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Well game one didn’t go as planned, but I’ll take it. It has been previously discussed on this blog but the defense and energy that the bulls started the game with was not at the level that we’ve grown used to seeing all season long. My hope (and expectation) is that the run we made in the final 3 and a half minutes yesterday will spark the team for the rest of the series. Having a win under their belt should eliminate the postseason jitters that we saw early on and loosen this team up.

I said that I wanted to see the Bulls go down low offensively early in Game 1 and get those guys going. It looked like that was what they tried to do, but then Carlos started fouling and getting beat defensively and we got behind and all bets were off. I still think that it is very important that somebody steps up as that secondary scorer. It’s not fair to expect your point guard to score 39 points and get to the line 20 times every game this postseason. Somebody needs a 20+ point game tomorrow. Deng is probably the most likely candidate. He has been that number 2 scorer all year long and I was surprised to see that he finished with 18 on Saturday.

However, if he is able to consistently stay the court, there is no reason Carlos Boozer shouldn’t score 20 points against Indiana. He scored 20+ points in 2 of the 3 games he played against Indiana in the regular season. Again, I’d love to see the Bulls try to go to him early and get him going.

It will also be interesting to see what the mindset is for the Pacers heading in to game 2. Do they take the mindset that they played their best game and still lost? Or, did they prove to themselves that they can clearly play with the Bulls and come out swinging again? It will be interesting to see how they come out and I’ll be watching them closely. It would be fantastic if the Bulls started fast and gave Indiana a reason to start doubting themselves.

Stat of the Day:

Two bench players, Kyle Korver and Kurt Thomas, has the two best +/- ratings in Game 1. Korver at +13 and Thomas at +11.

Probable Indiana Starters:

G – Darren Collison 17.0 PPG

G – Paul George, 2.0 PPG

F – Danny Granger, 24.0 PPG

F – Tyler Hansbrough, 22.0 PPG

C – Roy Hibbert, 11.0 PPG

Probable Chicago Starters:

G – Derrick Rose, 39.0 PPG

G – Keith Bogans, 0.0 PPG

F – Luol Deng, 18.0 PPG

F – Carlos Boozer, 12.0 PPG

C – Joakim Noah, 10.0 PPG

Prediction:

Current Line: Chicago -12, Over/Under 190.5

It is hard to imagine the Pacers shooting quite as well as they did in game 1 and you would have to think that Thibs will get the Bulls to play better defensively in game 2. I think that the big comeback will loosen this team up a little bit and the team we see in game 2 will be a lot more similar to the team we watched all regular season. If a secondary scorer steps up and gives Derrick a hand the Bulls should take a 2-0 series lead.

Bulls 96 Pacers 87