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90'sNBARocked
04-14-2011, 12:29 PM
The Chicago Bulls fell one overtime loss short of sweeping their division this past season—something that's never been done before in the history of the league. That one loss, in which Chicago came roaring back from a huge deficit to force overtime, occurred in Indianapolis.

So what does that mean for a series in which most people expect the first-seeded Bulls to blow the eighth-seeded Pacers out of the water? It means that, if Indiana is lucky, they might win one game, probably either Game 3 or Game 4, but it isn't likely.

Despite that fact, and despite the fact that the Pacers are the only team in the entire playoffs to sneak into a first round series with a losing regular season record, Indiana's Danny Granger has already begun the proverbial talking of the trash. If, as Granger says, the Pacers can figure out a way to shut down Derrick Rose, do they have a shot in this series?

Of course they do. If they shut down Derrick Rose. The problem with that scenario, as we all know, is that nobody has been able to do that so far.

Point Guard: Derrick Rose vs. Darren Collison

And who carries the most responsibility in making sure Rose doesn't kill the Pacers? None other than second-year guard Darren Collison, who had a much better second half of the season but still isn't in the same league as Rose.

Considering the fact that Rose is a legitimate MVP candidate, it would be safe to say that there aren't many point guards in the NBA who are in the same league as Rose, but Indiana has been a particularly entertaining opponent for Derrick. It was against Collison and the Pacers that Rose scored a season-high 42 points back in March, and in fact his scoring output has increased every time he's played Indiana this season. On the year, Rose is averaging 27 ppg against the Pacers.

As promising as Collison is, he's not ready for a playoff matchup with an MVP candidate who's got 3 inches and 30 pounds on him. He'll give it a valiant go, but let's be honest about this particular match-up—it's not even close.

Advantage: Bulls

Shooting Guard: Keith Bogans vs. Paul George

On the one hand we've got Bogans, who as the starting shooting guard for the Eastern Conference's best team is ranked 131st among active guards in points per game, and the other hand we've got George, a rookie who's only been a starter for the last quarter of the season. Does either team really have what could be considered an advantage at this position?

George has come on rather well in the second half of his rookie campaign, but by comparison Keith Bogans has postseason experience with the Magic and Spurs and comes into the series a lot more seasoned than his burgeoning counterpart. It would be surprising to have either player truly win (or lose, for that matter) a game in this series, and for that reason it's too hard to rate one higher than the other. We'll call this one a wash.

Advantage: Push

Small Forward: Luol Deng vs. Danny Granger

If any Pacer is going to win a game for the Pacers in this series, it's going to have to be Danny Granger, easily their best player. While his shot selection isn't always the smartest, he is a guy that pours in the buckets and should have a slight edge over Chicago's Luol Deng.

That's not to take anything away from Deng, who is having arguably the best season of his career and plays as well as anybody off of D-Rose. However, Granger is a more gifted scorer and Indiana's first option. He's going to have more opportunities to excel on a grander scale in this series.

Still, it says something about how not close this series is going to be when it's this difficult to choose between Chicago's third best player and Indiana's best player. Granger's better, but not by much.

Advantage: Pacers

Power Forward: Carlos Boozer vs. Tyler Hansbrough

From almost the moment that Pacers head coach Frank Vogel took over for Jim O'Brien about halfway through the season, Tyler Hansbrough came alive as an NBA player. He rattled off a streak of games in March where he scored 20+ points in 6 of 7 straight games. Despite the surge, though, he's cooled off a bit as the regular season has calmed down, and even at his best he's got nowhere near the pedigree of Carlos Boozer.

Boozer, who averages almost twice as many rebounds per game as Hansbrough does, has several season's worth of playoff experience to go off of, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals with Utah back in 2007. His size, statistical output, and experience (these will be Hansbrough's first playoff games, by comparison), make Boozer the easy favorite in this particular matchup.

Advantage: Bulls

Center: Joakim Noah vs. Roy Hibbert

This should be one of the more entertaining match-ups to watch in this particular series since both teams' centers are so aggressive defensively and have a little bit of versatility on the offensive end of the floor, as well. Hibbert is the superior scorer and shot-blocker, but Noah is the better rebounder and passer. Both guys are the lynch-pins for their team's defense.

All that said, Noah does a little bit more for his team than Hibbert does, despite the fact that Joakim has struggled a bit to close out the regular season. Rebounding is such an important part of playoff basketball, and Noah is so much better at it than Hibbert. Throw in Noah's very obvious spirited nature and the gasoline he tends to pour onto the competitive fire, and his intangibles make him more valuable to the Bulls than Hibbert is to the Pacers.

Both teams are going to need their bigs to play a great series, but Noah just seems like the guy most poised to actually do it.
Advantage: Bulls

Bench: Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Kurt Thomas, & Omer Asik vs. Mike Dunleavy, Josh McRoberts, Brandon Rush, A.J. Price, Jeff Foster, and Dahntay Jones

The Chicago Bulls have one of the best second units in the league, and the self-named "Bench Mob" has been holding things down for the starters like pros all year long. Gibson could easily be a starting power forward in this league, Kurt Thomas throws 'bows and anchors the second-team defense, Kyle Korver is probably the most gifted non-Rose offensive player on the roster capable of spreading the floor, and Brewer is an athletic defensive specialist who will likely spend most of his time locking down Paul George and Danny Granger.

While Mike Dunleavy brings loads of scoring off the Indiana bench, and Josh McRoberts has far exceeded anyone's expectations this year, the rest of their bench unit doesn't come close to Chicago's, either in talent or in depth. It's bad enough that Chicago's first unit it so much better than Indy's, but the fact that their second unit is also this much better doesn't bode well for the Pacers.

Advantage: Bulls

Coaching – Tom Thibodeau vs. Frank Vogel

As much as Vogel did for turning around Indiana's season, Thibodeau is the superior coach in just about every way imaginable. Where Vogel is an interim head coach after assistant coaching under Jim O'Brien for ten years, Thibodeau is a legit Coach of the Year candidate two years removed from a championship as an assistant with the Boston Celtics. And that's not mentioning the 22 years of NBA assistant coaching experience he had before getting his first head position with Chicago this past year.

Thibs preaches defense, and he preaches 48 minutes of perfection. He's got a system that his players have spent all year buying into. Vogel, though a promising young coach, doesn't have anywhere near the experience or the system that Thibodeau does. While it won't be for lack of trying, it's nearly impossible to see Vogel out-coaching Thibodeau.

Advantage: Bulls

Prediction: Bulls in 4

He is a homer , but man its like we shouldnt even show up

Shade
04-14-2011, 12:30 PM
Well...obviously it does work, or I wouldn't see this right now. :-p

Care to elaborate?

90'sNBARocked
04-14-2011, 12:33 PM
Well...obviously it does work, or I wouldn't see this right now. :-p

Care to elaborate?

LOL

You cant post anymore though without getting that freakin fatal error message

you have to change the title in the post, then post a couple words, then go back and edited in

dont know why but im going to ask my IT guys here at work

anyway, yeah everone thinks will get swept, but after last nights pathetic effort , I can see why

Trader Joe
04-14-2011, 12:37 PM
I'll just go on record as saying the "Bench Mob" may be even dumber than some of the names tossed around for nicknaming our second unit

Trader Joe
04-14-2011, 12:37 PM
LOL

You cant post anymore though without getting that freakin fatal error message

you have to change the title in the post, then post a couple words, then go back and edited in

dont know why but im going to ask my IT guys here at work

anyway, yeah everone thinks will get swept, but after last nights pathetic effort , I can see why

You do realize we didn't give two ****s about last nights game?

Lou Bega
04-14-2011, 12:52 PM
Predicting a sweep. That is awesome.

I just would like to start each game and not be down ten points six minutes into the first quater. Tyler is going to have to hit his mid range jumpers for that to happen. MC Roberts played well vs Chi in January, he and Brandon Rush or MDJ are going to have to be factors and the Pacers can win some games.

I hope DG33 takes the ball to the basket and doesnt settle for jumpers. Attempt to get Luol Deng in foul trouble. Danny is going to have to step up his game this series or he'll be shipped out this offseason.

Unclebuck
04-14-2011, 01:19 PM
I agree with him and not most of you who say the pacers bench is better than the Bulls. At worst they are even, but I would give the Bulls bench a slight advantage

Speed
04-14-2011, 01:20 PM
My main hope is that the Roy from last night doesn't show up.

Bball
04-14-2011, 01:26 PM
Despite that fact, and despite the fact that the Pacers are the only team in the entire playoffs to sneak into a first round series with a losing regular season record

While that is true... to a point.... The way they made the playoffs and got back into the playoff picture at all was posting a winning record under Vogel after the coaching change. Looking at the overall record alone it might appear they backed into the playoffs... but the reality is they fought their way into them.

They deserve to be there more than their record might indicate on first glance...

Shade
04-14-2011, 01:44 PM
The Chicago Bulls fell one overtime loss short of sweeping their division this past season—something that's never been done before in the history of the league. That one loss, in which Chicago came roaring back from a huge deficit to force overtime, occurred in Indianapolis.

Wow...I had no idea about this. Impressive, even within our pathetic division.

90'sNBARocked
04-14-2011, 02:54 PM
You do realize we didn't give two ****s about last nights game?

I do, but not understanding the significane to the OP

Trader Joe
04-14-2011, 02:56 PM
I do, but not understanding the significane to the OP

You mentioned last night's effort as being "pathetic" in response to the Magic game. And I'm saying that game is well...channeling my inner JOB here...irrelevant.

BringJackBack
04-14-2011, 03:23 PM
I think Hibbert is better than Joakim Noah (Not to mention that he is more reliable).

I think that Danny is significantly better than Luol Deng.

I think that the power forward matchup is going to kill us. Tyler can not guard Boozer due to quickness, athleticism issues and Josh isn't tough enough inside to guard Boozer.

Unclebuck
04-14-2011, 03:33 PM
Tyler is going to have to hit his mid range jumpers for that to happen.

it will be interesting to me to see how much attention the Bulls pay to that bread and butter play of the Pacers. They can stop it if they deem it important enough - will open up some other players though.

My guess is the Bulls will put some heavy emphasis on that play. After they gameplan for Granger I suspect they will look to shut off the pick and rolls with Darren and Tyler


General comment - That is why in the playoffs you learn what players are really, really good, because defenses have the time to devise a plan to stop the best players and that is why it is even more impressive when the best players still excel

90'sNBARocked
04-14-2011, 04:51 PM
You mentioned last night's effort as being "pathetic" in response to the Magic game. And I'm saying that game is well...channeling my inner JOB here...irrelevant.

my bad

got ya bro

JEM
04-14-2011, 05:04 PM
Boozer is going to get his 18/8 20/9 most likely as he almost always does but I think Tyler will be able to have good games himself. The matchup really isnt as one sided as people would think.

I think Rush will play a key role. If he can come off the bench and make some 3s it will be a big help.

Jon Theodore
04-14-2011, 05:51 PM
Hansbrough is going to be the best Pacers player in the playoffs. By best I mean...most productive and the one who rises above what his expected level of production is.

That being said, we'll be lucky to win one game. I see Granger having a very tough time scoring and Collison is going to be eaten alive by D. Rose. I'd love to be wrong of course.

Blink
04-14-2011, 05:59 PM
Boozer is going to get his 18/8 20/9 most likely as he almost always does but I think Tyler will be able to have good games himself. The matchup really isnt as one sided as people would think.

Right...didn't a Bulls follower recently comment here that Boozer isn't nearly as tough as he acts, and that Tyler might give him some trouble?

Ozwalt72
04-14-2011, 06:10 PM
I see Granger having a very tough time scoring and Collison is going to be eaten alive by D. Rose. I'd love to be wrong of course.

I think differently. I see Granger playing at a very, very high level. Not high enough to win the series...but he'll amaze us.

pacer4ever
04-14-2011, 06:13 PM
I think differently. I see Granger playing at a very, very high level. Not high enough to win the series...but he'll amaze us.

Luol Deng is very underrated and is a great defender.

BringJackBack
04-14-2011, 06:30 PM
Not really.. Luol Deng gets a lot of credit nowadays. Perhaps too much credit. He's a good 3rd/4th guy on a contending team. Nothing more, nothing less.

pacer4ever
04-14-2011, 06:33 PM
Not really.. Luol Deng gets a lot of credit nowadays. Perhaps too much credit. He's a good 3rd/4th guy on a contending team. Nothing more, nothing less.

And whats Danny Granger? The same but Luol actually plays defense.

Trophy
04-14-2011, 06:33 PM
Deng's become a sharp shooter this season.

He's a huge part in playing wing defense well for them.

Danny's gonna need to move a lot without the ball to keep Deng away and drive for fouls.

BringJackBack
04-14-2011, 06:43 PM
And whats Danny Granger? The same but Luol actually plays defense.

Danny wasn't even the subject..? But now that you bring it up, no.

Put Luol Deng in Danny's position, number one scorer on about a 42-45 win team, and his field goal percentage is below 40% on about 18 PPG. He is not athletic enough to create his own shot. Notice that his feet are set on almost every single shot he takes.. He plays off of Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer. If he had to create for himself he'd have to take off balance shots and iso.

And Danny's defense is underrated. Since Vogel took over he's been fine defensively.

Peck
04-14-2011, 07:31 PM
Luol Deng is very underrated and is a great defender.

My God you throw around the term great defender a lot.

Again, Koby Bryant (Great Defender), Dwight Howard (Great Defender).

Loul Deng not a Great Defender. He's a decent defender & maybe even a good defender but NOT a Great Defender.

90'sNBARocked
04-14-2011, 08:28 PM
Loul is a pretty dam good defender

maybe not "elite" but very good

90'sNBARocked
04-14-2011, 08:28 PM
doesnt even matter though , none of the bulls scare me like coach Thibbs

Vogel is going to get completey outcoached Thibbs is a monster man

D-BONE
04-14-2011, 08:42 PM
I think Hibbert is better than Joakim Noah (Not to mention that he is more reliable).

I think that Danny is significantly better than Luol Deng.

I think that the power forward matchup is going to kill us. Tyler can not guard Boozer due to quickness, athleticism issues and Josh isn't tough enough inside to guard Boozer.

I have reservation saying DG is better than Deng, let alone significantly so.

D-BONE
04-14-2011, 08:45 PM
Danny wasn't even the subject..? But now that you bring it up, no.

Put Luol Deng in Danny's position, number one scorer on about a 42-45 win team, and his field goal percentage is below 40% on about 18 PPG. He is not athletic enough to create his own shot. Notice that his feet are set on almost every single shot he takes.. He plays off of Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer. If he had to create for himself he'd have to take off balance shots and iso.

And Danny's defense is underrated. Since Vogel took over he's been fine defensively.

Right, so at best - from our standoint - they're roughly equivalent.

D-BONE
04-14-2011, 08:46 PM
My God you throw around the term great defender a lot.

Again, Koby Bryant (Great Defender), Dwight Howard (Great Defender).

Loul Deng not a Great Defender. He's a decent defender & maybe even a good defender but NOT a Great Defender.

Okay, point taken. He's a good defender then, IMO. DG is an average defender, IMO, until proven otherwise by impacting this series defensively.

neosmndrew
04-14-2011, 09:25 PM
I think he's write in saying that the Granger is the only Pacer who will probably win his match-up, and that the only way we can make the series interesting is by having Hibbert have the kind of stellar performance has had in the past. If we can get 20 and 10 from Hibbert (which he CAN do, but only in brief flashes), we can extend the series to six. Rose vs. Collison is just so much in Chicago's favor that it may be impossible for us to keep up.

Eleazar
04-14-2011, 09:25 PM
From the way he described the Bulls bench I see very little difference between them and the Pacers bench.

The way I see it is the Bulls have a clear advantage at PG and minor advantage at PF, while the Pacers have a clear advantage at SF and minor advantage at SG. The rest is a push. Thibbs wins by default because we really have no idea how good of a coach Vogel is yet.

I think a lot of people under estimate how good Granger can be. When he is playing smart and playing defense he is clearly better than Deng. It should not even be an argument.

While at PF they do have an advantage Boozer isn't going to be able to just roll over Tyler. He might be able to take advantage of Tyler on his offensive end, but I think Tyler will also be able to beat Boozer on the offensive end.

I say a slight advantage in George because we know that George is easily capable of being clearly better, but he does make rookie mistakes and isn't perfectly consistent yet.

Eleazar
04-14-2011, 09:26 PM
I think he's write in saying that the Granger is the only Pacer who will probably win his match-up, and that the only way we can make the series interesting is by having Hibbert have the kind of stellar performance has had in the past. If we can get 20 and 10 from Hibbert (which he CAN do, but only in brief flashes), we can extend the series to six. Rose vs. Collison is just so much in Chicago's favor that it may be impossible for us to keep up.

If we get 20 and 10 from Hibbert I would expect the Pacers to win that game and every game he gets 20 and 10 in.

idioteque
04-14-2011, 09:35 PM
doesnt even matter though , none of the bulls scare me like coach Thibbs

Vogel is going to get completey outcoached Thibbs is a monster man

You're right, Thibbs is one ugly mother****er. Guy can coach though.

IndyPacer
04-14-2011, 10:55 PM
And Danny's defense is underrated. Since Vogel took over he's been fine defensively.

Are you rating the level of defense Granger is capable of playing when he occasionally feels like trying or the level he actually does?

BringJackBack
04-14-2011, 10:59 PM
Are you rating the level of defense Granger is capable of playing when he occasionally feels like trying or the level he actually does?

I'm saying that he generally plays good defense, even though he can do better, but it his lack effort is overstated around here.

No one is going to stop Lebron, Melo, etc., and we've seen him play good defense on them. Ever since Vogel has taken over his defense has been good and passable, besides of course the dreaded six game losing streak where everyone quit trying.

Infinite MAN_force
04-14-2011, 11:46 PM
Count me in the camp that thinks Granger shows up big in this series. This is the playoffs, and Granger will not be going through the motions on defense as he is prone to do on occasion. He's got something to prove, and he is clearly better than Deng.

Infinite MAN_force
04-14-2011, 11:53 PM
From the way he described the Bulls bench I see very little difference between them and the Pacers bench.

The way I see it is the Bulls have a clear advantage at PG and minor advantage at PF, while the Pacers have a clear advantage at SF and minor advantage at SG. The rest is a push. Thibbs wins by default because we really have no idea how good of a coach Vogel is yet.

I think a lot of people under estimate how good Granger can be. When he is playing smart and playing defense he is clearly better than Deng. It should not even be an argument.

While at PF they do have an advantage Boozer isn't going to be able to just roll over Tyler. He might be able to take advantage of Tyler on his offensive end, but I think Tyler will also be able to beat Boozer on the offensive end.

I say a slight advantage in George because we know that George is easily capable of being clearly better, but he does make rookie mistakes and isn't perfectly consistent yet.

I agree with this assessment for the most part. I think the Bulls have two primary advantages. They have the best player between both teams, and that is always a big factor.

They also have a big edge in experience. While it has been pointed out that they have not been the most playoff tested as a team, Boozer and Deng both have their fair share of playoff experience, and they just generally have more vets to rely on than we do. So that is another big factor.

Matchup by matchup? Talent to talent? They have an advantage, but it is not as overwhelming as some make it out to be. I think they beat us more for the reasons stated above than that necessarily.

With the Pacers, its just a matter of which version of each player shows up night to night... so it goes with youth. I do believe Granger will show up, however.

Kemo
04-15-2011, 12:59 AM
I think Rush will play a key role. If he can come off the bench and make some 3s it will be a big help.

Ya, I have a very good feeling , that Brandon will flip the switch , and have some high scoring games in this series, all the while playing good defense..

I mean, he IS known for playing great at the end of the season.. per his past M.O. ..

I really think everyone is gonna step up though.. and we will see some good things..

Constellations
04-15-2011, 01:11 AM
Loul is a pretty dam good defender

maybe not "elite" but very good

Luol Deng is an average defender, LOL. I don't know what exactly you're observing.

Kemo
04-15-2011, 01:17 AM
I also see Danny stepping up BIGTIME... on BOTH ends of the floor..

.

Some of you honestly think, that as long as DG has WAITED to be in the playoffs, that he won't play out of his mind to win?!?!???

Ya, I have no worries about DG.. Same with Foster... he realizes his with his age and not knowing how his back will continue to hold up, that he dont have many years left to play in the playoffs..


.

yoadknux
04-15-2011, 02:47 AM
Deng is one of the best SF defenders in the league this year... There is a reason Granger avged 36% from the field against the bulls this season and it is Deng.
But still, Granger is a better player, and I believe Granger will step his game up in the playoffs. He's gotta be excited after all, and this is the real deal now. If we're gonna win any of the games, it's gonna start with Granger playing extremely well and the supporting cast (Roy/Tyler/DC) getting production as well. But Granger can't do it without the others, we need to space the floor, we need our guys to play well.

spazzxb
04-15-2011, 02:55 AM
I'll just go on record as saying the "Bench Mob" may be even dumber than some of the names tossed around for nicknaming our second unit

Tyler created "goon squad" it wasn't just tossed around here. I assume this is what you had in mind.

AesopRockOn
04-15-2011, 06:13 AM
Though the Bulls have a plethora of advantages over the Pacers, I would wager quite handsomely that our bench will outscore Chicago's if only for the fact that Chicago's bench can't ****ing score.

Also, now is when we see Danny Granger's true worth, as a "veteran" on a virgin playoff team. How he carries himself and shoots the ball has got to be seen as a make-or-break point in his career. Is he just a very talented streak shooter or a top piece on a team that will challenge for the top of the conference in two years? We're only a day away...

Eleazar
04-15-2011, 08:55 PM
I agree with this assessment for the most part. I think the Bulls have two primary advantages. They have the best player between both teams, and that is always a big factor.

They also have a big edge in experience. While it has been pointed out that they have not been the most playoff tested as a team, Boozer and Deng both have their fair share of playoff experience, and they just generally have more vets to rely on than we do. So that is another big factor.

Matchup by matchup? Talent to talent? They have an advantage, but it is not as overwhelming as some make it out to be. I think they beat us more for the reasons stated above than that necessarily.

With the Pacers, its just a matter of which version of each player shows up night to night... so it goes with youth. I do believe Granger will show up, however.

I agree with you also. Other than Rose the biggest difference between these teams is experience and consistency.