Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Against Irrational Exuberance

It's a cliche, but it's true: A series doesn't start until the home team loses a game. As of now, the Bulls, the higher seed, haven't done anything they weren't supposed to do.

That said, they've looked good doing it. And-- contra me--neither of these victories came as a result from Kirk's play, much less Ty's. It's pretty much been the Luol and BenGo Show, with Mean Mr. Wallace adding some nice work on Shaq (and key offensive boards), along with Noce's key first half contributions.

However, there were some things, even in a rout, not to like. For starters, Ty's lack of minutes is distressing, particularly when the Heat went small in the fourth. P.J. played a great game, but---and I can't believe I'm about to write this---he's not equipped to handle Antoine Walker off the dribble. (Then again, a confident Antoine Walker is a dangerous player...to the Heat.) If ever there was a time to put Ty in, it was then. There was a dangerous, turnover-laden stretch there in the fourth, and if not for the hot hand of Deng and the cold hand of Posey (who missed two wide open threes within 30 seconds), this could've been a nail biter instead of a blowout. Leave the door open like that in Miami, and don't be surprised if the Heat walk through.

Also, we need to chill out on some of the loose talk that Sefolosha is some kind of dynamic defensive stopper. His efficient offensive game--which also included some big baskets in the fourth--overshadowed the fact that Wade pretty much abused him. When it comes to stopping Wade, Hinrich, who is more physical and quicker laterally than Thabo, remains the Bulls' best bet. (On the other hand, Thabo's mother is a far superior artist to Kirk's.) Kirk is going to have to make sure he stays out of foul trouble early, so that he can stay on the floor in the fourth.

This stuff might seem like nit-picking, but to my mind, if the Bulls are to win this series, they still must take one of the next two games in Miami.


Anonymous Matt said...

Agreed on wanting more Tyrus. I didn't want to be a broken record so I layed off of it a bit in my game recap.

But like you said, ESPECIALLY when the Heat went small in the 4th, Tyrus should've been in there to help out PJ, instead of going with 3 guards.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Big Sweet said...

I think that these two wins, perhaps more than anything else, show that the Heat and the Bulls are nowhere near where they were at this time last year. On one side you have an extremely deep team that's playing solid defensive basketball. On the other end, you have a team that seems out of rhythm, hurt and old. We haven't really seen a good Bulls win yet, much less a great win, but we're still up 2-0. A road win is key, but I don't think the Heat are in much shape to stay with us here.

12:26 AM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

Totally disagree, Sweets. The difference in Game 2 was execution, not effort or rhythm or even defense. I'm sorry, but the Bulls' D had very little to do with Posey's botched 3s (great looks), Shaq's 3 or 4 botched dunks (great looks), and Wade going to the hoop too early at the the end of the first quarter (moronic), which led to Noce's awesome, Ty-assisted three. Turn those around, and it's anybody's game.

That's not to say the Bulls haven't played great D; they have. But at the level of process, I feel like Game 2 was a lot closer than the score indicates, and really, I don't see anything from these two home games that we didn't see in last year's first two home games, where, if anything, the Bulls were more dominant.

Matt--Skiles' refusal to play Ty is kind of incredible. On the one hand, it's like, 'Yeah, we're winning,' but on the other, it's just 'What the FUCK?' I'm, uh, non-plussed.

9:23 AM  
Blogger CoachSkiles said...

I'd also like to see Ty in the game!

I can't remember exactly, I think it was the 2nd quarter, but Shaq was totally out of gas for the last two or three minutes before he sat down. Hinrich was slowing it up even thought Shaq wasn't across half court on a few seperate possesions, but Wallace was semi-walking up with Shaq. I think
Ty flying up the court on the fast break would make Shaq even more of a defensive liability than he is in the half court set. I'd like to see a physical (The Body) then fast (The Freak) approach to Shaq during
his longer stretches. I haven't been
following this closely, but it seems Riles sits Shaq down at the end of the first. So at least, let's see Ty for a stretch late in the 2nd when Shaq would seem to be tiring.

Also, as mentioned elsewhere I'd like to see Griff some instead of
Duhon on Wade and let Ben run the point if need be.

1:22 PM  
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3:44 AM  

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