Heat Vs. Bulls, Game 5 Adjustments: Work Derrick Rose Towards The Middle, Defend Baseline Inbound Sets Better

Much like the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Chicago Bulls lost Game 4 in overtime (falling behind 3-1) in a game they should have won (the Bulls had two shots to take the lead in the final seconds).  Unlike the Thunder, the Bulls get Game 5 in their own building, giving them more of a chance to get the win and bring the series back to Miami for Game 6.  If the Bulls are going to want to come away with the win, they are going to have to make a few adjustments.  

Offense: Work Derrick Rose Off The Ball Towards The Middle Of The Court

Before Game 4, I talked about how the Bulls should start to isolate Derrick Rose more to avoid the hard trap on pick and rolls.  They didn't do that, but they did make a very nice adjustment by taking the pick-and-roll and running it on the wing rather than up top.  The Bulls had success with this side pick-and-roll because it made it much tougher for the defense, forcing rotations to come from farther away and giving Rose the space to split the pick-and-roll.  In addition to this (which you should expect the Bulls to continue), the Bulls should work Rose off of the ball more towards the middle of the court.  It is something the Bulls ran once in Game 4, allowing Rose to draw a foul:

This play is successful because of where Rose makes his initial catch.  He catches the ball right at the foul line and is able to attack right off the catch, taking a dribble or two and then ending up right at the rim.  Also, because of the movement (as opposed to Rose standing up top with the basketball), the defense can't load up on Rose, so when he does catch and attack, that wall of defenders that he has been seeing all series long isn't there.  This is what allows him to get to the front of the rim and draw the foul.

If the Bulls do a better job of sprinkling this into their offense along with continuing to use the side pick-and-roll versus the pick-and-roll at the top of the key, they can be much more effective offensively, taking pressure off of their defense.  

Defense: Defense BLOB Sets Better

BLOB is short for Baseline Out of Bounds, and in Game 4, the Heat scored on three of their four BLOB opportunities, good for six points on 75 percent shooting.  In a game that ended up going into overtime, those six points are huge.  While the Heat were running solid sets out of timeouts, the main reason why they were able to score was because the Bulls' defense got a little lazy and didn't stick to their defensive principles:

On both of these BLOB sets, the Bulls make a defensive mistake that leads to a basket.  In the first clip, Rose is lazily chasing Mike Bibby around a screen off of the ball, and the end result is Bibby making a catch with space, allowing him to rise up and knock down the jumper uncontested.

In the BLOB set, the Heat run what looks like to be the same play, except with Mike Miller coming off of the screen.  This forces both Carlos Boozer and Rose to leave Udonis Haslem and chase Miller to the corner.  At the same time, Joakim Noah sinks in on a Dwyane Wade flash, leaving all five Bulls' defenders below the restricted area.  This sets up the defense perfectly for Haslem to set a screen for Chris Bosh, resulting in a wide open jumpers.

In my opinion, the Bulls lost focus with the ball on the baseline and that made them susceptible to the sets that the Heat were running.   If they maintain their focus and defend these sets properly, they have a chance to take 6-10 points off of the board, giving them a better chance to come away with the win.

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