This is what happens when right Bulls meet wrong Hawks

Chicago's Derrick Rose went around, over and through three Hawks players on the way to 21 first-half points. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Chicago's Derrick Rose went around, over and through three Hawks on the way to his 44 points. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

(Updated: 10:40 p.m.)

Sensing problems early, Hawks coach Larry Drew called his first timeout a mere 49 seconds into the game. Had there been a defibrillator in the huddle, it might have made a difference.

Those Hawks who turned home court into an advantage in the Orlando series? They didn’t show up Friday night. There’s a temptation to wonder if they even made it through the doors at Philips Arena, where there were increased security measures, but that would suggest the home team represented some kind of threat.

The Chicago Bulls were considered the better team before this playoff series. They finally looked like it. They led from 4-0 (timeout!) on. They led by 19 in the second quarter, 13 at halftime and 17 after three. It was never really competitive.

The final score was Bulls 99, Hawks 82, and the only reason it wasn’t worse was that Chicago had to save its legs for at least two more games. Derrick Rose finished with 44 points, at least before everybody stopped counting.

It was only one loss and it’s only a 2-1 series deficit. Somehow, it feels more lopsided.

“They came ready to play, they played harder than we did, and that’s disheartening,” Jamal Crawford said.

Thousands of Bulls fans in attendance chanted, “MVP, MVP,” whenever Rose scored. Welcome home.

It has been a different Chicago team defensively in the last two games. Joe Johnson’s point totals have dropped from 34 to 16 to 10. Crawford’s, from 22 to 11 to 7. Whatever Drew attempted to change up from the Game 2 loss in Chicago didn’t work because Crawford said he was facing numerous double teams and Johnson complained about being “buried in the corner” on picks-and-rolls.

Johnson also said he may have to start “forcing” the issue.

“Coach wants me to give up the ball at times but I can’t give it up every time,” Johnson said. “That’s what they want. It plays into their hands.”

After eliminating Orlando and stunning Chicago in the series opener, there is trouble in paradise. But this might be the reality.

Through two games, it was impossible to tell which team went 62-20 (the Bulls had the best record in the league) and which one went 44-38. Crawford even weighed in on this after Chicago’s Game 2 win at the United Center. He noted that given how desperate the Bulls were to win and had the home crowd and a Rose MVP celebration working in their favor, “If that’s their best shot, we’re in good shape.”

Turns out, that wasn’t their best shot. This was. In the second quarter, Chicago hit 10 of its first 13 shots and its lead ballooned to 19 points (54-35). Rose hit seven of his first nine shots. He already had 21 at the break, which nearly equaled his game totals in the first two meetings (24 and 25, respectively). But it wasn’t just Rose. The Hawks couldn’t defend anybody, not even Taj Gibson (13) or Kyle Korver (11).

Further, they were outworked on the boards. Chicago 18 offensive rebounds and a 47-34 advantage overall, which is a bad combination when you’re trying to reaffirm the home court advantage you established in the Orlando series (the Hawks winning all three home games in the first round).

The Bulls were convinced before the game they had figured a few things out about the Hawks’ defense and how to attack it.  “I think we’ll have a little bit of success on the pick and roll,” he said before the game. They did.

It was easy to feel sorry for Jeff Teague, who was trying to stop him. Here’s a second-year guard whose play in this series for the injured Kirk Hinrich has shown he probably should have been playing more minutes this season, back when Mike Bibby was dragging the Hawks down. “I’m probably the only one on the team who’s injury free and fresh because I didn’t have as long of a season as everybody else,” he cracked before the game.

In Game 3, he exuded confidence on offense and scored 11 of the Hawks’ first 16 points and finished with 21 points. But Rose torched him at the other end.

Crawford called it “disheartening.” Al Horford called it “discouraging.” Some merely viewed it as reality arriving. We’ll know soon enough.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

165 comments Add your comment

McGarrett

May 6th, 2011
9:51 pm

booooooooooo

HawksFanNorcross

May 6th, 2011
9:51 pm

HawksFanNorcross

May 6th, 2011
9:52 pm

papason

May 6th, 2011
9:53 pm

Lets go Hawks lol

chewyandrw

May 6th, 2011
9:55 pm

It looked like they are content with just making playoffs. Its sad. They play as if they have already accomplished something. Why would the Atlanta fans show up to watch this? Prob why you could easily hear “M-V-P” chants on TV. Sad sad sad.

gcs

May 6th, 2011
9:56 pm

It’s over. Two more games left in the season.

.

gcs

May 6th, 2011
9:57 pm

I am glad I watched the Braves game instead. Lowe & others pitched a 2-hitter. ATL 5 PHI 0

.

Bo

May 6th, 2011
9:58 pm

Big Wally

May 6th, 2011
9:58 pm

And now your Atlanta Hawks….Joe “big game” Johnson, Al “I was better than Noah – n college” Horford, Josh “I’m open for a 3″ Smith, Jamal “do we have a big man on this team?” Crawford, and Jeff “I’m not so bad afterall” Teague.

chewyandrw

May 6th, 2011
9:58 pm

Whats worse is, they wont be able to dump off J-Smith bc who would want him? An uber talented player with an attitude, is lazy, and wants to play like Dirk. Except Dirk can shoot from beyond 7 feet from the basket. Boozer and Noah just dominated the paint today.

Bo

May 6th, 2011
9:59 pm

the coaches wasted Teague for 2 years

tyler

May 6th, 2011
9:59 pm

Boooo is right…awful performance. I honestly thought these guys would play with some heart and pride. Played like they were just happy to be at home. I’m sure most are about town as we speak. This team is gutless……..

Reid Adair

May 6th, 2011
10:00 pm

Indeed. And to think one of the Hawks said after Game Two, “If this is the best they’ve got, we’re ready.” Well, guess what? Game Two wasn’t their best – especially not for Derrick Rose.

GSUEagle

May 6th, 2011
10:00 pm

They don’t play like they care. I’m done with them. Take another 20′ jumper Josh!!

Let’s go Braves!!

Mel in Midtown

May 6th, 2011
10:00 pm

The chemistry, and probably the coaching, of this team is toxic. Maybe it is time to shake it up – send Josh Smith and his immature attitude and selfishness packing. LD is a nice guy, but he can’t motivate these guys. I hate to say this, but maybe Mike Woodson was better than I thought he was!

Bo

May 6th, 2011
10:00 pm

something is wrong with Josh Smith for real . But its Al Horford who is giving us nothing

Bo

May 6th, 2011
10:01 pm

TheAntiMe

May 6th, 2011
10:01 pm

The defining ugly moment of this game for me was on the possession just before a TV time out when the Hawks had three players in position to grab the defensive rebound but instead the one Bulls player in position came away with the offensive rebound because he actually gave a crap.

With the way the Hawks played defense, Charlie Rose could have easily lit the Hawks up for 44 points tonight. Different post-season, same old El-Foldo Hawks.

papason

May 6th, 2011
10:01 pm

No effort, when u want to rally for an atl they let u down everytime… Phillips Arena was chanting mvp for rose…thats hould never happen but too many da*n transplants are here and we let that fly….. Move back to your city if its so cool

[...] and Bulls square off in pivotal Game 3Los Angeles TimesCt Post -CSNChicago.com -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 433 news [...]

moorman

May 6th, 2011
10:04 pm

IM DONE, A CAPOOT, a rebedurche, el finish, a wrap, for ALL ATLANTA TEAMS. forty something years, and these teams are all BUTT. cant take it no more, gonna set myself free from these scrubs and start rooting for winners…………..

Gamer

May 6th, 2011
10:05 pm

JEFF TEAGUE GIVE SOLID PERFORMANCE IN ALL THREE GAMES…..WHERE IS THE OTHER HAWK PLAYERS WHEN IT MATTERS?

FORGET ABOUT GAME 3, IT’S OVER…..MOVE ONTO GAME 4..

GAME FOUR AT PHILLIPS ARENA HAWK-NEST…..THE HAWKS NEED TO WIN GAME 4….

NO WAY D. ROSE CAN SHOOT OVER 50% FIELD GOALS, AGAIN…..NOT IN GAME 4……

Rick Sund

May 6th, 2011
10:05 pm

Remember Hawks Fans every series just like every season has it’s UPS and DOWNS. This team has showed a great deal of UPSIDE. Joe had a tough night, but every SUPERSTAR has tough nights. Josh once again played an INTELLIGENT game. Josh is turning into a STUDENT OF THE GAME. Marvin showed great POTENTIAL tonight. Horford played a PHYSICAL GAME as well especially when it comes to his REBOUNDING. This series is FAR from over and tonight was just ONE GAME. But we have met our goal for this season which is IMPROVEMENT. I don’t see why you fans would COMPLAIN. Our goal this year was to win ONE game in the SECOND ROUND and we accomplished it. Remember people Rome wasn’t BUILT in a day. Maybe you fans EXPECT too much. We are a YOUNG team and is still LEARNING HOW TO WIN. Hope to see you this sunday for game four when we show MORE INTENSITY. Plus it’s a CHIK FILA FAMILY NIGHT.

mike woodson

May 6th, 2011
10:05 pm

I tried to tell them this team was uncoachable

Pape Sy for MVP

May 6th, 2011
10:06 pm

What the $$3$ is wrong with our team?? How are you not motivated to play a round 2 home game?? Also, our offense blows. Horford can’t do sh@t if all he gets is the ball at the top of the key, reverse it, set an on-ball, and then pop back. Post the man up! Get him the ball. As for Josh, I look at him like an alcoholic in a liquor store…dude can’t resist! You stand him motionless on the wing in what I guess is our offense and he just stands there. Joe or Jamal dribble out the clock and kick it out to…you guessed it, Josh. So of course he’s gonna shoot. If you don’t want him shooting, quit sticking his @ss on the wing for entire sets.

josh smith

May 6th, 2011
10:07 pm

Im telling you I can make that shot

Rick Sund

May 6th, 2011
10:08 pm

Remember Hawks Fans every series just like every season has it’s UPS and DOWNS. This team has showed a great deal of UPSIDE. Joe had a tough night, but every SUPERSTAR has tough nights. Josh once again played an INTELLIGENT game. Josh is turning into a STUDENT OF THE GAME. Marvin showed great POTENTIAL tonight. Horford played a PHYSICAL GAME as well especially when it comes to his REBOUNDING. This series is FAR from over and tonight was just ONE GAME. But we have met our goal for this season which is IMPROVEMENT. I don’t see why you fans would COMPLAIN. Our goal this year was to win ONE game in the SECOND ROUND and we accomplished it. Remember people Rome wasn’t BUILT in a day. Maybe you fans EXPECT too much. We are a YOUNG team and is still LEARNING HOW TO WIN. Hope to see you this sunday for game four when we show MORE INTENSITY. Plus it’s a CHIK FILA FAMILY NIGHT.

SABER

May 6th, 2011
10:08 pm

Missed the game. Smoove any better?

Rick Sund

May 6th, 2011
10:09 pm

Yes you can make that shot Josh because you have UPSIDE.

JSS

May 6th, 2011
10:09 pm

I’m not going to get on this dump on Josh Smith bandwagon. The Hawks wagon train have enough oxen teams off in a deep rut to single out Smith…

While Teague and Rose were engaged in a 1st recreation of Earl Monroe vs Gail Goodrich; Joe and Al Hoford joined the Marvin Williams disappearing society… Where’s Demi Moore and “Buddy” Swayze and that damn pottery wheel when they are needed?

KSUAlum

May 6th, 2011
10:10 pm

As expected, we’ll fold in the second round. AGAIN. If they don’t trade Smith and Marvin to move up to a top-ten pick in the draft, then Rick Sund should be run out of town on a rail.

jamal crawford

May 6th, 2011
10:10 pm

Am I suppose to pass the ball

moorman

May 6th, 2011
10:10 pm

40 SOMETHING YEARS, im done with all atlanta teams, gonna start rooting for winners….

TD

May 6th, 2011
10:13 pm

Go Braves!! Shut out the phils. WHo cares about the thug league

Mr. Belkin

May 6th, 2011
10:14 pm

I you so. Joe Johnson is inconsisitent

JSS

May 6th, 2011
10:14 pm

@ Jeff Schultz…
I dare you to post my “Wizard of Oz” picture? ;-)

papason

May 6th, 2011
10:15 pm

Tell me the best player on our team is the guy that didnt play all season… but to the hawks credit is not the players fault its the organization fault… Bulls coach is a real coach he adjusted ..he came from a championship team…but no we upgraded the assistant from a losing coach in woodson…Smith decison making,teague not playing , allowing horford to shoot jumpers all day long to the pont were he forgot to how to play the post… coaching and organization

TheAntiMe

May 6th, 2011
10:15 pm

I have a feeling that the Atlanta Dream would have kicked those wussy Hawks tails tonight with no problem, whatsoever. Totally disenfranchising, but unfortunately, not at all out of character for this Atlanta Hawks team.

And yes, I do realize that there is no way that myself, or anyone else should ever use the words “character” and “Atlanta Hawks” in the same sentence. That is the single biggest oxymoron in the entire English language, by far.

Casey

May 6th, 2011
10:17 pm

@HawksFanNorcross FIRST MORON!!! YAY!!!

Angie O'Plasty

May 6th, 2011
10:17 pm

Same ol Atlanta teams…201l

Back to the same ol choker losers

May 6th, 2011
10:17 pm

I watched about 10 minutes of this joke of a team. Nice defence. Then switched over and watched D lowe a week after getting buzzzzed throw 6 no hit innings. Now that is something to watch. Not these hooligans run around like cretins. Go braves. Hawks? I could care less what you do and I certainly wouldn’t spend a dime to watch your crap team play. Enjoy another beatdown on Mother’s day. Too bad most of you have no clue who yo daddy is. LMAO!!!

no respect

May 6th, 2011
10:18 pm

AND this is why Atlanta teams get zero respect nationally. The Hawks didn’t just destroy the credibility they gained from the Orlando series and game 1 in Chicago, they took a blowtorch to it and pi$$d on the ashes. Falcons, same thing in this years playoffs. Braves, see 1996-2005. Thrashers (who?), see New York Rangers. Been 20 years now since Atlanta had a team that truly captured the city and the nation’s attention.

Back to the same ol choker losers

May 6th, 2011
10:18 pm

defense…puppy in my lap while typing.

bo

May 6th, 2011
10:19 pm

The reality is we must start over. Our players are losing trade value.

Mike

May 6th, 2011
10:19 pm

Bad Coaching, Bad Players, Bad Owners = Atlanta Hawks.

What a disaster.

Rod

May 6th, 2011
10:23 pm

This team is so pathetic. The first mistake was signing Joe Johnson. Second, this young guys do not know anything about defense. Why are they not pressuring Rose when he’s bringing the ball up the court. Why are they going under these screen. This team is terrible, and this league is terrible. Please bring back Michael, Magic, and Bird. These guys need to look at the older guys and learn how to play this simple game. Bad coaching, bad team. I can’t believe one player is beating a whole player. Make him go to left. Knock him down when comes down the lane. Somebody get in front of him when he’s coming down the lane and take a offensive foul. To play like this at home, is absolutely terrible. Who’s the leader on this team? We all know it’s not Joe Johnson. Tell these guys stop playing for money, and learn the game of basketball. PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!

scout

May 6th, 2011
10:23 pm

As a matter of fact they all know their daddys. Sorry not this time. Shame on you ” Back to the same ole choke losers”. You have other issues

bo

May 6th, 2011
10:26 pm

terrible coaching

TheAntiMe

May 6th, 2011
10:26 pm

I’m proud to be an American, but not so proud to be a Hawks fan right about now.

bo

May 6th, 2011
10:28 pm