Needless to say that the Indiana Pacers were the better team in game one with the exception of the last 3:38. Indiana had Chicago on the ropes but could not sustain the things that enabled them to obtain a 10-point lead in the closing minutes. Chicago used a 16-1 run, holding the Pacers without a field-goal when they needed one the most. If the Pacers had made one or two of their final shots, we could be looking at a 1-0 lead in the Pacers’ favor. As a Bulls’ fan I’m happy that we escaped with the win but there are reasons for concern. Here are a few adjustments that the Bulls need to make if they hope to leave the Windy City up 2-0.

On offense, other players besides Derrick Rose, need to be more aggressive with the basketball. Rose went to the line 21 times hitting on 19 of his attempts. If no other player besides Rose is taking the ball to the rim with consistency, the Pacers are going to simply try to force him to give the ball up and dare the other players to beat them from the outside. Indiana was the more aggressive team on both ends of the floor and the Bulls need to meet that intensity tonight if they want to avoid a repeat of game one.

Secondly, the Bulls failed to close out on the Pacers’ shooters in game one. Indiana was shooting over 61% from the field through three quarters including 10-of-18 from beyond the arc. That is not how the Bulls became one of the best defensive teams in the league this season. Chicago will need to do a much better job of contesting each and every shot or it could be a long night at the office.

I am probably one of the few Chicago fans who is willing to admit that I thought the game was about over after Tyler Hansbrough gave the Pacers a 98-88 lead with just a few minutes to play. While Chicago’s defense did finally show up in the final 3:38, they cannot afford to play stagnant defensively for three quarters and expect the same results tonight. However, if Chicago is more aggressive as a whole offensively and they do a better job of contesting shots on defense, they should be in pretty good position to pull out a another victory in game two.