Cavs' Scott has high praise for Rose
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott spent most of his career playing alongside Magic Johnson, so he knows a Hall of Famer when he sees one. He believes Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has the type of talent to join the club.
"I think he can be a Hall of Famer," Scott said before Wednesday's game. "I don't know if he'll be considered one of the greatest that ever played the game because you've got so many guys [like] Magic [Johnson] and John Stockton, Isiah [Thomas], Tiny Archibald and all these guys. But he's got a great chance to be a Hall of Famer if he stays healthy, number one, and if he continues to improve on his game. He's just a helluva basketball player ... I enjoyed watching when he was at Memphis, I enjoy watching him now as a pro. It seems each year that he has gotten better and that's the sign of a guy that's a professional and works at his craft."
Thibs understands Cleveland's pain: Count Tom Thibodeau among the people who understand why Cleveland fans are still holding such a grudge against LeBron James. Having said that, Thibodeau thinks it may be time for Cavs fans to finally move on.
"Hey look, the guy's from Cleveland and he had a great run here and so I'm sure there's disappointment," Thibodeau said before Wednesday morning's shootaround. "But that's part of pro sports, the way it is today; with free agency players leave, they don't stay with one team. It's unusual when a player stays with one team throughout his entire career. So sure, you feel for them."
Snow wreaks havoc around the Q: A snowstorm walloped downtown Cleveland on Wednesday, leaving both players and fans struggling to find their way. More than half the Cavs players were delayed getting to the arena while thousands of fans decided to stay in because of the weather. When the game tipped off around 7:10 ET, there were probably only about 1,000 in the seats.
"It took us like 35 minutes to get here, to get five blocks before the game," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said. "A lot of us kind of got cut short in our pregame routines, but I'm sure a lot of people had a hard time getting to the game, too. Downtown was a mess. It was a mess getting here. But I played in Philly for a few years, so I've played in a couple of those arenas where you got to kind of create your own energy."
No Booz?: Carlos Boozer had just four points and three rebounds on the night in 20-plus minutes of action. Why wasn't he on the floor down the stretch, though? Tom Thibodeau simply liked the matchups better.
"The way we were spread out, I liked Lu [Luol Deng] at the four," he said. "Just because I thought it gave us another perimeter guy and it also would allow us to do some more switching. So that was the main reason for that. And they did a good job on [Boozer] with their double teams, so it was hard to catch him; We should have been able to do a better job in transition to get him deep post catches where they didn't get the double team there quite as quick. But we played at a slow pace. It forced us into a half-court game. Then when we went to him, they got the ball out of his hands, so it was tougher on him, but we've got to do a better job with that."
The last word: Rose said he is definitely starting to get more comfortable in late game situations, but that doesn't mean he enjoys playing the role of savior on an almost nightly basis late in the fourth quarter.
"Hell no," he said with a laugh. "I don't like that. Hell no. If it was up to me I wouldn't be in [that situation]. I like winning games comfortably. It hurts. We won, but it still hurts me right now just thinking what would have happened if we would have lost."
Rose realizes that in order for his team to take the next step, they have to do a better job of closing out games against weaker opponents.
"We know when we're in this position like this we got to find ways just to put teams down," he said. "Step on them, and make sure they don't have any confidence to come back."