Were the Bulls playing the Pacers or the Bad Boy Pistons?
For almost the entire game the Pacers were in complete control. Every time the Bulls made a run the Pacers made a run of their own. The Indiana Pacers decided on a game plan and that was to hit the Bulls and hit them hard. For about 45 minutes Indy had bullied the Bulls away from the rim. While the Pacers were making every shot they took or at least it seemed that way the Bulls kept shooting from beyond the arc and missing. Chicago went 6 of 20, including Rose's 0-9 performance.
However with 3 minutes and 30 seconds left and down 10 points everything changed. The Bulls went on a 16-1 run and ended up winning the game 104-99. They didn't even get their first lead of the game till there was a minute left. Rose lead all scorers with 39 while Joakim Noah had 2 key blocks on Jeff Foster to seal the deal with 1 second left. Besides his poor shooting from deep Derrick did just about everything else adding 6 assists, 6 rebounds and an impressive 3 blocks.
For the Pacers it was the Psycho T and Danny Granger show. Hansbrough absolutely outplayed Carlos Boozer and was a menace on both sides of the court including a hard foul on Rose when he tried to take his head off. After that hard foul is when Loul Deng took offense and ended up receiving a technical. Tyler scored 22 while Granger lead the Pacers with 24. Darren Collison had a solid 3 quarters but when Rose got focused in the 4th he was a none factor.
The biggest issue besides the shooting woes was the non-factor Carlos Boozer was. Boozer had 5 fouls along with his 12 points and 6 rebounds going 4-11 from the field in his 26 minutes. He was obviously affected by the physical play of the Pacers and was talking far too many outside shots.
Anyone else think we saw way to much of Joey Crawford during this game?
Game 2 of this series is Monday at 8:30 PM. I would expect a much more focused effort from the Bulls and expect a message to be sent early that this type of physical play won't slow them down. By the way I'm standing by my prediction this series ends in 5 games.