Tuesday, May 08, 2007

East Semis--Pistons 108, Bulls 87 (Game 2)

- Basically could copy the summary of Game 1, only difference was Webber provided a nice spark tonite. Pistons were a well-balanced attack once again with all starters in double figures for the 5th time out of 6 in the playoffs. The only reason this game was even as close as 20 pts was that the Bulls got to the foul line 52 times & the Pistons turned the ball over 22 times.

-Another dominant 1st quarter for Detroit with succinct offensive execution and the offense kept on clicking all day. And it helped that the Pistons could not miss on their shots too much. The Pistons were killing the Bulls off of curls, mostly with Rip & some Prince. Rip had another big day vs. the Bulls thanks to his jumper--24 (9/16), 9 rebs (4 off), & 6 assts. Prince had his outside jumper working for 25, 7 rebs, & 3/7 from 3pt. He also had something to do with Deng shooting only 4/12. After a rough Game 1 outing, CWebb bounced back big by shooting 10/11 for 22 pts. And he did it by doing a little bit of everything: face-up jumpers, nifty little post moves, some nice interior passes, and even a few dribble-drives thrown in.

- Was not sure they could replicate the defensive activity & success of Game 1, but they might have been even better in Game 2. The Bulls were having a hard time getting clean looks which led to a 34% shooting nite. We've mentioned Detroit's ability to defend the 3pt. line before & how it's a crucial factor in this series (Bulls shot 38% in reg. season)--the Bulls only shot 4/20 in Game 2. The only thing that was a negative for Detroit in Game 1 was they fouled way too much.

-The Pistons once again won the rebound battle, but this time they totally crushed the Bulls--51 to 30. Now this a slight surprise that the Pistons have controlled the boards this easily the first 2 games, since the Bulls are one of the better board teams in the NBA.

-Chicago's main offensive options had a rough nite. Gordon got in early foul trouble once again and could never get into a groove (13 pts). Deng had 16 but he only shot 4/12 and Hinrich could not get anything going--2 pts on 0/7.

-There are a few encouraging signs the Bulls can take away from Game 2. First off, Their bench played better than in Game 1. Ty Thomas caused some problems for the Pistons and got to the foul line 11 times in route to 18 pts. Noce had 12 pts, but still could have played better. Another good sign, Big Ben seems to have become more of an offensive threat the last few playoff games. He's looking for his shot more (13 pts) & he's actually shooting his FTs well (for him). Bulls also got to the foul line 52 times, not really sure how, but that's a nice sign for team that's known as a strictly jumpshooting team.

- The Bulls have to get the rebound margin back in their favor or at least even; rebounding was the one area where the Bulls had a slight advantage over the Pistons going into the series. They also have to make adjustments on how to defend the pin-down curl action that the Pistons are shredding them with. For the Pistons, they just have to keep their focus in check. Last year they blew the Cavs out the first 2 games, then looked like they sleptwalked thru the next 5 games, barely holding on for the victory.


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