The Chicago Bulls picked a bad time to lose three straight games for the first time all season. After winning game 1 in impressive fashion Drose & Co. have now lost 3 straight games and now trail the Miami Heat 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The key moment of the game came with just 8 seconds left and the game tied at 85, Lebron James was called for a charge giving the Bulls a chance at having the last shot. Bulls called a timeout and called what might have been the worst play possible. Instead of trying to get Lebron James off Drose they decide to run an iso and let Rose shoot over the 6'9 Lebron. With the miss it sent the game to overtime where the Bulls were outscored 16-8 in the 101-93 loss.
Rose continued to struggle from the field going 8-26 and Thibs just rode his 4 stars into exhaustion. Four of the Bulls 5 starters played over 43 minutes of the 53 minute game. Rose played the entire second half while he and Boozer both played 49 minutes. The Bulls coaching staff seemed to go completely away from what made them great all season. Ronnie Brewer played 21 minutes and Kyle Korver played 16 while no one else played more then 10. Taj Gibson only played 10 minutes in a game where Asik only played 1 minutes and had Joakim Noah in foul trouble most of the game. CJ Watson only played 7 minute and scored 6 points going 3-4 from the field and provided a nice little spark. Not sure why either of these guys couldn't get back on the floor
Chicago now faces elimination for the first time during these playoffs and will look to become the first team in 30 years to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Conference Finals. At least the Bulls will get a chance to play at home on Thursday and they try to make their comeback.
On the positive side was the overall play of Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer who each scored 20 as their former college coach, Coach K, was watching. Boozer also added 11 rebounds while Deng filled up the stat sheet as usual with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Noah continued to struggle from the field going 3-10 scoring 6 but grabbed 14 rebounds including 6 offensive boards.
The Big 3 of Miami had 72 points but were helped greatly by Mario Chalmers with 9 points in the first half and Mike MIller with 12 points in the second half. The rest of the team had 9 points.
The biggest difference in the game came in the difference in free throw attempts. Miami had 38 free throw attempts while the Bulls only had 22. Why I think this was such a big deal was because the Bulls had 44 of their points in the paint while Miami only had 24. So the Bulls were going to the rim through traffic and just were not getting the benefit of the calls from the refs. Some of their calls were awful with how late the whistle came or just how bad the call was after you saw the replay.
If the Bulls want to avoid losing this series in 5 games they have to figure out how to make the offensive in the 4th quarter work when Lebron is guarding Rose and they have to get back to playing their kind of basketball. Let's hope they can figure this out and keep the Madhouse rocking because if they can force a game 7 you never know what may happen.