Apr 23, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT
Three games decided by a total of 15 points.
The Indiana Pacers have been close in this series. Very close. But when it came to end-of-game execution — and players who can execute under that kind of pressure — Chicago has it and Orlando struggles.
The Bulls are up 3-0 and the only question that remains is if they close out in Game 4 or go back to Chicago for Game 5.
Can the Pacers win one game?
The Pacers have done a good job keeping the Bulls offense in check this series. Paul George has done a respectable job on the Herculean task of guarding Derrick Rose, and they have thrown a variety of traps and different looks at him. Other Bulls players have not really stepped up, Carlos Boozer has been unimpressive and Luol Deng inefficient (Kyle Korver when he gets a look from three, is the exception as he is 7-of-8 from deep in the series). On that side of the ball, the Pacers have done what they set out to do.
But offense wasn’t why the Bulls had the best record in the NBA.
It’s defense, and Indiana has not been able to get its offense going against the stingy Bulls. Tyler Hansborough had a good first game draining midrange jumpers but as those got contested he has not hit them much. Pretty much every jumper Danny Granger takes is contested but he can hit some and has. Darren Collison has been taking contested floaters in the lane all series.
Maybe for a game some of those contested shots will start to fall. Maybe the Pacers will get enough points off these shots to get one win. It only seems fair after three hard losses in this series.
We all know how this movie is going to end. The only question is how much longer until the credits.
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