just effort. Noah doesn't grab every rebound, but his effort makes a difference every time the ball goes up. The way he battles for the ball every time creates deflections, tips and more opportunities for Chicago to recover a miss.

But there's really no good excuse for Roy Hibbert to only grab four rebounds. He played just 21 minutes, but still, you're 7-3. Seven or eight rebounds should almost just fall into your hands when you're that big. The Pacers have played well enough to steal two games in Chicago. When they go back and review what went right and what went wrong in Games 1 and 2, the coaching staff may spend an hour punching the wall because of rebounding. To get beat largely because you couldn't recover a couple extra misses has to be about as frustrating a thing as there is.

It's a credit to the Bulls, though. They don't quit. They haven't played anywhere near to as good as they're capable of in these first two games, and yet, because they did the little things -- like rebound -- they're right where they expected to be. It might have been a little tighter than originally planned, but up 2-0 heading to Indianapolis, I'm sure the Bulls are fine with it.

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