Watching his former team take several hard fouls against the Indiana Pacers, Scottie Pippen implored the Chicago Bulls to do the same during their 88-84 victory in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference playoff series on Thursday.
Pippen, who was broadcasting the game, even spread the word in the Bulls locker room after the game. Although Bulls guard Kyle Korver might agree with the message from the Hall of Famer, he said times have changed in the NBA.
"It's such a different game than when Scottie played. I agree with everything he is saying but we can't just go out there and hammer somebody," Korver said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "You watch the highlights of the old days and guys getting their heads taken off and fights or whatever. If you do that now you're suspended three or four games, you're fined incredible amounts of money. The league has really cut down on that stuff."
The league proved Korver's point when it acknowledged on Friday that it is looking into two hits the Pacers had on the Bulls' Luol Deng and Derrick Rose. Deng took an elbow to the head by Pacers center Jeff Foster, and Rose was knocked to the ground by Foster on a drive to the basket in the third quarter. Neither played resulted in a flagrant foul.
Rose, who averaged 37.5 points in the first two games of the series and finished with 23 on 4-of-18 shooting in Game 3, has shot 49 free throws, 13 fewer than the entire Pacers team through three games.
"I don't think we're upset about it," Korver said of the Pacers' physical play. "I think you expect that in the playoffs. [Thursday night] Jeff Foster had a couple of pretty hard fouls. I think it's what you expect when you're playing in the playoffs. We're looking forward to Saturday. I'm sure there's going to be some pretty hard fouls on both sides."
Rose was the target of most of the hard fouls, but he still managed to close out the Pacers again, beating three defenders for a layup that gave the Bulls a two-point lead with 17.8 seconds left.
"He's been amazing. He's done it all year," said Korver, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter. "I would say he is the best closer. He's able to get his shot off whenever he wants. Last night he didn't have a great shooting night, but when it counted he got the basket and he scored.
"It's one thing when you've got it rolling and you hit the shot at the end, but when you've been cold all night and your team needs you to score and you're able to step up and get it done, it just shows a lot about him. He's really mentally tough, and he's shown great heart. He's been banged up, he's been trapped, he's had every defense thrown at him, but he just keeps on coming."