Saturday, November 1, 2008

When playing Boston, quick contested shots, turnovers are recipe for trouble

Watched last night's Bulls-Celtics game while passing out Halloween candy.

In an 82-game season, every team has 5-10 out-and-out off-nights. The Bulls had one of those last night against BOS.

Part of the problem was that Chicago's shot selection was poor. Yes, Boston's defense is arguably the league's best, but the Bulls took way too many shots out of context.

Against a team like the Celtics, the ball must move from the first side to the second side, and back to the third side. In other words, you've got to make the defense move. What you don't want is to come down and take the first contested shot on the first side.

Quick contested shots will kill you against Boston and the Bulls took way too many of those. As evidence, CHI had just three assists in the first half.

But it wasn't only quick contested shots that hurt CHI. They turned it over 10 times in the first half and didn't play with much energy. Again, against BOS, these things will kill you.

The good news for CHI is that D. Rose got to the rim in transition. In fact, Rose in transition and CHI's foul shooting (10-10 FT) was the offense. He can finish with either hand and has a terrific cross-over.

CHI's T. Thomas was 1-10 from the field in the first half (2-17 for the game), which is likely why BOS left him open from 17-20 feet.

The Celtics recognized that when Thomas picks on the pick-and-roll, he likes to pick-and-pop, but isn't likely to roll on the PNR. Once he puts the ball on the floor and attacks off the dribble, he'll be more effective.

BOS really took advantage of CHI's lack of a post-up game. Deng is always a high percentage shooter because of his quality shot selection and his ability to post up, but that wasn't the case against the Celtics (2-10 FG).

When Hinrich ran the pick-and-roll, the Bulls got better looks than what they got in the first half.

Defensively, in the 4Q, Nocioni had trouble matching up with BOS's P. Pierce and fouled out in 13 minutes.

As for Kevin Garnett, he was phenomenal in the first half.