CHICAGO — The Bulls are a mere game away from eeking out a series sweep of the Pacers. Chicago has struggled in the first two games and have been getting better as the games go by.
Game 3 was a bit better for Chicago and they avoided the popular opinion that they would lose on the road in Indianapolis. Despite how convincing or non-convincing the game was, the Bulls nonetheless own a 3-0 series lead and are now looking like they will fulfill the original prophecy: a series sweep.
There were issues in the game however, it wasn’t a flawless outing by any means for the Bulls. Carlos Boozer, for instance, repeated his disappearing act he displayed in Game 1, scoring just 4 points during his 32 minutes on the floor. He did rack up 11 rebounds but imagine how the results of the game would look at Boozer scored his usual 15-20 points. Boozer an sleep tonight knowing that his 4 points actually made up the difference so his production is justified from that standpoint only.
It would have been the blowout we were expecting from the get-go.
It’s little things like these that are holding Chicago back from exploding the Pacers, the eighth seed in the East. Perhaps they are simply saving it for the next round.
Another stat on the night is in the turnovers line. The Bulls had 16 turnovers, 6 less than Game 2 and 1 less than Game 1. In contrast, the Pacers have had 41 total turnovers in the series.
This is a large reason as to why the Bulls aren’t running away with the series. They simply cannot hang onto the basketball. Thankfully it hasn’t cost them the game yet but when it does, few will be surprised. Indiana had just 11 turnovers and were also able to match the Bulls in terms of rebounds.
The game changer was again Derrick Rose. Rose posted under 30 points for the first time this series, but his 24 were still worth just as much. Rose had just one FG the entire second half, but that shot turned out to be the game winner.
Although the Bulls played Game three almost to a T, with the defense playing lock down and tightening the grip on the Chicago Chokehold, there is hope within the locker room that things will go more smoothly in the future.
“The bottom line is we’re up 3-0,” Chicago forward Carlos Boozer said. “We’re getting better. Our defense was much better than it was the first two games of the series, and we’ve got to be ready for Game 4.”
The Bulls face off in the potentially series clinching game in Indianapolis Saturday.