Derrick Rose again opened the Playoffs in a big way, scoring 28 points on 13-of-28 shooting. Rose also had 7 rebounds and 10 assists, but unfortunately had 7 turnovers and only attempted a mere 2 free throws. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying – Rose and company were attacking the basket all night and not getting calls. The Bulls were completely outplayed today and there is no denying that. The Cleveland defense was too much for the Bulls. Rose was swatted numerous times by LeBron and the big Cav’ front-line (who combined for 8 total blocks by their starters). But Rose should not to be blamed for his great effort. The rest of the Bulls should be reprimanded for their lack of mobility off the ball. They really forced Rose to do everything tonight by not being physical enough inside on both ends of the court.
Of course, it seems like the Cavs always get the benefit-of-the-doubt calls. Shaquille O’Neal was elbowing his way establishing position low in the post all night. The referees were quick to blow the whistle against Noah, Gibson, and Miller as they were fending off a fresh Shaq. But truth be told, their were a lot of non-calls that the Bulls could have been whistled for on the defensive end. So there should not be, and hopefully will not be, that kind of excuse-making from the Bulls before Game 2 on Monday night.
Cleveland was executing their offense to perfect early in the game. A said-to-be 20-pound-lighter Shaq pounded the Bulls in the paint, establishing his presence early in the game. Still, the Bulls should feel pretty good about how the game ended for them. After giving up 56 points in the first half, Chicago held the Cavs to 40 in the second. LeBron James put the dagger by putting in an impossible shot after getting fouled by Rose on the break – spinning with way through three red uniforms.
The Cavs and Bulls will meet for Game 2 at 7:00 CT on TNT. The Bulls seek to prove they can split a pair in Ohio and pull the carpet right out from under the Cavs by stealing the home-court advantage. The Cavs now lead the series 1-0.