AKA Game 5 HYPE
Bradford Doolittle at Basketball Prospectus lays it into Thibs for the Bulls coach's rigidity more than anything. This bit on the pick and roll especially smarts:
Thibodeau ran pick-and-rolls 16.2 percent of the time Tuesday, just a bit lower than the series average for Chicago. He shouldn't have run any. That 0.28 points per play the Bulls scored on pick-and-roll sets Tuesday is the most stunning stat of the series. Thibodeau has been outwitted by Spoelstra in this area and instead of waving the white flag, Thibodeau has chosen to ram his head repeatedly into the wall. The Bulls scored just .21 points per play when the sets terminated in a possession for the ballhandler--ie., Rose. Rose turned the ball over on five of the 14 PNR Ballhandler sets in the game. There was no change to Chicago's approach after Miami demonstrated in Game Three that it had gotten the hang of defending Rose in the halfcourt. The results on Tuesday demonstrated the folly in Thibodeau's way. Live and learn.
Clearly Thibodeau is still all right with me, and I'm not even sure I can get on board with 'trying something different' just for different's sake. There's something to be said for staying with what you know best if that's your best option. However, this is desperation time, so change may be necessary, even if for just the sake of it.
Bonus link: here's the dynamic duo of Arnovitz and Haberstroh with their keys to tonight's game.
I can't lie, it's tougher to get into this game than the others. I certainly hope the players don't feel that way, and from the sounds of it they don't. They're better people than us in that regard.
Game Thread at 7:30.