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Bulls Wed Apr 29 2009

Bulls-Celtics Game 5: Dagger vs Dagger

Assasins were for hire last night in Beantown as both Chicago and Boston's finest ice-blooded dagger droppers, namely, Ben Gordon and Paul Pierce put on a show in the fourth quarter and overtime of Game 5 in what has become the most physically-demanding and competitive first round playoff matchup in recent memory. Gordon and Pierce matched jumper after jumper after jumper; neither The Truth nor BG7 was going to let his team go quietly into the night. Gordon who didn't even heat up until the fourth after struggling with a strained hamstring all game long and Pierce who, prior to this game, has been -at times- absolutely AWOL in this series, went off with the Celtics prevailing to take the 3-2 series lead with Chicago's backs-to-the-wall in Game 6, Thursday night at the United Center. Now onto the analysis!

Analysis:

Memo: Bulls, re: free throws, make them!
The Bulls have been great from the charity stripe all series long, keep doing this. HUGE and Obvis Addendum: Yes, Brad Miller missed the two free throws at the end of OT, but dude was missing some teeth and bloody, so, I dunno? He's a career 80% FT shooter, people. He DID NOT LOSE this game for Chicago, I blame VDN (80%) and a few careless possessions by pup DRose (20%-if that).

Points in the Paint, UGH :(
The Bulls have been clobbered in the paint all series long even with no Kevin Garnett to deal with. In the 2OT Game 4, Chicago did outscore the Cs by 14 in the paint but other than that game, this series has been hideously one-sided, with last night being more of the same as the Celts pushed and shoved their way to a 22 PIP advantage. If the Bulls hope to push the series to 7 than containing Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis becomes an absolute must on Thursday. Perkins line in Game 5, btw: 16 pts, 19 boards and 7! blocks. Davis was no slouch dropping 21 on 7-11 shooting and 7-8 on FTs.

Somebody Give Vinny 500ccs of Ketamine and Let the Players Play!
VDN --I am no fan-- has been marginally okay as the coach in this series, but calling plays for Jon Salmons with less than five minutes to play in the game when both Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon are on the court? Gimme a fu*king break, you let your playmakers make plays! Any parochial bball coach knows enough to give the stars the ball. Salmons, who has been a godsend for the Bulls: veteran leadership, timely scoring, etc..but, c'mon, VDN. Make smart coaching choices or no choices, but NOT dumb, costly choices.

Defense. Playoff Teams Win with Defense
39% FG shooting in Game 1 is the worst the Celtics have shot from the field in this series. Far and away the worst they've shot all series. I'll touch on this more next week, but, how in the course of one NBA season does a squad go from being a swarming team defense that couldn't score to a defenseless team that can sorta score sometimes, cough, VDN, cough. Bulls need to shore up the defense if they wanna go back to Boston for Game 7...

Push Back, B!tches!
I love what Rajon Rondo has brought to this series, really, I do: 2 triple-doubles, countless "how'd he do dat?", but, dude's been seriously and needlessly chippy and smack-tacular with the Bulls. See: Game 3, Rondo raking and bringing Noah crashing to the court early in the second quarter and Game 5, closing seconds of OT Rondo (again from behind) jacking Brad Miller in the mouth, knocking Miller Time's toofs out and giving him a bloody mouth for the trouble. If you're the Bulls at the start of Game 6 send Aaron Gray out in the first quarter and have him "send a message" to Rondo and the rest of Boston. That message being "playtime is over," because unless the Bulls get a lot tougher than their playing time is gonna be over.


 
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