Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chicago Bulls Defeat Detroit Pistons in Game Four

Well, that was the Chicago Bulls team I expected to see in the entire season. And for three quarters, the Detroit Pistons just did not play very good basketball, so despite a fourth quarter rally, the 20-point-plus Chicago lead that they had built in the third quarter was too much to overcome, and the Pistons lost Game Four in Chicago, 102-87, with the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals now 3 games to 1, with Game Five at the Palace of Auburn Hills. While it would have been nice to sweep the Bulls, and wrap up the series in four games, the Bulls coming back strong and fighting to stay alive shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
AP Photo
The Pistons just did not play a good game today. Chris Webber went scoreless for the second straight game (it's too early to get really concerned about him yet, but two straight zeros isn't good) and it was strange seeing the Pistons play "hack a Ben" at the end of the game (I still hate that teams are allowed to do that). And Rasheed Wallace just took way too many threes when it was clear he wasn't feeling it tonight and he ended up 2-12 from three point range.

I was very surprised with Flip Saunders rotation today, especially early when Chauncey, Rip, Rasheed, and Webber (wow, that's almost our entire starting lineup) were either struggling to find their shot or were in foul trouble. I thought we may see Jason Maxiell earlier then we did to give the team a lift off the bench, and playing Flip Murray over Lindsey Hunter surprised me a bit, but Flip actually played pretty well throughout the game, so I can't quibble with that. And on a positive note, Tayshaun Prince continued to play pretty well.

And as was pointed out in the Detroit Pistons Forum, up until this point I have not talked much about the guard matchups. Kurt Hinrich and Luol Deng were huge for the Bulls, Deng with a 10-15 shooting day and Hinrich with 19 and 10 assists. And Ben Gordon chipped in with 19 points as well. That was a big difference maker in the game, especially considering that at least until the fourth quarter, Chauncey Billups really struggled, and Rip Hamilton was 4-12 from the field. Hard to win when your guards are outplayed like that.

So, where do we go from here? Likely to a series ending Game Five in Detroit on Tuesday. Chicago winning one game at home doesn't really scare me, and I can't imagine the Pistons playing as poorly on Tuesday at the Palace as they did in Chicago this afternoon. The Bulls got their one game, and that will hopefully be that. The Pistons know better then to let Chicago have second life, and get back into this series.
AP Photo

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