CHICAGO (CBS) After two come-from-behind wins, the Chicago Bulls travel to Indianapolis to try and go up three games to none on the Pacers.
While Derrick Rose has been spectacular in this series, the Bulls might not be able to rely on 30-plus points from him every night. Here’s what the Bulls need to do to end Thursday night one win away from eliminating the Paces.
Take Pressure Off Rose
-It doesn’t matter who it is, but someone needs to take some of the scoring pressure off Rose. The likely NBA MVP has scored 75 of the Bulls’ 200 points in this series, and that’s a pace almost impossible to maintain. Luol Deng has has been good, but he, Carlos Boozer, Keith Bogans, Joakim Noah or anyone else on the roster needs to step their game up.
Start Fast, Continue To Finish Strong
-In the first two games of the series the Bulls have trailed for most of the game, then Rose has taken over down the stretch. That’s difficult enough to do at home, but will be much tougher in Indianapolis, the Pacers are better at home (24-17) as opposed to on the road (13-28). This has been the most glaring concern for the Bulls through the first two games, so expect head coach Tom Thibodeau to make the appropriate adjustments.
Defense, Defense, Defense
-The Chicago Bulls ended the regular season allowing the second fewest point per game (91.3), but in the first two games of this series, have given up an average of 94.5 points. While that’s only slightly above their regular season average it’s something to keep an eye on. Chicago’s defense has been nearly as impressive as Rose has been all season, so there’s no reason to think that can’t get it going in the right direction again, and Thursday night presents a perfect opportunity to do just that.