Working/Not Working: Chicago-Indiana (3), Miami-Philadelphia (3), Dallas-Portland (3)

Working/Not Working is a new daily HoopSpeak feature that will keep you updated on the major trends throughout the playoffs. Come back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day!


Working: Kyle Korver. The sweet-shooting Korver came up with huge shots down the stretch of the first two games of the series, and he managed to top himself on Thursday. Korver recorded 10 points and an assist in the fourth quarter, and had a key back-tap on an offensive rebound to boot. It’s scary to think of where the Bulls would be in this series without Korver’s timely contributions. (JK)

Not Working: Carlos Boozer. Dear Lord, he looks awful. Ideally, he should be the guy the offense runs through when the Pacers make it a priority to take the ball out of Derrick Rose’s hands. That has not happened. He has done nothing. There is a reason why nobody cared very much about Boozer’s free agency, and this is that reason.  At least Tyler Hansborough hasn’t been lighting him up in the last two games. (JK)

Working: Defense on Derrick Rose. After Rose got to the rim against the Pacers at will in game 1, the Pacers have made him work for his points in games 2 and 3, and managed to really frustrate him on Wednesday. The Pacers haven’t been able to capitalize, but if another Bulls playoff opponent manages to trap Rose this well, the Bulls will be in big trouble. (JK)

Not Working: Offense. The Pacers aren’t a good offensive team, and the Bulls are the best defensive basketball. Things aren’t working out for them. When Danny Granger firing contested two-point jump shots is your most reliable offensive weapon, you have some issues. Either Darren Collison or Roy Hibbert need to get on track if the Pacers don’t want to get swept. (JK)


Working: Mental toughness. The big worry with the Heat is how they will handle adversity when they fall behind or have to pull out a close one in a big game. On Wednesday, they didn’t get rattled when the 76ers jumped out to fairly large leads, and were able to easily handle the 76ers in the fourth quarter to go up 3-0 and give themselves some breathing room. (JK)

Not Working:
Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The problem with having three situational centers is that one of them has to be designated the “starter,” and will find himself on the floor against teams he shouldn’t be on the floor against. The glacial Ilgauskas was exposed by the smaller, quicker 76ers, and the Heat were -14 with him on the floor and +15 with Joel Anthony on the floor. (JK)

Working: Elton Brand. Brand was able to give everybody flashbacks of his time with the Clippers on Wednesday, and used his speed and mid-range shooting to torch the Heat bigs for 21 points. (JK)

Not Working: Andre Iguodala. Iguodala does a lot of things very, very well. He’s a great passer, a lock-down defender, a great athlete who can finish around the rim, and a decent spot-up shooter. What he doesn’t have are the tools to be a ball-dominating #1 scorer, but that’s what he seems to think he is most of the time. Iguodala is a great player, and may be the best player on the Sixers, but that doesn’t make him a scorer. Iguodala is much, much better than Trevor Ariza, but I often see the same things when I look at them: a great athlete playing to justify his contract instead of just playing his game. (JK)


Working: For some reason, Portland has tried, on a few of occasions, to catch Dallas off guard by springing a zone on the Mavs. All three times, Dallas has gotten an excellent look, either from a ball screen or by finding Nowitzki in a mismatch. Dallas is perfectly built to dismantle zones because zones necessitate constant crossmatching, and Dirk is a killer in a mismatch, especially with three shooters and a great offensive rebounder flanking him. Portland has a decent zone, but Dallas has recognized it immediately and exploited it every time. (BM)

Not Working: Dallas’s hot shooting finally cooled off a bit, with Peja Stojakovic and Jason Kidd going a combined 3-12 from three. Had they kept up with their average from the previous two games, they likely would have scored enough to perhaps pull out a road win. Another issue is that Portland did a much better job of exploiting JJ Barea in the post. Brandon Roy and Andre Miller wore him out on the court, neutralizing the headaches that the diminutive Barea causes the Blazers with his quickness in pick and rolls. (BM)


Working: Goodness, how beautiful was it to see Brandon Roy doing Brandon Roy things last night? There he was muscling his way into 12 foot fadeaways over Jason Terry, putting a double killer crossover move on Barea, getting middle then finding wide open three point shooters who converted their opportunities. He had his juju back, and the Rose Garden swelled to the point of bursting with pride and love for the Seattle native. Portland will need this 16 point, 4 assists performance to not be an aberration, because their lack of bench production had killed the Blazers in Dallas. (BM)

Not Working: Controlling the crowd at the Rose Garden means keeping the Blazers from forcing turnovers and praying that Brandon Roy doesn’t lead some sort of voodoo magic revival of his former self. There was little the Mavs could do about the former, but turnovers were definitely an issue. They coughed the ball up 16 times after only turning it over 19 times in the previous two games (including 6 in Game 2). In a tight game, it’s easy to look at the box score and lament those wasted possessions. (BM)

Twitter: John, Beckley

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