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MVP Derrick Rose Lifts Bulls over Hawks in Game 3

Derrick Rose

The Bulls Derrick Rose scores a career playoff high 44 points in the Bulls 99-82 victory in Game 3

Newly crowned NBA MVP Derrick Rose played inspired basketball on Friday night in a 99-82 Chicago Bulls victory.  Rose scored a career playoff high 44 points on 16-27 shooting including 4-7 from 3 point land and 8-9 from the line.  Rose also added 7 assists and 5 rebounds to go along with a blocked shot and a steal.  What is most impressive about this performance is the fact that Derrick appears to finally be healthy after spraining his ankle in the Pacers series and again in Game 1.  Since the injury Rose has appeared to be hesitant to drive into the lane and draw contract and get to the free throw line.  In game 3 we saw the Derrick Rose that is the best and most complete player in the NBA- one that hits his jump shots and creates in the lane.

The Bulls victory however was not all Derrick Rose.  The Bulls stifling defense and ability to rebound also deserves a lot of credit.   The defense held 5 time NBA Allstar Joe Johnson to just 10 points on 4-12 shooting.  The only bright spots for the Hawks were Josh Smith who contributed 17 points and 13 rounds and Jeff Teague who led the team with 21.  The Bulls out rebounded the Hawks 47-34 including 18 offensive rebounds compared to the 9 for the Hawks. Despite that fact that Joakim Noah scored only 2 points he played some impressive D, grabbed 15 boards (8 offensive), and tallied 5 block shots.

Another key contributor for the Bulls was Taj Gibson who filled in nicely for the struggling, injured, and foul plagued Carlos Boozer.  Taj added 13 points and 11 rebounds in just 265 minutes of action.

The win in game 3 gives the Bulls a 2-1 advantage over the Atlanta Hawks in the best of seven Eastern Conference Semifinals.  Game 4 will be held in Atlanta on Sunday 5/8/2011.  If the Bulls win game 4 they will have a chance to clinch the series in Game 5 in Chicago on 5/10/2010.

NBA Playoffs Recap and Schedule

This post probably isn’t as timely as it should be, but it’s mid-way through the Round 1 games and this should be a nice little recap and forecast:

 NBA Playoff Schedule:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

So far in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls have taken home the W in 3 of the 4 games.  These games, for the most part have been very close in scoring.  The Pacers finally won the 4th game.  As always, Derrick Rose, point guard for the Bulls, has been the glue that holds the team together.  Hopefully his ankle sprain from last night doesn’t completely derail him and his team.

The same holds true for the Heat over the 76ers.  The second game had a 20 point lead over the Sixers.   The Sixers just don’t have the skill and experience of Wade, Bosch and James.

The Celtics crushed the Knicks in four games; therefore they have won the series and are moving on in the tournament. Boston is gunning for the championships that they feel they were robbed of last year.

The Hawks and the Magic are very evenly matched.  Atlanta narrowly beat out Orlando in 3 of the four games.  The Magic just put too much stock in Dwight Howard, while the Hawks seem to be a more rounded team.

Chicago vs. Indiana

Game 1 - Chicago 104, Indiana 99
Game 2 - Chicago 96, Indiana 90
Game 3 - Chicago 88, Indiana 84
Game 4 - Indiana 89, Chicago 84
Game 5 - Tue April 26, Indiana at Chicago, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 6 * Thu April 28, Chicago at Indiana, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30, Indiana at Chicago, TBD, TNT

Miami vs. Philadelphia

Game 1 - Miami 97, Philadelphia 89
Game 2 - Miami 94, Philadelphia 73
Game 3 - Miami 100, Philadelphia 94
Game 4 - Philadelphia 86, Miami 82
Game 5 - Wed April 27, Philadelphia at Miami, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 6 * Fri April 29, Miami at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 1, Philadelphia at Miami, TBD, TBD

Boston vs. New York

Game 1 - Boston 87, New York 85
Game 2 - Boston 96, New York 93
Game 3 - Boston 113, New York 96
Game 4 - Boston 101, New York 89
Celtics win series 4-0

Orlando vs. Atlanta

Game 1 - Atlanta 103, Orlando 93
Game 2 - Orlando 88, Atlanta 82
Game 3 - Atlanta 88, Orlando 84
Game 4 - Atlanta 88, Orlando 85
Game 5 - Tue April 26, Atlanta at Orlando, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 6 * Thu April 28, Orlando at Atlanta, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30, Atlanta at Orlando, TBD, TNT

___________________________________________________________________

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 

In the Western Conference, the Spurs have lost one of three games about the Grizzlies.  Zach Randolph and Mike Conley of the Grizzlies drove to the basket and kept Memphis ahead, and suddenly the Grizzlies are looking quite good to take the series.  They are forcing the Spurs to look inexperienced and sloppy.  Their next appearance is tonight.

The Lakers and Hornets are neck and neck.  The games have averaged about 10 points between the winners and losers.  Chris Paul of the Hornets is most definitely the best all-around point guard in the NBA; he has the skill to change games on his own.  This is an interesting series!

The Trailblazers finally decided to show up to the game for the last two games.  They’re willing to give the Mavericks a run for their money.  Tonight’s game should be excellent.

The OKC Thunder is the little team that could.  They might not have the history to back up their team like the Bulls, Lakers or Celtics, but they’re not messing around either.

San Antonio vs. Memphis

Game 1 - Memphis 101, San Antonio 98
Game 2 - San Antonio 93, Memphis 87
Game 3 - Memphis 91, San Antonio 88
Game 4 - Mon April 25, San Antonio at Memphis, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 5 - Wed April 27, Memphis at San Antonio, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Fri April 29, San Antonio at Memphis, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 1, Memphis at San Antonio, TBD, TBD

L.A. Lakers vs. New Orleans

Game 1 - New Orleans 109, L.A. Lakers 100
Game 2 - L.A. Lakers 87, New Orleans 78
Game 3 - L.A. Lakers 100, New Orleans 86
Game 4 - New Orleans 93, L.A. Lakers 88
Game 5 - Tue April 26, New Orleans at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 6 - Thu April 28, L.A. Lakers at New Orleans, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30, New Orleans at L.A. Lakers, TBD, TNT

Dallas vs. Portland

Game 1 - Dallas 89, Portland 81
Game 2 - Dallas 101, Portland 89
Game 3 - Portland 97, Dallas 92
Game 4 - Portland 84, Dallas 82
Game 5 - Mon April 25, Portland at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 6 - Thu April 28, Dallas at Portland, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30, Portland at Dallas, TBD, TNT

Oklahoma City vs. Denver

Game 1 - Oklahoma City 107, Denver 103
Game 2 - Oklahoma City 106, Denver 89
Game 3 - Oklahoma City 97, Denver 94
Game 4 - Mon April 25, Oklahoma City at Denver, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 5 * Wed April 27, Denver at Oklahoma City, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Fri April 29, Oklahoma City at Denver, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 1, Denver at Oklahoma City, TBD, TBD

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