Bulls Win One, Can They Win Another?
Bulls Win!!! That game was unbelievable. While I have said all along I think the Bulls will lose in 5 or 6, once they took the court in Cleveland for game 1 it became apparent that they were going to need some divine intervention to even win 1 game. I don’t know if the game they played last night was divine intervention, but it was definitely some kind of miracle.
The Bulls literally shot the lights out of the building in the first 3 quarters, proving once again that the only real way for Chicago to be successful is to hit its jump shots. It wasn’t all that simple though, they also were doing all the little things. Scrambling for loose balls, playing excellent defense, and dominating the glass. The Cavs did finally make a run in the 4th, and it was pretty obvious why. The Bulls could not get a rebound. With Joakim on the bench in foul trouble, it seemed like the Cavs got every single meaningful rebound to help them climb back into the game (oh and LeBron’s 13 points and 5 assists in the quarter may have been a small factor). The Bulls held on to win it though.
So was this a huge fluke? Can the Bulls steal another game? Clearly they have to be clicking on all cylinders to beat even a halfway-motivated Cavs team. There is no surefire method to stop LeBron and his band of merry sidekicks, but the story of the glass has been the story of this series. The Bulls were outrebounded badly, and blown out in Game 1. In Game 2, the rebounding battle was about even and the Bulls kept it close even though they lost. In Game 3, when they were rebounding well, they dominated. As they let Cleveland hit the boards, the Cavs snuck back into it.
Rose needs to dominate on the offensive end. Deng needs to play well. Hinrich has to at least be better than the 6-18 he shot in the first two games combined. All those things need to happen, sure. But the one thing that can put them over the edge is rebounding. Enter Joakim Noah. In Games 2 and 3 he had 28 rebounds combined. Game 1? Just 8.
Who would have thought on draft day a few years ago that the 9th overall pick from Florida with scraggly hair and a bowtie would be the key ingredient in a playoff series with the mighty Cleveland LeBrons? For now, let’s enjoy the win. At least Vinny gets a few more days of employment, so you know he’s happy. Go Bulls!