INDIANAPOLIS — The Bulls haven’t made it easy, but nevertheless they are a mere game away from sweeping the Indiana Pacers out of the first round.
The Bulls square off against the Pacers at 1:30 Chicago time today and things are looking up, which is a lot considering what has transpired the previous three games. The Bulls have been playing sloppy basketball for three quarters, coming through only in the last three minutes of the game.
They have amassed 53 turnovers in the first 3 games, a stat that is one of many that have resulted in close games and in making the Pacers look a lot better than they are.
But the Bulls field general, Derrick Rose sees the Bulls struggles as positives rather than glaring negatives.
“We’re pretty good,” he said. “We’ve been winning games and we didn’t even play our best basketball yet. We’ve been finding ways to win. I think these games are going to help us in the long run.”
Rose was held under 30 pointsfpr the first time all series in Game 3 due to a heavy physical trapping attack by the Pacers Paul George and Dahanty Jones. Granted the Pacers have looked good largely off of Chicago error, they have to be given credit for their semi-containment of Rose in Game 3.
Look for that again in Game 4.
But the final nail is lined up and the Bulls know just how to pound it in, even as much as the Pacers will try to avoid it. If they take Rose partially out of the game, the Bulls will feature Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and the Bench Mob in order to finish off Indiana.
Joakim Noah will perhaps be relied on the most to get his point and rebound totals in double digits again. He will be looked to as the emotional leader in Game 4 as the Pacers will be simply outmanned on the court and in terms of swagger.
Proof the Pacers are running out of answers is evident in the elbow thrown to Derrick Rose courtesy of Jeff Foster. The two had to be separated after the foul which Pacers coach Frank Vogel called simply a “hard foul”. Noah interpreted the incident and the increased physical play of Indiana as a desperate last cry.
“There’s a reason they’re playing like that,” he said. “They’ve got to do something.”
Noah also stated he doesn’t want that to change. That’s just the way Chicago likes to play, don’t dumb it down just bring it hard.
The Bulls will be looking to bring it hard into the second round in the form of a sweep in Indiana and some extra rest before getting Atlanta or Orlando.
The Bulls face-off against the Pacers in Game 4 at 1:30 ET on TNT