Yes, the Bulls swept the Miami Heat in the first round and that was impressive. But they are now finding out that losing that final regular season game to New Jersey will come back to haunt them.
The Bulls could be cruising like the Cavaliers are with the No. 2 seed – the one they all but handed Cleveland with that Jersey loss. Chicago is now seeing why the Cavaliers are excited about not having to face Detroit until the Conference finals.
The Pistons are your classic example of why experience is far more important than youth and exuberance. The Bulls want to play with emotion and energy. The Pistons are playing with grit and guile and that has led to a complete domination the first two games of this series.
The Pistons just have too many weapons. The Bulls expected Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton to be a problem, but when Tayshaun Prince is pouring in obscene numbers and Chris Webber is running the court like a young Karl Malone, what chance do they have?
Well, there is one way the Bulls can recover and that is to find a way to speed the game up. Detroit had 21 turnovers in Game 2 and the Bulls need to capitalize at home in Game 3.
Kirk Hinrich, who looks extremely lost against Billups, needs to really step up in the next two games and find a way to knock down shots and create some three-point opportunities for Ben Gordon especially.
Tyrus Thomas earned more minutes with his consistent play in Game 2 and along with Ben Wallace could ignite the Bulls speed factor with rebounding and blocked shots.
Bottom line: Bulls lose Game 3, this series is over in four games. The Pistons are closely paying attention to what the Cavaliers are doing to the Nets and they don’t want to be tired when King James comes to town.