It looks like the Atlanta Hawks left their defense in Chicago. Derrick Rose simply can't be stopped.
Rose tied a career playoff high with 17 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 29-23 edge over the Hawks through one quarter at Philips Arena.
Carlos Boozer has six points and Keith Bogans has three for the Bulls, who held a commanding 13-6 edge on the boards.
Chicago came out of the gate in this one ready, posting nine of the game's first 12 points to seize control. Things got so bad for Atlanta early on that coach Larry Drew called time out less than a minute in after the Hawks showed nothing on defense and stood around while Joe Johnson was forced to take a bad shot.
While the Hawks have been somewhat better since then, they still are having trouble boxing out the Bulls in the low post. As a result, Chicago is getting too many second and third chances and making Atlanta pay.
Rose has been serenaded at times with that familiar "MVP" chant at Atlanta's home rink. But there are enough Hawks fans there, for now, to drain out those chants.
Jeff Teague has shown why Rose will never be a defensive MVP, blowing past D-Rose for an Atlanta-leading nine points. But the rest of the team has struggled a bit.
Johnson has two points. Al Horford is 0-for-4 from the field. Josh Smith has four points, but took a jumper that made the Philips Arena crowd groan.
Atlanta shot 56-percent (10-for-18) in the frame, but still trail by six. They're going to have to figure out a way to reestablish the boards in this one if they want to have a chance in this game. With home court at stake, one has to think that the Hawks will eventually elevate their game at some point. Time will tell.