CHICAGO (CBS) — Game one may not have gone the exact way that the Chicago Bulls wanted, but they got a win and that’s all that really matters in the playoffs. But for the Bulls to take two-game series lead over the Indiana Pacers, some things will have to change.
It Takes 48 Minutes
-The Bulls didn’t have a lead in game one until 1:29 left in the fourth quarter. Their slow start led to a dramatic comeback that included a 16-1 run and some magic from Derrick Rose. But championship teams give a full effort for 48 minutes and don’t let themselves trail for nearly an entire game. For the Bulls to take a 2-0 lead, they’ll need to get off to a much better start than they did on Saturday.
Defense Wins Championships
-In the regular season the Bulls allowed the second fewest points per game, 91.3, but on Saturday they let the Pacers score 99 points and shoot 46.4 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from three-point range. The Bulls need to contest more shots and play lock down defense, specifically in the matchup between Carlos Boozer and Tyler Hansbrough.
More Of The Same From Deng
-It’s clear the Pacers are going to make every effort to limit Rose’s effectiveness throughout this entire series with hard fouls and by packing the lane. Despite their best efforts in the series opener, Rose was able to drop a career-high 39 points, but Luol Deng’s contributions can’t go overlooked. Deng was 7-of-13 from the floor and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. His 18 points, 41 minutes and crowd energizing technical foul went a long way for Chicago. Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls are hoping for a similar effort on Monday night.