The Atlanta Hawks are getting blown out on their "home" floor. As the "MVP" chants start flowing Derrick Rose's way, it was the Chicago Bulls bench that smothered the Hawks in the second quarter.
Rose has 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field to lead the Bulls to a 56-43 edge over the Hawks at the break in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup at Philips Arena.
Kyle Korver netted eight points and C.J. Watson and Carlos Boozer have six each for Chicago, which has five 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes of basketball.
The Hawks are struggling with their outside game in this one and are even having trouble getting buckets inside.
The good news, however, is that they started to get things going a little bit with Al Horford in the post late, which at least is a start if they are to climb back from this double-digit deficit. Horford was having all sorts of problems scoring down low, missing his first six shots before converting on two late in the second frame.
Atlanta's tightened up on the boards a little bit, but still trail 24-16 at the break. They still need a better effort inside from Horford and Smith if they want to win this basketball game.
Jeff Teague leads Atlanta with 13 points and Joe Johnson has 10 for the home team, which is shooting just 44-percent (18-for-41) from the field.
Give credit to the Bulls in this one for disrupting Atlanta's offensive game, doubling Johnson and making it difficult for Atlanta to drive to the basket. For Atlanta to climb back into this one, they are going to need to dig deep and get a big second half from Horford or Josh Smith.
And J-Smoove needs to simply stop taking bad shots and focus on crashing the paint. He's getting the business fro the Hawks home crowd each time he launches one of those ill-advised jumpers.
Marvin Williams has six points and Jamal Crawford five for an Atlanta team that's just 1-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line.