Quantcast 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs: Semifinals - Chicago vs Atlanta


NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals - Game 1 Recap

Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 2  - Chicago 86, Atlanta 73 - Series tied, 1-1



Derrick Rose didn’t play like the best player in the National Basketball Association on Wednesday night in the Windy City. Then again, he didn’t have to. Rose and his Chicago Bulls played well below their best, but they took care of matters at the defensive end of the floor and watched the Atlanta Hawks morph into their old, exasperating selves.

On a night when Chicago’s Derrick Rose accepted the NBA’s MVP award all the superstar point guard could ask for was a victory in Game 2. After losing the opening game of the series to fifth-seeded Atlanta, the Bulls got back on track despite another off performance from their star. Rose was just 10-of-27 on the night and struggled to find his rhythm for the second straight game. Chicago as a whole didn’t shoot the ball well, hitting just 39 percent of its shots on the evening at the United Center. Luckily for the top-seeded Bulls, the Hawks were worse. Atlanta shot just 33 percent, with Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith combining to shoot just 6-of-24.

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The display was reminiscent of Atlanta’s performance in the second round of last year’s playoffs, when the Hawks – then coached by Mike Woodson – drifted through the motions in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Orlando Magic. Atlanta lost four games by a combined total of 101 points because it showed absolutely no interest in attacking the rim or moving the ball. The Hawks, at their worst, are a standstill jump-shooting team that settles for the long hoist instead of working the ball to pry open the defense and gain a higher-percentage look. This was the team that showed up for Game 2; it’s the version of the Hawks that simply can’t show up for Games 3 and 4 over the upcoming weekend in Georgia. Atlanta needs to leave the Peachtree State and return to Chicago for Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead; if not, the Bulls – who aren’t likely to lose again at home in this series – should be able to gain crucial added leverage as this series continues.



Despite shooting poorly, the Bulls cleaned up on the glass in this tilt. Chicago outrebounded Atlanta to the tune of 58-39. In the end, it was the difference in the game, especially since both teams were missing so many shots and therefore needed to establish a presence on the boards. Joakim Noah posted 19 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago, once again leading the Bulls in hustle plays and overall energy.

Jeff Teague delivered a breakout game for the Hawks. Atlanta’s backup guard was the only player who seemed to give a darn about winning and doing the things it took to make the Hawks competitive. Teague scored 21 points in his first batch of extended minutes in this postseason.

He’ll need to have some company this weekend in Atlanta.


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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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