Monday, April 18, 2011
Rose doing his damage close to rim
By Nick Friedell
Don't expect Derrick Rose to stop attacking the rim despite hard fouls like the one Tyler Hansbrough delivered in Game 1.
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose went to the free throw line 21 times during Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers, a number which may have surprised some people, but not his teammates.
They've seen the way he's attacked the rim all year and they know how much he's improved when it comes to drawing contact.
"There's been a lot of talk about Derrick and the free throw line this year," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said after Sunday afternoon's practice. "In the beginning, it was that he couldn't get to the free throw line. And then you get it and then you got a lot of calls.
"I don't think anyone's going to deny that he attacked the basket really hard [Saturday]. I think there were a lot of hard fouls [Saturday] on him. I don't think they gave him a lot of calls, he just went to the basket really hard and one of the very few ways to stop him from scoring is to foul him."
The thing that should scare Bulls fans is that if it hadn't been for those calls, the Pacers would have been in business.
Rose scored 35 of his 39 points at the free throw line or on field goals inside of 10 feet of the basket, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Rose only made 18.2 percent of his shots from 10 feet or farther, including 0-for-9 from the 3-point line.
The Pacers had the right plan in place by playing physical with him and running him through screen after screen, they just couldn't slow him down at the rim.
Bulls go fourth: The Bulls played porous defense during the first three quarters of Saturday's game, but they made up for it in the fourth.
The Pacers shot below 32 percent in their half court sets in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Info. That's not surprising considering the Bulls led the league in opponent half-court field goal percentage during the regular season at 41.2 percent.
Deng shuts down Granger: Danny Granger finished Game 1 with 24 points, but most of those didn't come at the expense of Luol Deng.
Deng held Granger to 9-of-25 shooting (36.0 percent) during the regular season. On Saturday, Deng held Granger to 10 points on 14 plays, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Granger was just 4-for-13 with Deng guarding him. A trend that must continue if the Bulls want to pick up a win in Game 2.