To the bandwagon bloggers who just showed up today... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWn0OCs0h-E
Ok, thats over.. the Bulls need to do stuff different.
So lets talk about it because we have a whole two days to brainstorm. There are 4 players the Bulls need to key. Collison, Hansbrough, Granger and Hibert.
First the point guard position... gotta cut the head off the snake. I'd love to see the Bulls trap Collison more because he's been known to be turnover prone. Disrupting the offense for Indiana is the first key. Making life harder on Collison is a great start. Posting up Rose on offense is also something the Bulls should look to do more of. The guy is very small and there is no question the Pacers would have to double Rose in the post freeing up Bulls cutters. Collison is the Pacers engine and he makes things go. When he plays well the Pacers are a tough out. Collison only had one turnover today.
Granger played a really awful first half but came back strong. I thought Lu did a good job on him but left him open late a few too many times. But for the most part Lu did fine on him. You can almost just let him get his because he'll shoot himself out of the game and his shots aren't really high percentage.
Obviously Hansbrough is going to be a solid NBA player. You might not like him but the dude is a moose. He tries really hard and can make a decent career for himself if he can make 15 footers like that. I think the Bulls should use Noah more on Tyler. Watching the game again Noah really bothered some of Hansbrough's shots. He was closing out really well and challenging him every time he touched the ball. Noah and Kurt should both be platooned which means less Boozer.
HIbert was a force early that kinda faded in late in the game because they pretty much just didn't look for him. He did draw a foul on Noah with like one second left on the shot clock but only ended up with 11 points after coming out strong. I'd like to see Asik get some time on Hibert. I think Omer's size and strength would bother him. That would mean more Asik and Noah lineups. However Thibs seems gun-ho on Kurt Thomas and Bogans but at some point they'll have to get more from Asik to combat Hibert.
Getting Korver in the game sooner. Korver was +11 today. Bogans really isn't helping the Bulls offensively and the guy he's guarding isn't a player of strength for the Pacers. Bogan's minutes should be cut down for Korver because the Bulls clearly need Kyle to play well offensively to pull away in this series.
Playing Watson less. The bench mob had a greats season but Rose is going to have to be getting more of CJ's minutes in the playoffs. Unless Rose really needs a breather Watson's role need's to be cut down. He made some very questionable plays late that you just can't do in the playoffs.
I have a lot a respect for the type of team Larry Bird has built and this series isn't over by any means.
Like I said before they could be our new rival in the central and after watching todays game Pacers fans have a lot to look forward to.
Bulls win 4-1 the series will go 5 games.
Rose as always is what will set the two teams apart. Pacers don't have closers.
Great Article by Steve Aschburner on Boozer... good read
Boozer? He didn't even make it to 14 minutes in the second half, his time limited by fouls (26:12 in the game), his production limited by the Pacers (12 points, six rebounds, four turnovers). He struggled, as he is known to do, against Indiana's longer players. And while he is known far and wide within the confines of United Center as Chicago's LOUDEST player -- hollering switches, slapping the ball on rebounds, encouraging his own "and 1!" calls -- Boozer was way too quiet where it counted.
If the teams Chicago faces in the playoffs are going to bang around Rose as the core of their defensive strategies, Boozer -- so skilled, unflappable, never ruffled -- had better do some banging back. He has been a defensive laggard all season in Thiboadeau's crash course, the first guy another coach will isolate for a quick foul or an easy bucket (McRoberts did just that, taking him inside for a hook shot that made it 89-81 Pacers).
Boozer missed 23 games -- early (broken hand), middle and late (ankle sprains) -- and Chicago was 15-8 without him. He led the team with 30 double-doubles but his numbers (17.5 ppg, 9.6 rpb) were down from a year ago in Utah, both from what he posted in the regular season and in the playoffs. Besides, it's not always numbers; it's being the one who delivers the first blow or any blow. It's being the one who stops his man or at least is on the floor for those plays. (Boozer did block a Hansbrough layup early in the second half, when he already was playing with three fouls.)link
People are waiting for Boozer to be this All Star 20-10 player again but I think those days might be gone. Boozer has little lift and often gets called for offensive clear outs because he just can't get his shot off. The defense he plays just isn't good enough and he has stopped playing to avoid fouls. He's turning into the new version of the Lu Deng from years past. It will be interesting to see how Thibs plays him the rest of the playoffs and what happens to him down the road. Many of us on here think maybe down the road Boozer might be better suited coming off the bench as a sixth man.