The Indiana Pacers dominated the team with the best record in the league for 44 and a half minutes. It's too bad the game is 48 minutes long. The game seemed locked up when Tyler Hansbrough stole the ball from Carlos Boozer at the top of the key and dunked it with Boozer pushing him from behind. Hansbrough made the free throw and the Pacers were up 98-88 with 3:38 left in the game. That would be the last field goal the Pacers would make. Chicago goes on an epic 16-1 run to close the game and deny the upset.
The Pacers spent most of the game answering every Bulls run until the end. Deng makes 2 free throws and Granger misses a 25 foot jumper. Noah gets a tip in and Tyler misses a layup. Noah gets fouled on a dunk, makes the free throw and Roy makes 1 of 2 free throws. Rose gets a layup & makes the and one. Then Collison 19 footer misses and Rose makes a 7 footer. Collison gets blocked and Korver makes a 3 pointer. Granger misses a 21 footer and Rose makes 2 free throws. That was the epic collapse that was game one.
Chicago has the best 4th quarter scoring margin in the NBA. Indiana is 28th in the league with only Toronto and Minnesota being worse. The Bulls have 11 wins when trailing after three quarters. Only the Mavs have had more comebacks. (12) In the history of the playoffs, the team that wins the opening game has won the series 79% of the time.
Rose's 19 free throws made is the most in the playoffs since Alan Iverson did it in 2002. He made more free throws than the Pacers attempted. Danny Granger didn't shoot any and the team was 11 of 17 for 65%. When interim coach Frank Vogel was asked about the disparity in free throws he said, " I don't know if I'm allowed to answer that question. He's impossible to take a charge on." He was talking about when the Pacers were outside the restricted area with there feet set and how Rose would slice in hitting them on the shoulder. The refs would call that a foul instead of a charge. Coach Vogel also talked about the rules inside the restricted area. "The league rules say you jump strait up and he jumps strait into you then there should be a no call." Those are the kind of calls that kept the Bulls in the game and must change if the Pacers are going to have a chance in this series.
"I look at 39 (points) and I'm shocked that I see 39 because I thought we did a very good job most of the night on him." Coach Vogel had high praise for Rose and also said. "The kid is out of this world. He's got AI speed, Jason Kidd vision, Chauncey Billups shooting and MJ's athleticism. How do you guard that?" You don't if he's going to continue getting MVP calls. You know you're in trouble when you have Joey Crawford and Violet Palmer refereeing the game. They gave Frank a tech in the first half when they called a travel on Collison when Rose obviously fouled him. Frank couldn't say anything in the second half when the foul calls got worse. The foul calls didn't cause this loss but is a concern going forward in this series.
Head Coach of the Bulls Tom Thibodeau was asked about Rose's 21 free throw attempts and had the nerve to say. "It showed his aggressiveness and probably could have gone there a lot more to." Was he trying to say the refs missed some calls for Rose? That's ridiculous! Derrick Rose was more honest when he said. "Some calls I didn't get and a lot of them I did." He wasn't lying when he said 'a lot of them I did.' Maybe we should do what Phil Jackson does. Get a big suit case full of cash then rail how we don't get any respect from the refs.
What do you think of the epic collapse and the disparity of free throws? Do you think the refs will continue giving Rose all the calls or does it matter? Was this the Pacers best chance to win a game or a sign that Indiana is going far in this series?
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