One thing I read repeatedly here was posters saying we had proven the Bulls weren't title contenders and that they are going to get destroyed by Boston or Miami. People were all saying this in the heat of battle, as a sort of trash talk towards the Bulls, but really it doesn't make any sense as a Pacers fan. Why would you want to say that the Bulls are almost losing to us because they are no good and not that we are good? I think the Bulls are still the favorites in the East and I hope they win it all. Isn't it better for the Pacers to have battled with the team that won it all than a team that fell apart but still managed to beat us in 5? Don't you think it would give our guys confidence and drive to work hard to come back and do better next year realizing they went toe to toe with the eventual champ in the playoffs?
I credit Vogel for minimizing Derrick Rose in games 2-4, he sacrificed the matchups he was using in those games to try and get more scoring in game 5, which backfired, but really it was just Thibs adjusting and the Bulls having the better team. The Bulls space the floor very well, but rely on Rose's penetration to create the offense off of that spacing most of the time, because on most defenses he can at will. However in this series we took that away from him by double teaming far from the basket, rotating well, and putting PG on him. Boston and Miami will not give him that problem, neither of them have a long guy like Paul and athletic 4s like Josh and Tyler who can get to him, force the ball out of his hands and get back to the paint. The Pacers tested the Bulls more than any other East contender has been/is being tested and it will show in future rounds.
As Pacers fans hoping for higher attendance, more optimism in the city, nationally televised games, and a team committed to working and winning, we should all be hoping the Bulls run over all competition on the way to a title.