I want to say I am very proud of our team. They came out and competed for 46 minutes and held the lead until the 0:48 mark of the 4Q. It hurt like hell that they lost, but that's how it goes sometimes for young teams that lack playoff experience.
I fully expect the Pacers will come back and compete just as hard in Game-2, and if they're able to lead for most of the game again, I'm confident they won't make the same mistakes.
A few criticisms:
Granger - I know you picked your time to strike, but you need to be "that guy" down the stretch. I know you can do it. Step up again only this time "put a boot on their throat!" Your team had a 9-point lead w/2:02 minutes remaining. This was your time to put your team on your shoulders and carry them to victory. Instead, you settled for jump shots. Moreover, in those final 2 minutes your team went away from doing what got them the lead - you stopped driving the lanes and feeding the post. In clutch-time when your team has the lead that last thing you should be doing in jackin' up jump shots. Drive the lanes, get to the line, win the game by keeping them back on their heals.
George and Dunleavy - You both played like it was your first playoff game. No shame there. But now that the nerves are out of your system, it's time to BRING IT, BOYS! We need our Shooting Guards to knock down shots!! In Game-1, you both let your team down, but you have the chance to redeem yourselves. Make us proud.
Jmac and Hans:
- To Hans: I was so proud to see you come back in the game and knock down shots like that blow to the head never phased you. Your coach said post-season teams, no matter who we faced, didn't want to face you and you proved him right! Now, get out there and keep doing what you do. Only, don't forget when they load up on you, put the ball on the floor and drive it HARD to the rack! Make them remember the name TYLER HANSBOROUGH!!!
- To Jmac: Dude!! You have one of THE LOOOONGEST first strides I've ever seen of a Power Forward and you've got great handles (ball control). Why not use that to your advantage? I'd give you the same advice as Hansborough above - DON'T BE AFRAID TO TAKE THE BALL TO THE HOOP!!! It's obvious you don't want to shot the ball. That's exactly what the Bulls are hoping for. If you're worried about your jump shot not falling, DRIVE THE LANES! You're quicker than Boozer, Deng and Thomas. Use your quickness to your advantage.
Hibbert: You gave the Bulls' some trouble, but you can bet they'll be ready for you this time. Take a lesson from Jeff Foster. MAKE THEM REMEMBER YOU AS A FORCE TO RECKON WITH IN THE PAINT, BIG FELLA! (Not that Jeff had a spectacular game, mind you, but his "hit" on Rose atleast let it be known he'd have to work hard to get his points in the paint.) Remember what Bill Walton taught you: YOU MUST OWN THE PAINT!!! Own it, Big Roy Hibbert. Posses it!
Everybody else: Just try and duplicate what you did in Game-1 and you can win this game. The Bulls won on the back of Derrick Rose. Defend just as well in Game 2 as you did in Game 1 and get a few more stops, and this series is tied.
You have this fan's support.