By Laurence Holmes–
CHICAGO (WSCR) Tuesday night marked the first time that the Bulls have lost three games in a row all year. It was a “back against the wall” game and the Bulls failed. It wasn’t because of a lack of effort or a lack of heart. Miami’s talent/size combination has been too much to overcome.
LeBron James has been a monster. He’s been great offensively, but his defense has been immense. His ability to guard Derrick Rose one-on-one has been invaluable and has rendered Rose silent in late-game situations. James made Rose settle for step-back jumpers. Rose loses his aggressiveness when James is guarding him. The league MVP has shot just 36 percent in this series because Miami’s on the ball defense has been outstanding. Here’s a scary stat from last night that explains how well the Heat played Rose: six assists to seven turnovers. That was Rose’s ratio. It’s been a clinic on how to stop a great point guard. The Heat’s double-teams have blinded Rose, forcing him to make passes while up in the air.
The Bulls played hard and they didn’t quit, but it wasn’t good enough. Now, they face an elimination game. All the Bulls can do is focus on Game 5. They get to come home. They’ll get the boost from the UC crowd, but what will they do with it? They can’t win the series on Thursday, but they can extend it. Think micro, not macro and let’s see if they can figure out the Miami defensive conundrum.
-If you’re looking for inspiration for Game 5, then why not look to the great Klingon Warrior, Worf, who famously (yes we’re going to geekland) said, “It is a good day to die, but the day is not yet done.”
-You can really question a lot of Tom Thibodeau’s coaching from Game 4:
1. Why did Kyle Korver play as much as he did?
2. Why did the Bulls stick with the Pick n’ Roll so long when it just brought trouble?
3. Is a 50/50 Asik better than a rested Kurt Thomas?
4. Why didn’t the Bulls attack Bosh when he picked up his 5th foul?
-It’s never been more evident that the Bulls need to find another consistent scoring threat to pair with Rose. Preferably someone who can score from the perimeter or create his own shot. In this series, Rose has had more shot attempts than points.
-During halftime, I switched over to see what the Sox were doing and was horrified to see the weather that was going on in Arlington. It’s been a strange, devastating spring, weather wise. I was happy to hear that the Rangers offered shelter to fans who had come to the ballpark.
-I put the Sox game to bed at midnight and recorded the end. Woke up to a power surge by Adam Dunn and more importantly Carlos Quentin. I don’t know if there’s anything more fun than when CQ goes on a homer binge. That bat flip is excellent. Some credit goes to Ozzie who moved Dunn down in the lineup and Quentin up.
-The rain kept us from really knowing how Jack Peavy would react in this all important third start. Peavy only pitched three innings and threw 63 pitches because of the rain delay. Not much you can glean from that.
-I’m a little (just a little) bothered by Mike Quade’s decision to let Carlos Zambrano pinch-hit last night. The Cubs had a big lead, no reason for Z to pick up a bat. The biggest injury issue for the Cubs is their lack of depth in the rotation. Batting and more importantly, letting Z run the bases, was dangerous. It worked, but it wasn’t smart.