I couldn’t help but think to myself during today’s 89-84 loss that maybe a loss wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing for the Bulls in this series. In all three games prior to this one the Pacers led for the majority of the game, only to lose it late to late game heroics by Kyle Korver, Luol Deng, and Derrick Rose. At some point Chicago needs to realize that they cannot expect to win every game late, especially in the playoffs.
Had the Pacers been able to close out any of the three games prior to today, or all three for that matter this series could’ve been 3-0 the other way coming into today and the Pacers would have been looking for the sweep instead of the other way around. To the credit of the Bulls, they haven’t given up in the face of a deficit and fought back to win games 1-3 so they have a cushion to fall back on.
But this is the playoffs and playing bad for 3.5 quarters and good for the last 6-8 minutes won’t cut it against the good teams teams they will face the further they progress. If only they could come out in the first half and play like they finish the games, neither game to this point would have been close. Maybe they just wanted the series to go back to the United Center so they could close it out at home, in front of their fans? Okay maybe that one’s not necessarily true, because Conseco Fieldhouse today probably had as many Bulls fans as there will be at the UC on Tuesday.
At any rate, there will be a game 5. And hopefully this will serve as a reminder that this is the playoffs and you can’t take any team lightly. The #8 seed will be just as tough an out as the #2 seed. Rose will get a day to rest that sore ankle, Thibodeau will get a day to motivate, and Boozer will get a day to figure out how to not get in foul trouble. I fully expect to the Bulls to take care of business Tuesday night and close this series out while the Magic and Hawks beat up on each other in that series. On to round 2, hopefully.