NBA Playoffs 2011: Chicago Bulls Have What It Takes to Win Game Four and Series
Actor Jeremy Piven said it best on Twitter after the Chicago Bulls lost to the Miami Heat in Game 3: “Why abandon what got you to the dance? Bulls looked sluggish and didn't get after it, will regroup...”
Despite the Bulls loss though, there is still hope for them to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals.
The Bulls defense has gone from being the best in the league to one of the slowest and hardest to watch in the playoffs. Even the players have gone to the bench with looks of frustration and failure.
When a Miami player such has Bosh has a second career-high scoring game with 31 points in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, something is wrong. Especially since a lot of folks don’t consider Bosh a part of Miami’s Big Three and think of him as one of the worst players in the NBA.
Miami had a 50.7 field goal percentage in Game 3, and the Bulls need to focus on how to reduce that number.
Can they do it? Of course they can—it’s what made the Heat cry during the regular season—they had met their match in the Bulls and were 0-2 against them.
The Bulls still have a chance of winning this game, if they regroup and do the things they were doing before.
Joakim Noah needs to focus on being the leader in rebounds and blocks again, instead of any slurs, fines or mishaps that happen on the court that mess with his emotional and mental status of playing the game.
In the regular season, Noah was averaging a little over 10 rebounds per game, now he’s barely averaging over six rebounds.
In the first game against Miami, the only game they’ve won against them in this series, Noah had 14 rebounds. In Game 2 and Game 3, he had eight and five, respectively.
Luol Deng needs to be on top of his game when it comes to steals. Yes, he’s the current leader in that category for the Bulls, but is it enough?
In Game 1 against Miami, Deng had seven rebounds, four steals, and 21 points. In the last two games, he’s had zero and one steal and 13 and 14 points, respectively.
However, the problem doesn’t just lie in their lack of physical aggression on defense; the Bulls are struggling offensively, too. The Bulls lost Game 2 in Chicago shooting 34 percent and Game 3 in Miami on Sunday night shooting 42 percent.
A lot of Chicago fans are still torn that the team didn’t do much with the trade deadline and blame that on the downfall in the playoffs.
Don’t get the critics wrong about the Bulls’ offense, Chicago has a great player in MVP Derrick Rose, but he can’t take on the elite team that makes up the Heat on his own.
Rose's 8-for-19 wasn't the worst shooting night he's had in the playoffs. The struggle that lies with the Bulls and their MVP was what to do against Miami when they brought two defenders, with the intentions to make Rose give up the ball.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, Rose doesn’t have that wing-man to pass the ball to and ensure that he can make a good shot. The Bulls are going to have to get their defense back in order to have any chance against Miami tonight in Game 4.
Can they do it? Well, they did it in Game 1, so never say never.
Denise is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in broadcast journalism and sports journalism. She’s been writing for B/R since September of 2010 and is currently interning at Fox 7 Sports in Austin and Victory Sports Network. Follow Denise on Twitter.
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