By Dave Searle (@DaveSearle)
Derrick Rose is going to have a big problem Wednesday when the Bulls make their first visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to take on the unbeaten Pacers.
Like Johnny Knoxville, Derrick Rose has made a career of flinging himself into things without thought or prejudice. Here is the quintessential Rose play:
Top of the key, wait for the pick. Head down, drive right, plow into opposing team’s center, pray.
Rose famously missed the entire 2012-13 season. While he was rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in the 2012 playoffs, a funny thing happened in the NBA: the so-called “verticality rule” rocked the league. If a big man occupies space, stays vertical, and doesn’t initiate contact with an offensive player he gets the benefit of the call.
Some people think this is a new rule. It isn’t. The Pacers’ Roy Hibbert just perfected it.
In the 2010-11 season, Rose shot 6.9 free throws a game. He flung and flopped himself into an MVP award that season. So far this year, he is only averaging 3.3 trips to the line. He isn’t getting the calls he used to. Rose is shooting a look-away-before-you-puke 28.8 percent from the field with 5.7 turnovers a game. Yuck.
Rose is only a 30 percent three point shooter, so he isn’t going to get his points from jumpers. So how is he going to score?
Rose better figure it out quick. The Bulls desperately need some offense from someone. And they square off against the #1 defense in the NBA Wednesday night on the road.
What the fuck is this, and why would anyone eat it?
Pacers – Bulls. Is this a rivalry? They met in the playoffs fairly recently, and that series saw plenty of pushing and shoving (including the Jeff Foster-ific YouTube clip at the top of this post). In a 2012 regular season game, Derrick Rose pitched a fit because the Pacers were too happy about winning. The two preseason games between the Pacers and Bulls were played as if lives hung in the balance on the fate of each rebound. Chicago and Indy are separated by a short three hour drive (if you know what you are doing).
Yep, it is a rivalry. Slam dunk case in fact. Well, unless you ask Derrick Rose:
“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it,” Rose said before scoring 32 points in the team’s 103-98 win against the Pacers. “I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry.”
– via ESPN’s Nick Friedell
Darren Collison? Seriously?
Actually, the way that the Bulls have been playing this season Rose is correct. They do not rival the Pacers.
Sufjan Stevens – Chicago:
Speaking of brief, fading peaks: Remember when Sufjan Stevens was going to be John Lennon and Brian Wilson rolled into one? I bet Rose listens to this and stares at his MVP award, weeping softly.
Am I going too far with this Rose thing? Probably.
Frank Vogel gets a technical foul for flipping out over a Rose-on-Hibbert blocking call. Vogel’s face will generate a flood of memes like this gem (generated by yours truly):
The Bulls offense continues to sputter. Pacers 94, Bulls 86.