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.