Ok, I've got a few min. now so I think I'll put some things down on here.
I read the post game thread a little & to be frank I just couldn't understand why there was all of the gnashing of teeth going on.
Show of hands right now, how many people in the pre season rankings thread had the Pacers above the Bulls? I know I didn't, in fact if my memory serves me right I think I have the Bulls winning it all.
I saw about two & a half quarters of good to great basketball by the Pacers followed by about a quarter of bad play & a half a quarter of really bad play.
But saying bad play is not really accurate.
People please believe me when I say this. Scott Skiles is that good of a coach & the Bulls have a lot of good talent on their team.
I saw the complaints about Rick & let me just say this, there needs to be some middle ground found here.
No, Rick Carlisle is not the only reason the Pacers were beaten. However Rick Carlisle is not without blame in the fact that the Pacers were beaten.
Notice I said beaten, I did not say lost.
Folks the Bulls imposed their wills on us in the second half & turned up the defense so much that they dictated the entire offense we could use. On offense they had so many spaces on the floor & were able to get dribble penetration at will which caused our guys to be out of place for rebounds & frankly let's just be honest here. A lot of loose balls bouned their way during that game.
Again, Skiles is that good. Scott Skiles IMO is about one of the best coach's in the NBA if not the best.
I don't feel bad about our team at all after this one. I never once got the feeling the guys were going through the motions or were not trying to win. I think everybody that played gave their all & IMO that is about all you can ask for.
I think we went toe to toe with what I beleive to be one of the elite teams in the NBA & we had a real chance of winning.
Now I'm not trying to make this sound like a mindless rah rah post because there were problems & I'll try and address them here. But let's not let our own personnal problems with coach's or players take away from what the Bulls did.
They won fair & square.
But as I said there were real problems.
1. I really wasn't thrilled with what I consider to be some mental lapses in the second half, some by Rick some by the players.
a. Darrell Armstrong tackled Nocioni. A flagrant 1 would have been issued & that would have been the end of it. But no, he had to argue over that being a flagrant foul? Is he nuts. For that matter running & tackling him was a boneheaded play to begin with but then to compound the problem by arguing against it? That put any hopes of a comeback, however small they were, out the window. It gave them a three point play (three freethrows) and the ball back. I would have expected this from some rookie or even a former nutball of ours but not someone of Darrell's experiance. I was really really really dissapointed in the arguing btw.
b. Jacksons shot that led to Armstrongs tackling. What in the name of God was that? Did a second even go off of the clock? That was just a horrid uncalled for shot. It didn't lose us the game but it sure showed a real sign of mental weakness IMO. It's a shame to because for the most part Jackson had played a superb game, his defense totally took Gordon out of the game. But that was just down right ugly at the end.
c. Not to be out done by his players Rick Carlisle decided that the only solution to the Bulls defense was to go to the isolation low post offense that works oh so well against a strong post defender like Wallace. Yes, yes I know he didn't go to it exclusively till the end of the game & I'm sure somebody would say nothing else was working but I will counter with this, it is not what got us our lead & even though the Bulls defense did step up you are not going to beat it with one on one play in the post. Also I do question how long he left some of the subs in the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Al should have come in a little faster & frankly Jamaal should have come in a little faster as well.
d. Our bench really didn't help much other than Foster.
On other notes.
How sad is it that our team could not get any rebounds & were being pushed around for a good portion of the night & our 7' 260lbs center can't get off of the bench? To me that pretty much shows that David just is not getting it & I'm almost to the point in saying I don't know that he ever will.
Just once though I would like to have seen Rick put Josh Powell in the game to see if he could do something. While I really like R. Marshall I do have to say that I wonder if we don't have a few to many of the same kind of player on the active roster.
Again I say I wonder if Baston could not have had a little better results in the game because of his leaping ability? I'm not sure.
But again, let's not just assume that this was a horrid loss we played a really good game for the most part.