The below is a reaction to the article in the Sun-Times yesterday: Coach Tom Thibodeau has a message for Derrick Rose: Attack.
“We’re a lot better when he’s aggressive,” Thibodeau said after practice Wednesday at the Golden State Warriors’ facility. “It puts enormous pressure on our opponent’s defense. When he’s attacking, we’re getting easy baskets, we’re getting to the line, he’s getting people into foul trouble. It helps us in so many different ways. When we talk about him attacking, we want him attacking on both ends. We want him attacking on defense, also. That’s when he’s at his best. Right now, he’s trying to get others involved early, which is good, but when they put two on the ball, that’s good for us. That’s easy offense.”
- Shouldn’t there be a concern that we are still going to be the one-dimensional team from last season?
- If it is widely known that Derrick being able to “attack” makes the Bulls a better team, don’t you just seek to shut him down early?
- How prepared are Derrick’s teammates to pick up the slack in the event that he is shut down?
- Can we be confident that there is someone on Thibs staff who is managing minutes and not riding the MVP to injury or burnout?
I remember everyone being annoyed last season, right before the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals, when Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers made this observation: “[The Bulls] go as Derrick Rose goes. If you make a concerted effort to stop Derrick Rose, you have a better chance of beating them.”
We all chuckled, gave each other high-fives and giggled that we would sure like to see someone try to stop/slow down our home-town hero, D.Rose… Then, in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James and the Heat showed us just how you do it. Not taking anything away from Rip Hamilton (I think he was a nice pickup and will fit in nicely with the Bulls offense), however, I just look at our schedule and fear that Derrick is about to, again, exert a TON of energy each night and that upsets me. How in the world, with this compacted schedule can the Bulls expect Derrick to play at the high level he played at last season AND still have the Bulls competitive in the playoffs?
How many times last season did we find the Bulls, in the half-court, all eyes laser-focused on D. Rose to make a play with about 5 seconds left on the shot clock? Uh, like a ton. He did it too… He did it SO much he actually LED the league in unassisted field goals. LED the entire league. Really? If he can do it again, this will pack and jam Derrick’s highlight reel for the 2011-2012 season for sure, but will it get us to the big dance? That remains to be seen and I’m hopeful that this “unleashing” is the right thing to do.
Stay healthy Derrick and go Bulls…