COMMENTARY | The Chicago Bulls downed the Indiana Pacers 96-90 in the second game of their best-of-seven series. It was good news that they won, but I think the game brought a little bad news as well because it was a repeat of game one.
Sam Smith has written an article titled “Bulls take 2-0 leadbehind Rose’s 36” posted at the NBA.com website.
Why in the world would a win be considered “bad news?”
Derrick Rose had 39 points in the first game and 36 points in the second game-the rest of the Bulls struggled to one degree or another. Rose has been carrying the team on his back. The Bulls have allowed each game to go down to the wire. Either one or both technically could have been taken by the Pacers.
Last night in Game Two, the Bulls shot a woeful 38 percent from the field and had 21 turnovers that turned into 26 Indiana points. After starting miserably, Chicago ended up making 27 of 34 free throws.
Of course, Rose made astounding play after astounding play, but one very key play was made by Kyle Korver, who made, as Smith further reports, his fifth straight three-point shot at the tail end of the game to finally bury Indiana. Korver’s deadly shooting eye, the talent he was brought to Chicago to use, kept the Bulls “in it” in both Games One and Two.
So why are the Bulls struggling?
Of course, I am no expert, but I would suggest that there is a bit of a letdown after compiling the best record in the NBA at 62-20. Also, Indiana doesn’t even have a .500 record. The Bulls can intellectualize to themselves the Pacers are an improved team and legitimate foe but putting thoughts into actions takes effort — and the Bulls haven’t achieved that action.
The Indiana Pacers are a very good team. They are wrestling with their own demons, namely learning to finish a game. They turned the quality of their basketball around at about the two-thirds season point. The hardest thing for a team which has turned things around is to finish the game when they have the lead.
The next two games on the Pacers’ home court is going to say a lot about the Bulls’ future.
To give you a little enjoyment, I offer you Kyle Korver in action in game one. Watch him here. However, one of the most amazing shots I’ve seen in awhile was a half court-plus shot by Indiana’s T.J. Ford right before the half in Game Two. See it here.
I can’t stop watching that shot.
You Tube Website, “TJ Ford Half Court Buzzer Beater vs Chicago Bulls 4/18/11 + 1080p”
You Tube Website, “Kyle Korver’s clutch 3 pointer vs. Pacers 4/16/11”
NBA.com Website, Sam Smith, “Bulls take 2-0 lead behind Rose’s 36”