Bulls Meet Pistons In Second Round
April 29, 2007 12:49pm CST
I think by now, with the Bulls leading 3-0 against the Heat and the Pistons having already swept the Magic out of their series, it's already safe to assume a second round match-up between Chicago and Detroit. There are a lot of things to watch out for in this series. Ben Wallace, as we all know, is on his first year as a Bull and will be facing the team he got his only championship with. It's going to be a great show watching Big Ben suited up differently this playoffs series with Detroit. Will the fans cheer him? Or will they boo him? Either way, I think his teammates still love him for all he has done for Detroit. He brought them to where they were two years ago: at the top of the NBA. Will the match-ups stack well against each other? I can just imagine Chauncey Billups going head-to-head with Kirk Hinrich; both players are brilliant at the point, and who can really predict who's going to be the better player? Then on the other guard position, we have another even match with Rip Hamilton matching up against Ben Gordon. Both are superb mid-range shooters with long-range capabilities, and no doubt both can score on drives to the hoops. We know all about the scoring load they're expected to bear, but the question is: who will play better offense? Next is a match-up against agile forwards: Tayshaun Prince and Luol Deng. This is interesting because while Prince is more of a defensive specialist with that gift of a wing span he has, Deng has proven his gift for scoring, and he has the whole series with Miami to back it up. The Man from Sudan (Deng) has transformed into a solid scoring machine: Miami couldn't stop him, can Prince and the Pistons? How about Chris Webber and Rasheed Wallace facing PJ Brown and Ben Wallace? Webber shows more promise of productivity than Brown, and I'm not sure I can directly compare the Wallaces. There's just too much difference in the way they play their positions. Big Ben is an excellent defender who has learned to contribute points to his team, but his offensive production is nowhere near Sheed's, who can post-up, fire mid-range, or even take that three-pointer. In addition, Rasheed can contribute to interior defense, just not as much as Big Ben, in my opinion. There's a lot to anticipate in this series, as I have just said. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, all we can do and talk about it here. What do you think we can expect from the Bulls and the Pistons this playoffs?
6 May 07
detroit owned chicago in game 1. it was even a very one-sided game. the bulls proved no match against the pistons stingy defense and experience. chicago's top reliable players luol deng and ben gordon was limited way below their usual numbers. deng finished with only 18 points while gordon only had a measly 7 points. tayshaun prince did one heck of a job defending and limitn=ing deng while hamilton on the other hand, already with the height advantage, gave gordon a very hard time. for chicago to win, my x factor for them will be ben gordon. he's quick and explosive and that's the only way chicago could take advantage against detroit. the bulls can never match the pistons playing a team game and mind games and match their defensive intensity, detroit is way too better than them. the only way to beat detroit is to dismantle them with only one man, just like what dwyane wade did offensively during the last 2 seasons. gordon's speed, quickness and explosiveness is something the pistons will find hard to match, that if gordon won't get intimidated by the fiery pistons. detroit had some history having hard time stopping explosive players. tracy mcgrady during his orlando magic days, jason kidd during the nets glory days and lately dwyane wade. detroit is made up of veterans and they play mind games really good. they intimidate other teams. but they could be defeated still. its a matter of strategy and heart.
7 May 07
Although Ben Gordon is far from the McGradys, Kidds, and Wades of the NBA, there's one potential hole in the Detroit defense that only he can exploit: he's going to be, more often in the series than not, defended by Richard Hamilton who's known for his scoring, not his peskiness on defense. The match-ups for Rasheed Wallace, Chris Webber, Tayshaun Prince, and Chauncey Billups are pretty much locked in to their counterparts from their respective positions, and Detroit's problem is so is Hamilton. Sure, he'll be a liability for Detroit's defense to some extent, but I don't think everyone will agree that Rip has not picked anything up from his teammates during their run as the best defensive team in the NBA. He must have grown towards being a better defensive player, and that would mean that when it comes to Gordon, some amount of good pressure will be applied. Another option for Detroit is to put defensive specialist Lindsey Hunter on Gordon when Rip is on the bench. The bottomline is that Ben Gordon might be able to over-match his defensive counterpart, but there's just too few options left for the Bulls with the other Pistons covering their other players. The keyword here is: MAYBE. What if Gordon has a bad shooting night? What if they switch Tayshaun Prince to defend him (and consequently, Luol Deng will be left with Rip, which is not a very good idea, in my opinion)? And what if they just let Rip do his thing and Gordon underscores? In the end, Detroit simply is too good for the young Bulls; or maybe that's just my biased opinion.
• United States
13 May 07
detroit is fundamentally sound team. there defense is pretty good and the offense has proven to win clutch basketball games. this round will be a landslide, if they don't slack up. watching the nba over the years, defense is known to win games. it destroys the opponents' offensive game plan, thus putting the pressure on the shoulders of the star player. sure gordon is a threat and he has heart, but when fatigue sets in, experience comes to play. detroit is a champioship team. it took heart along with experience to get them there. you're right, they can be defeated, but not by chicago. the bulls are definitely getting better, i don't think it's their year yet.
13 May 07
The thing with the Detroit Pistons is that they've proven themselves to be the best team in the league when they won their championship against the Los Angeles Lakers, and that was when they were still a very defensive-minded team. Now, what they lack in Ben Wallace's absence they more than make for with Chris Webber, and they've grown so much offensively that they've earned versatility in both disciplines as well as in withstanding clutch situations and adjusting the tempo of the game. There's not much the Detroit Pistons need right now, they've got more than enough of everything to win it all in the end. The Chicago Bulls? They're arguably traversing the same path as the Pistons before, but we have all seen the first three games: they are *not* quite there yet. Make no mistake, though. They will get there, as long as they keep on developing their players the way they are now. They *will* get there.
• United States
2 May 07
yeah bulls are goin to face detroit in second round of playoffs ben wallace is doing great....it amazed me the way he is scoring this season and i m sure that he will perform wel against his x-team i m sure that fans will cheer for him from both the teams i think postons will beat the bulls lets see
7 May 07
I think Chicago will make some adjustments on to how they handle the Bulls this series; you're right, the large margin between the two teams in their first game is too large, and if they (Chicago) are really intent on getting this championship, they should not let the Piston's experience intimidate them.
• United States
30 Apr 07
i think the Pistons/Bulls will be a great match-up. I do think that the Pistons will win but I think it will be a hard fought battle. I'm predicting Pistons in six. Big Ben is a machine in the play-offs but the Piostons know his style so well I think they can handle him. GO PISTONS!!!!
30 Apr 07
I, too, am rooting for the Pistons. Although I want this to be over as early as possible for the Pistons (of course with positive results), I also want to see them fight the good fight by as many games as they would allow themselves to play. This is a great series in the making, and it has the potential to be over only after seven games. I can't wait for their war to start; it truly is a more-or-less even battle between two great, if not the two best, Eastern Conference teams.
30 Apr 07
Yes, indeed they are! They just swept the defending champions Miami Heat today, advancing to the second round against the Pistons. (At least their win formalized his discussion.) They're really playing well, especially Ben Gordon who's proven he's much, much more than an excellent sixth man. He's providing huge numbers for the Bulls right now. In Game 4, he has led the Bulls with 24 points, fueling the huge-margin lead against the Heat in the final Game 4 score (92-79). While I'm sad one of my favorite teams had to go (the other being Detroit), I'm excited about how this Chicago team will fare against the Pistons. If they advance to the third round, it's almost imperative for me to have new favorites this post-season.