Atlanta Hawks: Bulls 99, Hawks 82
When D-Rose is going like this–making 3-pointers, baking in scores form impossible angles, etc.–not sure what else you can do to him except maybe put him on his butt a few times. “He hit one floater when I thought I got a piece of it,” Teague said. “I knew tonight was his night.”
- But you don’t even have to look at Rose’s amazing performance to find fault with the Hawks.
- Rose didn’t have anything to do with Noah and Taj Gibson pushing around Atlanta’s bigs. He wasn’t even on the court for the bulk of Chicago’s decisive run in the second quarter (and neither were the other starters). Rose did not limit Marvin to one rebound in 23 minutes, induce Smoove into jacking up Js as the Hawks tried to mount a comeback or make Al passive with the ball.
- There were a few signs of fissures among the Hawks afterwards. Everyone seemed to have a different idea of what they need to do for Game 4.
- J.J. didn’t like the offensive approach: “It just seemed as if a lot of times we just ran a lot of pick-and-rolls and I was just kind of buried in the corner. I just thought we played into their hands. We didn’t do anything, I thought, to get our scorers the basketball to make plays. They come with the double team and they make us give it up. We can’t win like that. If you look at Game 1 it was nothing like that. Obviously they made adjustments but at the same time we have to stick with what got us here.”
- So what should the Hawks do? “Honestly, I just got to force the issue,” Joe said. “In Game 4, I am definitely going to do that. I am not going to succumb to the double team and give it up every time because that’s what they want. We are playing right into their hands. I blame myself for that.”
- From my perspective watching the game live, it seemed like J.J. had his chances to make something happen but fell back into Iso-Joe dribbling. When Joe starts talking about forcing the issue, the Hawks are in trouble.
- Al: “We had too much one-on-one. When you do that, this team is too good defensively. We just need to do a better job moving the ball and running the offense the right way. If one guy is not running the offense right, it’s not going to work for others. So I think that’s our biggest problem right now on the offensive end.”
- Al is guilty of it, too. He’s holding the ball trying to figure out his moves when his best move might be catching it and quickly driving to the basket or, if that’s not there, pass the ball. When Al takes his time going inside it’s easy for the Bulls to both help against him and keep their own men within closing distance.
- The Bulls are taking away the pick-and-pop, too. “That’s all we’ve been doing and they’ve been doing a great job at contesting everything,” Al said. “I got a couple touches in the post but I think we can do more of that. Because I feel playing inside out would work to our advantage. I hope that’s something coach looks into.”
- I’m not sure if Al can get anything in the post. His college buddy is making it tough in there along with the rest of Chicago’s aggressive bigs and Al’s post moves are still limited.
- Al needs to do something of the Hawks hope to rally in this series. “It’s going to be tough for us to win without him,” Joe said. “We’ve just got to get him back on track.”
- Jamal slipped free for an open J early and then never saw much space again. “Whenever I’m at the top of the key, I see a second defender,” he said. “They’re coming until I pass the ball. They’re kind of taking it out of my hands. That’s fine. I just want to make sure that we make them pay because we have an advantage
somewhere out there with two guys on me. if we don’t make them pay, then they’re going to continue to do it.”
- Chicago’s superior depth was glaring in this game. Their sixth through 10th guys are all legit NBA rotation players.
- Jamal suggested the Hawks didn’t like it when L.D. called timeout after D-Rose ran a one-man fastbreak through their defense (after J.J. missed an iso fadeaway). “I think everybody was surprised by that,” Jamal said. “Whenever you have to call a timeout less than a minute into the game, it’s kind of disheartening. But coach felt like he had to do it.”
- Yes, he did. “When I don’t see the effort on getting back in transition and allowing them to get to the basket without a contest, I knew we were not committed like we were in Games 1 and 2,” Drew said. “To be perfectly honest, that was really discouraging to have to call a timeout that early.”
- The Bulls hammered the Hawks on the boards again. They have more good rebounders, yes, but they also are just hungrier and more physical when it comes to loose balls.
- “We didn’t come out with any physicality,” L.D. said. “They completely beat us up, particularly in the paint.”
- And then there’s the D-Rose problem. Atlanta’s screen-roll defense was powerless against his dynamic drives to the basket and the inevitable result of Atlanta’s bigs helping were putbacks and drive-and-dishes.
- “We were doing the same [coverages] tonight,” Al said. “I think they made adjustments as a team and they figured out how to attack it. They totally exploited it. We now have to make adjustments and change it up. It’s not working like it did the first two games.”
- “When he gets it going, we have to figure out a way to get the ball out of his hands and make someone else beat us,” Josh said.
- D-Rose hasn’t been getting to the line but maybe it’s worth it to put him there if it means he has to take some hard falls. “You don’t want to see anybody hurt but this is a physical game,” Jamal said. “We have to figure out what we want to do with him. We can’t give him both ways. You can’t give him threes and the outside jumper and the layups as well.”
- Some positives: Teague played his third straight superlative game. Josh had 13 rebounds and eventually stopped jacking Js and went hard to the hole. Al eventually got ticked off, too, and was more aggressive.
- That about covers it.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat