The breaks are much shorter for the rest of this series, which is a great thing especially with a few off-court things happening around the team that are best dismissed by an ol' fashioned playoff win. Alright, I suppose it hasn't been that long since the Bulls beat this team, it just sometimes feels that way.
The main story of game three was the relative ineffectiveness of Derrick Rose, as he was unable to rebound from his 'I just have to make shots' lackluster game two. He's been struggling finishing inside all series, and while the Heat PGs have been surprisingly steady as the initial deterrent, Brian Windhorst goes into great detail about the full team effort required:
The Heat are just doing the defensive basics better than anyone Rose has seen in his career. And it is smothering the Bulls' offense so far in the series.
"Atlanta's double-team was different, Orlando's was different," Rose said Monday. "It's totally different, they are way athletic."
What Rose is calling a double-team is the Heat's pick-and-roll coverage on him so far in the series. Just that he's using the term "double-team" speaks volumes because, well, the Heat generally aren't using double-teams. They're just moving so quickly and playing together so well that it seems like they are doubling him.
Rose can beat double-teams, but triple-teams in his scoring zone are proving quite hard. Then there are those quadruple-teams, which the Heat are pulling off regularly as well.
Windhorst details a specific play in there that's worth checking out, and notes, as does Kurt Helin at Pro Basketball Talk with a similar play, that this is being more easily achieved by Miami because of the lack of respect they pay the rest of the Bulls perimeter threats.
Rose and the Bulls are going to have to find a way to get the shooters to make the Heat pay, and Rose himself acknowledged in the post-game presser the need to pass more, and in Windhorst's column it's mentioned that Rose wouldn't mind more variety beyond the pick and roll to get him to at least face something different. Bullish Thoughts brings up the point that the Heat simply have the type of roster able to do what others can't when it comes to defending Rose. I think a lot of the mindset from this page was geared towards what the Bulls had going for them as an advantage over the Heat and assuming Rose was unstoppable, but that's proven to not be the case.
On to more and more game three stuff, if you can handle it:
- Maybe I'm being selfish with the desire for fewer days off, am not being considerate of Omer Asik who could perhaps use the rest. Even when healthy Asik's playing time may get more complicated going forward: with the Heat re-inserting Udonis Haslem in their rotation they aren't providing the usual natural foil for Omer, and more mobile bigs could potentially give him trouble.
- The TNT announcing crew talks about Chris Bosh's night, and the difficulty Rose has faced with so little help around him.
- It is the great pursuit of ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh to point out how silly the whole 'Heat can't win close games' argument is, and game three was another example: it wasn't a close win because the Heat were too good to keep it close.
John Schumann and the NBA.com StatsCube has been a phenomenal resource all postseason, though the results can provide mixed reactions: Great to see Ronnie Brewer's defensive work acknowledged. Not so much to see that a lot of Chris Bosh's damage is when Boozer's on the floor.
- Another consistent resource: your daily Pruiti.
- And I'm an equal opportunity joke passer-on..er, so even though the victim was a Bulls this was pretty funny. And to even the score, here's jokes against a better target.
To continue to finish on an up note, here's the latest Derrick Rose Adidas commercial. He and the Bulls are facing their toughest test yet, but it's good to know that between Tom Thibodeau and Rose himself, they're as capable as any to figure it out. And if the Bulls win game four the whole storyline changes again.