The Chicago Bulls walked off the court following a 96-90 victory against the Indiana Pacers yesterday with a disappointed look on their faces. The overall mood in the Bulls locker room after the game would lead you to believe that they had just lost Game 2 of their first round series against the Pacers. They have done what every home team looks to do, win the first two games at home. This is usually a good sign for a team, especially a young one. They have expectations of themselves, and their performance in Game 2 was not up to their expectations.
Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 36 points on 11-25 shooting from the floor, a performance Bulls fans have come to expect. Carlos Boozer, who Chicago desperately needs to be the second weapon behind Rose, added 17 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Boozer’s performance has been inconsistent lately, a problem that may not rear its ugly head against the Pacers, but surely will in later rounds. This inconsistent play in the first two games may be the reason that they, as a team, were not happy with their performance. Perhaps they understand that they will need more than just Rose in order to win a NBA Championship. Boozer’s solid Game 2 performance will go a long way, but they will also need major contributions from Luol Deng and Joakim Noah if there to be able to get past Boston, Miami or Orlando.
You got the feeling that not only did the Bulls win Game 2, but also seemed to lay the tracks for a Game 3 victory and furthermore, a short series. The Pacers, who played well in Game 1 and most of Game 2, have nothing to show for it, and looked like a deflated team in the fourth quarter of Game 2. Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough, who burned Chicago for 22 points in Game 1, was held to 2-12 shooting from the field in Game 2. Indiana star forward Danny Granger led the Pacers in Game 2 with 19 points, but needed 14 shots to get those 19 points.
You look at the Chicago Bulls struggling with the Indiana Pacers and you know they could use another scorer, that they have nobody on the roster who can hit an open shot. The Bulls continue to rely on one player to score, pass and to lead them to the promise land. That recipe usually comes up short for teams, which is why most people are picking Miami or Boston to get to the Finals. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant had Shaquille O’neal, then Pao Gasol, even Tim Duncan had Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. Only Allen Iverson in recent memory has been able to single handedly carry an overachieving team to the NBA Finals, only to lose to the two headed monster of Bryant and O’neal. Is Rose that capable already at the ripe age of 22? Is this possibly the beginning of a special player and a special career? Miami and/or Boston most assuredly will have something to say about that.
About the Author
Written by Kris Schoembs
Connecticut School of Broadcasting Graduate.