Remember when Dwight Howard went crazy against the Hawks in the first game of their first round series? It must have been, what, two and a half weeks ago? The kicker was that the rest of the Magic didn’t fare so well, and Atlanta put forth a team effort and beat the Magic. Well, in Game Three against the Bulls, the same thing happened, almost. It was Derrick Rose’s turn to scorch the nets, proving why he was named MVP. He poured in 44 (I guess that ankle sprain really isn’t an issue) as Chicago won convincingly, 99-82. The Bulls have won two straight and look to be in control of the series. Game Four is Sunday. The interesting part, at least from Chicago’s perspective, is that the other two players in double figures were bench players. Taj GIbson had 13, and Kyle Korver added 11. You’d think this would benefit the Hawks. It didn’t. The leading scorer was one Jeff Teague, with 21. Josh Smith had 17, while Joe, Al, and Marvin all pitched in with 10. The Hawks will not win with Jeff Teague leading the way. It was like the Bulls adopted Atlanta’s strategy. They keyed on specific players, and used lockdown defense to win ugly, but win nonetheless. Chicago had a rebounding edge of 13. Atlanta’s shooting percentage was a respectable 47%, (as was Chicago’s), but the Hawks took 9 less floor shots, and Atlanta three-point shooting rate was a miniscule 1 for 6. In this day and age, who ever heard of attempting just six three-pointers? It’s unheard of. Larry Drew needs to space out his players and get the defense to commit to them in the hope of create open looks. Chicago is winning this with defense. If the series goes back to Chicago with the Bulls ahead, it might not return. Atlanta will look to recapture the Game One magic and try to save a series that is being choked away.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.