Game Notes: Bulls at Pacers
Rose hits deep bombs and Kurt Thomas plays like he used to for the Knicks.
- Rose drills a three after coming off of a high pick near the top of the key. Once again, unguardable.
- The Bulls share better than a lot of teams in the NBA. Kurt Thomas finds Rose on the long outlet pass, who then quickly whips a bounce pass over to Keith Bogans in transition.
- Mike Dunleavy drills another three. Coach Thibodeau shakes his head in disgust. He must be thinking to himself, “Really guys? We don’t know he can shoot by now? Really?”
- Rose nails a three and got fouled by Collison with just over 6:00 to go in the third after Dunleavy is off mark on the other end. Talk about a momentum shift…
- Pacers go on a 7-0 run after a three by Granger. Fed up with the Pacers current run, Rose attacks the rim hard and dishes a beautiful bounce pass to Boozer.
- Third all-bottoms three of the quarter for Rose. (Sidenote by Dave: Reminds me of the days when he hit four threes in four straight possessions against an Evan Turner led St. Joseph (Chicago) team back in high school. After he took and missed his fifth three in five possessions, the announcer proclaimed, “Well, he’s human.” His Simeon team went on to win the game pretty easily, which was played at Northwestern’s Welsh Ryan Arena. That battle between Turner and Rose still goes down as one of the best head-to-head match-ups of two big time stars in the past 5-10 years in Chicago.)
- Both teams struggled mightily to get into any type of defensive rhythm this quarter. The Bulls won the period 26-22 behind Rose’s phenomenal effort from deep. Furthermore, the Pacers are shooting just 21-69 (30.4 percent), so it makes sense that the official score is 79-63, and it’s the Bulls game to lose going into the fourth.
- Kurt Thomas with his third offensive rebound and 15th for the game with 9 minutes to go. THAT is a game winning play.
- Rose checks in at the 7:00 minute mark after some more extended rest. Bulls up 13, 84-71.
- The closest the Pacers have come in a long while is 11, which they’ve done on multiple occasions this half, but they haven’t done anywhere near as good of a job as they did early on in this game of moving the ball, screening, and hitting the open man. That and the Bulls have certainly made some nice defensive adjustments that have forced the Pacers out of rhythm.
- Danny Granger has driven to the rim with more aggression in this fourth quarter than he has the whole year. Wake up, Danny.
- Another impressive Rose floater after crossing up Darren Collison for the umpteenth time tonight. Fans filing out with 2 minutes to play and the Bulls firmly in control.
- Bulls fans cheer loudly in the final seconds as the Bulls take this battle of the midwest by the score of 99-86. Bulls improve to 26-13 while the Pacers drop to 16-20.
Coach Tom Thibodeau On guarding the Pacers. “They’re a hard team to guard because of their versatility. When they went small, Loul [Deng] had to play a lot of minutes tonight and he had to guard Granger…they rebounded extremely well too, but I thought Derrick did a great job on the boards and of course Kurt was fabulous.”
-On why Kurt was successful. “He stays within himself. He knows who he is; he’s out there for defensive rebounding and hitting open spot-ups. When you’re in a pick and roll with him, he will make the right play…I think it’s about how smart he is and not trying to do things he’s not capable of.”
- And on whether the loss to Charlotte gave the Bulls an extra edge? “…I think each and every game you have to analyze what happened and weigh in on why you lose. I think this team has been very good at taking the things we need to correct and focusing in on those things and try to correct them. You could see it in the shoot around, you could see it in the pregame that we were going to be ready to play.”
- Coach Jim O’Brien discusses his team’s lackluster performance and Derrick Rose’s brilliance: “In the first half we weren’t sharp at all. Our defense, we missed too many layups and too many point blank shots, and then when we tried to make a comeback Derrick Rose stepped up and made sure there wasn’t going to be a comeback tonight… The first half was very poor defense on our part. We just did not rotate, didn’t use the schemes that we’ve been practicing since day one. The second half, when he’s doing what he’s doing it doesn’t matter and that’s why people are calling him an MVP candidate. When he’s knocking down threes–he shoots like 27 percent on the road–and when he’s knocking them down and you have to go over the pick-and-roll, that’s a problem”
- Boozer on the W: “We just read tonight. We did a good job of focusing on what they do offensively and we made them take tough shots, contested shots. We rebounded the ball well, we were efficient on offense, and everybody came into the game ready to play and that’s what we need the rest of the season… I’m just proud of my guys. We were ready to go. The intensity was there, we did a great job on D, and won a big game for us. That’s the kind of effort we need.”
- Derrick Rose talks about his shooting from deep: “I was just taking what they were giving me. They were going under screens–I’ve been shooting the whole summer, I’ve been shooting the ball decent this year, and tonight and they were going in.”
- Rose on bouncing back after the loss on Wednesday to the Bobcats: “I couldn’t wait to play. We slipped because of our defense and tonight we made sure we played with a lot of intensity in the beginning of the game and played defense.”
- And lastly, Rose on the Bulls following in Indiana: ” It’s fun. That’s because of Michael Jordan and Pippen. It’s because of people like them that we have fans like this and we’re just grateful and blessed to have them everywhere.”