Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Truth Hurts


Last night was another gut-wrenching, stress-inducing, ludicrously entertaining basketball game in a series that is becoming an instant (ESPN) classic.

I'm not going to do the whole recap thing (if you didn't watch the game, then you mostly suck anyway, and you can always read ESPN, Yahoo, etc for a rundown) but I'll share some thoughts:

1) Live twittering (my balls) is fun: Loved the comments flooding in throughout the game in real-time. It felt like watching the game with a big group of awesome Bulls fans. We shall do this again.

2) Ben Gordon is both awesome and ridiculous at the same time: He took some bat-shit fucking crazy shots during the game. Gordon finished with 26 points but needed 31 shots to get there (by comparison, it took Pierce, who had another off-night, 5 less shots to get his 26. Granted, Gordon hit some amazing shots (the announcers kept saying "that's a bad shot" every time he pulled up but they had to eat their words when he eventually hit a huge jumper and got fouled on a 3 to keep us in the game). He is as streaky as anyone I've ever seen and his shot selection is pretty crappy but there is nobody else I'd rather have take a last second shot on our team than BoGo. As a matter of fact, there ISN'T anyone else on our team that CAN take that shot...

3) Joe Noah is legit. The Big Circus is now tied with Captain Kirk for my favorite Bulls player. The guy is an animal on the boards and is ferocious on D. He's managed to get some offensive credibility through hustle put-backs and good positioning for quick dunks. He can't shoot for shit but unlike Ty Thomas, he knows/understands that fact and doesn't take any shots he can't make. He's got surprisingly high basketball IQ and his energy is infectious. I get really pumped up when he's on the floor and I'm sitting on my couch.

4) VDN can't coach for shit. I don't think we ran a single set play in overtime. For most of the 4th quarter and all of OT, we basically let Rose try to take miscellaneous defenders off the dribble and have everyone else get out of the way. Ok, I've got a crazy idea: set a high screen for Rose, keep Gordon on the perimeter and let Rose finish, find Noah for the dunk (or Miller for the elbow J), or kick out to BoGo for 3. It's not so hard. It's not the triangle offense. Just give the kid some options. I also couldn't stand our lax defensive set - Rose was playing 40 feet off of Rondo and it lets him see the whole court. He sliced through us all night, again.  Individual efforts were good (Thomas, Salmons, Noah) but our switching and transition D were awful again.

5) Derrick Rose is still a rookie. As much as I like to watch him with the ball, he didn't handle the pressure well last night. Part of it has to do with bad coaching (see above) but he has WAY too many turnovers, especially late in games, and made some poor decisions and lots of unforced errors. I was begging my TV screen for Hinrich to take over the PG duties in the 4th. This is not to say Rose isn't amazing - he is - but he's too raw to be taking the whole team on his back at the end of the game and isn't yet assertive enough to lead properly (he can't even get the ball out of BoGo's hands when he's firing crap against triple teams. Jordan would have killed Pippen for shots like the ones BoGo took last night).

All in all, another exciting game in a historic series.

I've already put an order in for a pacemaker and defibrillator for game 6.



SSReporters said...

Brad Miller is 7 feet tall and has the momentum to go strong to the basket. He can dunk it!

And he puts up this finger roll shot that completely misses the rim even before he got whacked by Rondo. I couldn't believe it.

Fun fun series to watch as a neutral like myself though.

Keggers said...

Miller got hammered pretty hard (I think he lost a tooth). I also much prefer a last shot to be driving rather than a pull-up shot for the chance of drawing the foul.

All that being said, I wish he'd made the fucking layup.

The TPC said...

Kegs another great post, im sorry I missed the twitter (my balls) rundown.

I completley agree with you as far as VDN is concerned. I've said it all season that I dont think he can coach this team. He does not help Drose and generally we look like shit on offense. I feel like he calls timeouts and then we come out and BG ends up putting up a crappy shot.

Draw up a fucking play and have them run it, its not rocket science.

lets hope the cardiac kids turn it on at the UC and send it back to beantown.

PS- Scalabrine is still a total doucehbag

haasi said...

I can't believe we're not all more incensed about Rondo. He wailed on Miller! Miller had no chance of making that layup or of making the free throws after getting clocked in the face like that. It should have been flagrant (or clear path, though no one's mentioned that) and Bulls should have gotten FTs plus ball back. I'm also not sure if VDN should have had Miller shooting those shots. He was woozy as shit and probably could have used a sub. If we had subbed someone for him, Rivers could have chosen anyone on the floor for the bulls to shoot the FT, but given that Miller wasn't even capable of hitting the rim on an intentional miss, this option doesn't sound so bad.

That was a decisive point in a decisive game. Probably should have gone 2OTs. If Bulls win, they have two opportunities to close out Celts including one at home. Bulls lost and now we have to win two in a row, including one in Boston. Series isn't over, but if Bulls end up losing, we'll all look back to this play and wonder what would have happened if Rondo hadn't taken a dirty shot on Miller's face and if the refs had called it a flagrant as they should have.

If I were a Celtics fan, I wouldn't take pride winning the way that they did. They might have won the game anyway in double OT, or if there had been a normal foul Miller still might have missed one, but winning the way they won is very cheap.


Raging Bull aka Haas

haasi said...

I'll just add this: Historically, the game 5 winner in a series tied 2-2 goes on win the series 83 percent of the time. By losing this game instead of winning it, our chances decreased from 83% to 17%. Not good.