Upset of the Ages: 5 Ways Indiana Pacers Could Beat Chicago Bulls in Playoffs
Currently, it's looking a lot like the Indiana Pacers will finish the season in the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot, while the Chicago Bulls are on the verge of holding the East's No. 1 seed.
Well, there's quite a bit that they'll need to do. Danny Granger's Pacers will have to perform so many things, many of which are nearly impossible. In a way, this slideshow will not only show what Indiana needs to do to beat the Bulls, but also why it will not happen.
Darren Collison Doesn't Need To "Adjust to Postseason Play"
Darren Collison is just a sophomore in the NBA, which often means that he'll need time to adjust in the NBA playoffs.
This season his 13 points, five assists and one steal aren't that impressive on paper, but the UCLA alum has been an important part of the Pacers team, holding them together like glue.
If they undergo a seven-game series with the Bulls and Collison looks like a college player who still needs to adjust, there is absolutely no way that the Pacers will prevail, as they'll have no defined point guard figurehead bringing the ball up.
We See "Version A" Indiana Pacers During the Series
Half the time we see a Pacers team where Collison is dishing like a master, Granger plays like a superstar, Dunleavy is dead on, Tyler Hansbrough shows why he made such a name for himself in college...you get the point.
There are nights when Indy looks like it deserves to be in the playoffs, and nights where it just looks like garbage.
Come prime time, when Chicago is in the building, just one of these nights will most definitely result in a loss. That puts them at a tremendous disadvantage because even when "version A" comes out to play, it's still the Chicago bulls.
Don't Let Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah Control the Low Post
Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah average 30 points and 20 rebounds per game. With numbers like that, the Pacers have no chance of winning this series unless Noah and Boozer are controlled.
So how could they do that?
Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert need to become Indy X-factors. They must play with physical aggression and pull down as many rebounds as possible and score as many points as they can during this series, because if they don't, it's certain that Joakim and Carlos will.
Don't Discredit Luol Deng
Luol Deng shadily averaged 17.5 points, six rebounds and three assists during this regular season. With players such as Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, it can be easy to overlook Deng.
But if the Pacers do this in the playoffs, it can potentially be fatal to their chances at advancing to the second round.
Luol can dunk, handle and shoot with range, so if the Bulls manage to stop Derrick Rose and the Chicago big men, don't think the job is done. Luol Deng will happily take the game over and drop 30-plus points against an appalled Pacers defense.
Stop the Unstoppable Derrick Rose
Do not let Derrick Rose have control of the basketball within the three-point line. If he does, we all know what happens next. Pick the best defenders in the league and Rose will crisscross and weave to the basket, jump up in the air and windmill the ball around the best shot-blocker's hands until it's safe to lay it in. You can't stop the acrobatic post moves or the ball's tendency to drop in the basket; the only thing you can stop is Derrick Rose at the perimeter.
Pressure him tightly by the three-point line and force a three-point shot or a pass to one of his teammates.
All of these things working for the Pacers is nearly impossible.
If you somehow manage to stop Derrick Rose with multiple defenders, how do you expect to contain the two-man wrecking crew of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah?
With all these things on the Pacers' mind, they're still probably not focusing enough on Luol Deng, who is ready, willing and able to take over one of these games.
Bulls Sweep the Pacers, 4-0
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