Live from Round 2, Game 2: Will the Hawks go bullistic again?

Hawks fans, rejoice! Josh Smith was out early working on post moves! (Photo by M. Bradley)

Hawks fans, rejoice! Josh Smith was out early working on post moves! (Photo by M. Bradley)

Chicago — Tricky game upcoming. The Hawks are feeling great about themselves after winning Game 1, but sometimes when the Hawks are feeling great they forget to play. (See Game 5 of Round 1.)

The Bulls are miffed. After this morning’s shootaround at their practice facility, coach Tom Thibodeau was still peeved. “They beat us to loose balls,” he said. “They beat us to second shots.”

Then he said: “Give them credit — they’re playing at a high level.”

Only it didn’t sound as if Thibodeau was in a credit-giving mood. He thought his team’s D — and he’s a defensive man — was wretched. Someone asked if the Bulls would seek to applay more pressure on the fill-in guard Jeff Teague.

Thibodeau: “Some would be good.”

Some injury updates: Derrick Rose looked fine to me this morning. And the Bulls insist Carlos Boozer’s tender tootsie is coming around nicely. So they should have no excuses if they lose again. (Not that they made any after Game 1. They were too busy being angry.)

The Hawks, to invoke the cliche, are playing with house money tonight. If the Bulls fall again, the house they spent all season building would be in danger of foreclosure. This is a big game for the Hawks, but it’s beyond big for the home side. It’s only Game 2, but the Bulls are already in stand-and-deliver mode.

And with that, the floor is again open for questions, observations and suggestions as to how Larry Drew can persuade Josh Smith to eschew the jump shot. (Although, to be precise, he made a big one in the fourth quarter of Game 1.) I’ll be here all game, with occasional duck-outs to write a print column on yet another rough deadline. But I’m not complaining. This is the life I’ve chosen.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about the Hawks. You go first.

By Mark Bradley

639 comments Add your comment

J.J.M.

May 4th, 2011
6:22 pm

J.J.M.

May 4th, 2011
6:23 pm

people still doubting us. LETS GO HAWKS!

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2011
6:23 pm

J.J.M. First once more. Kudos again.

atlienforlife

May 4th, 2011
6:28 pm

I don’t think there anyway joe johnson goes off again like he did, as history shows. I think if the hawks are going to win, Al hordford has to have a good game, and josh smith must be a factor defensively. I just hope teague has another effective game.

Luke Cage

May 4th, 2011
6:28 pm

Hopefully no Mark Bradley Jinx tonight

leo

May 4th, 2011
6:29 pm

Let’s go Hawks! We really need this win.

Luke Cage

May 4th, 2011
6:31 pm

Mark, don’t curse the game for us tonight

Luke Cage

May 4th, 2011
6:33 pm

Testing Testing Testing, One, Two, Three???

Luke Cage

May 4th, 2011
6:33 pm

hmm, interesting

Steve

May 4th, 2011
6:36 pm

I hope Chicago doesn’t hit the “Bulls”eye tonight would be awesome to be up 2-0

Rob

May 4th, 2011
6:41 pm

I think it all starts with defense tonight for the Hawks. No one mentioned the fact that the Hawks were off and running alot more in transition and even if they did not get a good shot they pushed the ball. Defense will be huge tonight as well as ball movement on O.

Da bulls

May 4th, 2011
6:41 pm

Gonna slam da hawks tonight

Roger

May 4th, 2011
6:43 pm

Mark your home insurance is about to go up if it hasn’t already. Just saw on the news they are raising rates 20-25% across N Ga from ” bad weather”.

Jagstang76

May 4th, 2011
6:44 pm

I think JJ has something to prove these playoffs. And he would be right. But that aside, I think Smoove needs to take a look at how he can best help this team win. He can get himself higher percentage shots by working Boozer. He’s quicker and more athletic, and he should be able to go around him and either score at the rim, get fouled and go to the line, or dish it off to the open man. That and just focus on working on the defensive end where he can have the most impact on the game.

michael

May 4th, 2011
6:44 pm

Josh should only be concerned with rebounding, blocking shots, and dunking. The Bulls love it whenever he attempts an open jump shot. LD has to have the guts to tell Josh his role.

Ron in Vegas

May 4th, 2011
6:44 pm

Hoping to see the Hawks play well tonight and not settle for a 1-1 tie coming back to the Atl. That being said, we need to have Josh hang out down near the lane as opposed to near the 3 point line! Any hopes of that message being sent to Josh by the coaching staff Mark? And if so, any chance that he will obey?

Roger

May 4th, 2011
6:44 pm

Braves about to be over .500 since 3-2

Rob

May 4th, 2011
6:45 pm

My comments keep getting eaten

D A DoubleU G

May 4th, 2011
6:46 pm

I certainly want the Hawks to win, though I am in no may a NBA fan or follower.

But don’t the Hawks usually lay an egg (bwa ha ha) after a big win like 2 nights ago??

I predict Hawks lose by 23 or more. NO GO PROVE ME WRONG!!!!

Ron in Vegas

May 4th, 2011
6:46 pm

As do mine Rob.

D A DoubleU G

May 4th, 2011
6:46 pm

Ehsan

May 4th, 2011
6:47 pm

I’d rather have Jon Koncak than Josh Smith.

Ron in Vegas

May 4th, 2011
6:47 pm

Hoping to see the Hawks win and not be satisfied with coming home tied at one for the series. Best way to do that is to have Josh hang out in and close to the lane as opposed to around and behind the three point line. Any chance that message can be sent by the coaching staff Mark?? And if so, any chance that he will obey??

BigTimeTechFan

May 4th, 2011
6:48 pm

Josh just it an outside shot in warmups, things are looking good

J.J.M.

May 4th, 2011
6:49 pm

why on ESPN bottom line does it say “DRose and Bulls try to even series vs. Hawks” then says “Mavs look to go up 2-0 on Lakers”

BigTimeTechFan

May 4th, 2011
6:49 pm

Send this to Joe Johnson if you can:
Great game Monday, please do it again

BigTimeTechFan

May 4th, 2011
6:51 pm

ZaZa just won best 9th man of year award. kudos

blazerdawg

May 4th, 2011
6:53 pm

Eshan – are you Pete Babcock? I am hoping JS has a great game and that the Hawks run out of the halfcourt a little more tonight – not typical playoff bball.

J Man

May 4th, 2011
6:53 pm

Hawks need to continue to protect the paint. Finally in the playoffs, they get after guards that go in there. Noah’s man should let him go and camp in the paint. Rose will then continue to struggle, Hawks win.

MitchC

May 4th, 2011
6:53 pm

Mark, I think the fans in the poll are a little.. shall we say.., overconfident. 77% think we are going to win Game 2? Er..

I’m sorry. I want to believe the Hawks will win tonight, but I’m having a hard time believing that the Bulls wont hit tonight with everything they’ve got, combined with a likely racous crowd.

I’ll be guilty of doing the channel surf thing again. I’m watching the Braves now, and liking their first game win. Hopefully the Braves and Hawks can come away with a combined total of three wins tonight.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong about my prediction about the Hawks tonight.

Spete birddawg

May 4th, 2011
6:55 pm

Let’s get a very nice whooping for the Bulls, GO HAWKS, also ZaZa head butt Noah a few times thanks

joey1

May 4th, 2011
6:56 pm

hawks win 88-84 today joe johnson 30 points

Luke Cage

May 4th, 2011
6:57 pm

Certain comments aren’t being posted for some reason

Steve

May 4th, 2011
6:57 pm

No prediction on tonight Mark? I just don’t see it happening. Seems like one of those games where the Hawks lose by 20. However, I hope I am mistaken!

GT Trumpet

May 4th, 2011
6:58 pm

As long as Smith limits the bad possessions and JJ can make 75% what he did in game 1 we should be good.

jon

May 4th, 2011
6:58 pm

Continue to play good defense… goodthings will happen!

LittleTimeTechFan

May 4th, 2011
7:00 pm

I am surprised you Techies are in front of the computer, alone again, on Star Wars Day.

May the 4th be with you….. nerds.

jackie

May 4th, 2011
7:01 pm

Let rose drive the paint and test that ankle. Sprained once, twice, it is more apt to again plus he’ll run into the Zaza wall

The Game Has Changed

May 4th, 2011
7:02 pm

I think Jamal and Joe need to run the pick and roll. Who can check them?

joey1

May 4th, 2011
7:03 pm

BYRDDAWG

May 4th, 2011
7:04 pm

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

The Game Has Changed

May 4th, 2011
7:05 pm

@Steve- Yes you will be wrong again. Just like you were last round.

The Game Has Changed

May 4th, 2011
7:07 pm

@Mark Bradley-If or should I say when the Hawks reach the finals, does he deserve a raise? Considering he is one of the lowest paid coaches.

Bull-ied no More

May 4th, 2011
7:08 pm

If Rose starts penetrating and scoring at will, Could L.D. go completely unconventional and go with a line-up matching the following: Smoove-Rose, JJ-Bogans, Marvin-Deng, Horford-Boozer, and Zaza-Noah. Smoove would make Rose’s far more difficult, and all of the other positions seem to be defensive advantages at each position.

Josh Smith

May 4th, 2011
7:08 pm

Ayy Yo fellas,

I be hittin dem threes like aint nobody gon stop em. Yall wack man I be da best from da tree point line and I ain gon neva stop hittem dem threes.

Ya boy J Smoove

Bill Stanfill

May 4th, 2011
7:09 pm

Looking at the Chicago Tribune’s website–

Bulls’ fans still have no respect for the Hawks–Most were saying that the Bulls would go on to win the series in 5 games or 6 . . . Bulls lost game 1 because they shot so poorly and the Hawks shot so well . . . very unlikely to happen again. . . .

Hawks need to play hard, hustling basketball tonight. A win would send the Bulls and their fans into complete shock.

The Game Has Changed

May 4th, 2011
7:11 pm

@JJM-Monday morning on ESPN they said the Bulls will have a match up problem with either the Celtics or the Heat. Wow. They have already advanced the Bulls.

Rob

May 4th, 2011
7:14 pm

@ The Game Has Changed- Yeah they can advance the Bulls all they want. The games have to be played first and I hope the Hawks bring it tonight.

Luke Cage

May 4th, 2011
7:16 pm

Tim Legler feels we have no shot, its more of what the bulls didn’t do than what we did in game 1, D-Rose is a media darling so of course they have us as underdogs even though other than Deng, the bulls are much offensively, but on defense they are a good team, but its easy to be a great defensive team when refs won’t call fouls on you, Noah is constantly over the back and Boozer always pushes guys in the back and not to mention the moving screens.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2011
7:17 pm

Having been around the No. 1 seed, I can attest that is indeed the belief: That their indifference enabled the No. 5 seed to gain confidence and take Game 1.