It’s funny how quickly we forget about the Chicago Bulls’ MVP. No, not Derrick Rose, but Tom Thibodeau. Shortly after Brooklyn’s 106-89 thrashing of the Bulls in Game One, many were writing off the Bulls for dead. Mind you, these were the same pundits that listed Thibodeau as one of the leading candidates for Coach of the Year. Did you really think the mastermind behind the league’s 3rd ranked defense wasn’t bringing the defensive heat in Game Two?
Chicago pulled out a 90-82 road victory by crashing the boards (out-rebounding Brooklyn 44-39), owning the paint (outscoring Brooklyn 42-30), and playing outstanding defense (limited Brooklyn to 35% shooting). In other words, every area that Brooklyn dominated on Saturday. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer each had double-doubles, while the Bulls collectively shot 48%.
It’s not so much a specific point as it is an entire quarter! The Bulls made their halftime adjustments and came out smoking defensively, limiting Brooklyn to only 11 points. In fact, the ageless Nazr Mohammed had as many made field goals in the third quarter (2), as the entire Brooklyn squad.
MVP & LVP
Kirk Hinrich was a game-high +10 and also shut down Deron Williams, who shot a putrid 1 of 9 from the field. For both players, it was the exact opposite from Game One, where Hinrich had the worst +/- rating and Williams had the best.
Looking Ahead to Game 3
The Nets are not winning any games in Chicago if Williams and Joe Johnson shoot 7-27 combined, for only 25 points. With Noah limited, the Nets continue to get solid contributions from Brook Lopez. But he’s not winning this game on his own. Look out for Brooklyn’s guards to pick up the slack to try and wrestle back home-court advantage. For Chicago, they’re a Top 10 team when it comes to FT%. However, they shot 58% in Game One and 68% in Game Two. Missed free throws may come back to haunt them.
Chicago is playing playoff D. Can they keep it up? #NBAPlayoffs
— nick vanexel (@vanexel31) April 23, 2013
Thibs has to be one of the best coaches in the league for adapting and fixing things on the fly.
— Bernie Lee (@bleebasket) April 23, 2013
Difference in the game was the Nets offense in the paintGame 1- 56 pts, 74% shootingGame 2- 30 pts42% shooting
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 23, 2013