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