Wow. That sure was 46-ish minutes of frustration and pain, for a tiny bit of glory at the very end. Jesus-tap-dancing-Christ that was… bah, damn hell, ugh. To tell you the truth, I do not have much to say about this game; yet, I feel like I should have a ton to say. The two huge things that come to mind: Joey Crawford can suck a pengiun (censored) and I dislike Carlos Boozer more and more.
We will start with the first point. And we will start with a preface. I have always stood by the maxim that a superior team can overcome poor officiating. And I still stand by that. However, today’s game was a particularly awful example of officiating, led by one Joey Crawford. Derrick Rose had 21 free throw attempts, yet that was not even accurate to the amount earned. Rose made it a point to drive to the lane and draw contact. As the game went on, what was considered contact on Rose changed, until the Pacers had to hack Rose for a whistle to blow. And that is not my biggest beef. (The moving screens the Pacers were pulling were a load of no-call crap.) What really got my goat was the way the Bulls dealt with the situation. If the Pacers are hacking Rose, don’t complain about it, nail the hell out of anyone driving to the lane on the other end. Was that not the point of signing Kurt Thomas?
Thingy #2: Carlos Boozer. My distaste for Boozer has grown over the season and this first playoff game personified it. He is useless on defense. Although the contract cannot possibly justify it, I would really like to see him coming off the bench with Unit: DJ TrainWreck. Taj Gibson would fit much better in the starting line-up, while Boozer would give UDJTW that much needed offensive boost. Of course, this is not going to happen at this point. Therefore, my Christmas wish is for Carlos Boozer to even attempt to look like he plays D. And a pony.
Also, 0-9 for 3’s for Rose? As I have mentioned before, he should not be shooting beyond the arc, unless he has a good look – and few were good looks today. Yet, his heroic drives to the basket left him looking like the only Bull looking like he wanted to score for most of the game. Outside of his threes, the Pacers plan of shutting down Rose had little success.
The Bulls defense is something that will definitely be talked about as well. After the initial outburst from the Pacers in the first, they lost all of their energy and intensity. It is quite unacceptable. Especially considering that they turned it up at the end and locked it down when they had to – almost as if they did not care early on.
I expect this game to be an aberration. The Bulls play best when they have a chip on their shoulder, and I expect this effort to give them quite the chip. (And in the end, I went well beyond my first two talking points. That is what happens when you get sauced.)