Rapid Reaction: Hawks 103, Bulls 95
May, 2, 2011
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Atlanta Hawks stunned the Chicago Bulls 103-95 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night at the United Center.
How it happened: The Hawks shot well throughout most of the game and simply outplayed the Bulls. They were more consistent from the opening tip. Joe Johnson torched the Bulls' defense for 34 points, shooting 12-for-18 from the floor. Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 20 points. Derrick Rose, who will be named league MVP on Tuesday afternoon according to a source, struggled most of the night and simply couldn't find his shot. He was just 11-for-27 from the floor for 24 points and, like his teammates, looked frustrated throughout the game.
What it means: Everyone, myself included, figured the Bulls would roll through this series. It sure seemed like the Bulls played with that lackadaisical attitude Monday night. There was no edge to their game, on either end of the floor, and they repeatedly got out-hustled to loose balls. To make matters worse for the Bulls, Rose tweaked his already sprained left ankle on the last play of the game. The Hawks suddenly have confidence after Game 1 that they can win this series, especially if Rose has to miss any length of time.
Stat of the night: The Hawks shot 51 percent from the field.
What's next: The Bulls will be back on the practice floor Tuesday afternoon as they prepare for Game 2 on Wednesday night. Rose's MVP ceremony isn't going to be nearly as happy as it could have been.