Chicago Bulls must keep their balance

May, 11, 2011
5/11/11
2:00
AM CT
Wilbon By Michael Wilbon
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Larry Drew knew all the discussion over Derrick Rose taking 32 shots Sunday night in Atlanta's victory over the Bulls wasn't going to sit well with the league's newly minted MVP.

The Atlanta Hawks coach wanted Rose to take 32 shots again Tuesday night in Game 5 or, for that matter, 42. The Hawks had just shown they could win a playoff series, against the Orlando Magic, by allowing the opponent's best player, Dwight Howard, to essentially score as many points as he wanted as long as the Hawks kept the Magic's role players in check. What Drew did not want, but what he suspected would happen, was for Rose to respond to the criticism by getting his teammates engaged in the game& which is exactly what happened.

Don't get me wrong, Rose's 33 points were critical to the Bulls' 95-83 victory, which gave them a 3-2 series lead. But finding the balance they didn't have Sunday night in Atlanta was what enabled the Bulls to win Game 5 and is exactly the way they need to play on Thursday if they're going to close out this series in Atlanta or, looking ahead a bit, legitimately challenge the Miami Heat if the two meet in the Eastern Conference finals.

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Michael Wilbon | email

Pardon the Interruption co-host
Michael Wilbon is a featured columnist for ESPN.com and ESPNChicago.com. He is the longtime co-host of "Pardon the Interruption" on ESPN and appears on the "NBA Sunday Countdown" pregame show on ABC, in addition to ESPN. You can follow him on Twitter: @RealMikeWilbon

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5