Chicago Bulls Looking for Game 2 Vengeance on Atlanta Hawks

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Yay. Derrick Rose won the MVP. Let’s celebrate. Yay.

Okay, time to get back to things that are actually, you know, important. Saying the Bulls laid an egg in Game one is an insult to laying eggs.

The Bulls absolutely dominated the Hawks in the regular season winning two out of three games with a margin of victory of 25.5 points. In the game they lost, the Bulls blew a double-digit lead.

The Bulls are better than the Hawks. But No one would believe that if they watched the game Monday night. So what do the Bulls need to do to rebound from their horrid performance in the series-opening game? Let’s discuss.

By: Brian McCabe

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It is abundantly clear that the Bulls are centered around Rose. Everything runs through him, as it should. However, with the exception of Luol Deng and at times Joakim Noah, the other players become apathetic. They just expect Rose to take care of everyone else. And most of the time, he does.

However, the Pacers unveiled the Bulls kryptonite in the first series. Beat the unbelievable crap out of Derrick Rose. Do whatever a team can to force the other players to step up and perform, and it becomes much easier to play against the team that won the most games in the league this season.

In my last game preview, I said the outcome would boil down to Rose’s performance. It did, the Bulls won. Now, as the playoffs heat up and get even “chippier,” it is time for members of the Bulls not named Rose to come through when it matters.

Carlos Boozer needs to remember he is good and big and strong and has very good career playoff stats. Noah can’t get too sentimental with old crony and teammate Al Horford. The Bulls bigs should be absolutely dominating the paint the entire series. Beyond Horford, the Hawks are weak when it comes to post players. Seriously, go look at the stats. If Noah and, more specifically, Boozer are outplayed, something is terribly wrong.

Now some can say I am overreacting to game 1 because Joe Johnson was crazy, but he is a talented player. It could happen again. I expect it to happen again.

So let’s get down to the brass tax. Boozer, Noah and Deng have to play like they did all season. They have to bring it every game. They, like everyone else, cannot become spectators while on the court. Michael Jordan never won until he had a supporting cast. Therefore, Derrick Rose definitely needs one.

Many people and fans said Noah and Boozer’s early season injuries could be a good thing because it would keep their legs fresh for a deep playoff run.

I am not criticizing Noah, but he needs to keep bringing the emotion. He needs to control Horford. He needs to be big on the boards. This will free up Boozer. And if Boozer decides he wants to participate in these playoffs Noah can help him a lot.

So, there you have it. This is what it boils down to … Noah, Boozer and Deng. These three players need to step up and help Rose. Once other teams realize they can’t put all their attention on the Bulls point guard, it will become easier for him to perform the way he did while winning the MVP.

If Korver and Bogans want to knock down a few big shots, that will go a long way as well. The others need to show up every game.

And if Rose rolls that ankle one more time, they are going to have no other choice but showing up or going home.

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