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2011 Playoffs: Have the Pacers provided a blueprint for how to contend with the Bulls?

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That's what the excellent Zach Lowe explores at SI.com suggests, and both looks at what the Pacers have done so far to stay close to the Bulls, and furthermore how it could apply to the more talented teams in the conference.

A few details have been discussed here already ('great minds', eh! eh?), namely the ability for the Pacers to throw versatile defenders at Rose (and as Lowe mentions, Deng as well) while hiding their own poor defenders on Bogans.

And if you haven't guessed who looms as the potentially best-equipped to further exploit these possible weaknesses, it's the Miami Heat. Sorry Boston (kidding, screw you Boston).

And not that the C's (or of more immediate concern, the Magic) don't provide their own problems, just different ones than what the Pacers have shown. It's sort of a unique roster they've put together, and they're playing hard.

  • To further pile on Bogans (it's a longstanding philosophy here that it's entirely fair to blame the bad players for stuff. They're the bad ones!), YaoPau did his usual lineup crunching for this series in the game two recap:
    Lineups with Rose + Deng and no Bogans:
    32 minutes, +29. That's a 136 ORating and a 98 DRating.

    All other lineups:
    64 minutes, -18, for a 93 ORating and 106 DRating.

    When Brewer and Bogans are both on the bench:
    23 minutes, +27. 145 ORating, 102 DRating.

    All other lineups:
    73 minutes, -16. 96 ORating, 104 DRating.

    It’s essentially fundamentallysound’s point before the 2nd game, that the Pacers don’t have a defensive answer for a Rose/Korver backcourt. I think Brewer’s great, and I think Bogans is more playable than the general opinion here, but it’s all about matchups in a playoff series, and playing a non-scorer next to Rose plays right into Vogel’s defensive strategy.
  • And for some bonus links on how the Pacers have been strategizin': Sebastian Pruiti posted a daily double here.