Cleveland losing sleep coming up with the Rose rules


I found this article from the Cleveland Plains Dealer while reading Mike McGraw this morning (congrats to Taj Gibson for beating Noah in the elbow shooting contest, my money would have been on Noah who typically does very well in these types of contests, he's won several FT contests this year even when the guards are involved).

The Cavaliers are losing sleep over Derrick Rose, game planning for him, going through their scouting reports and trying to figure out how to stop him.   When the best team in the league is trying to figure out how to slow you down in the playoffs, you've arrived. 
The entire article at the Plains dealer is a great read, so check it out, but I found this to be the most interesting portion of it:

In the NBA, "going to church" is a defense against great drivers
and is often used against James. It is also called playing "elbows and
boxes." This is an extreme paint defense strategy in which four players
play basically a zone around the paint with a defender on top of the
floor playing the point guard.

On paper, it looks like a church with a steeple, and often makes it
very hard to drivers to get the ball inside and instead must take
jumpers or pass to teammates for lower percentage shots.

It is a change-up style that may only work for a couple possessions
at a time but has worked against James at times. The Cavs went to a
look like this on several possessions in the second half in Game 3, but
the hot shooting of Kirk Hinrich, who went 9-of-12, punished them for
it. So did Luol Deng, who made nine of 16 shots. It might be something
they go back to in Game 4.

The Cavs defense is to go on a full on contain the paint and leave the shooters open plan, hoping that Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich won't beat them.   To quite honest, this is the defense I would put on the whole game, and I'd feel very comfortable that Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng won't beat me from the outside three more times this series.

I'd also feel very comfortable that Derrick Rose wouldn't generate enough fouls by drawing contact at the rim to try and break the back of a crowded lane either (a difficult task because with five guys basically defending the paint, they can establish position easily). 

This is also the essence of why the Bulls really need a great shooter, because it would punish this defense.  You know that this defense isn't an option if he who shall not be named was still on this team.    I don't know what you call a half church, but I know one guy would be standing in the corner defending the three point line at all times.

Now the Bulls will call upon Kirk Hinrich to play the role of back breaker when the Cavs put a box in the paint.   Will it work?   It worked for game three, and it will be on Kirk to make it work again.


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  • "You know that this defense isn't an option if he who shall not be named was still on this team."

    I thought you were talking about Ben Gordon, then I realised you just named two players who shot 6% better from three but say can't beat the Cavs. So I don't know, are you referring to John Salmons?

  • Doug, you would give up Rose and Noah for LBJ?!?!?! Blasphemy!!

    I wonder how many others would do this. I would not, because I don't like LBJ and wouldn't sell my soul to get him.

    So I pose the question to Doug's readers...

    LBJ? Or Rose and Noah?

  • Hey Doug,

    Would you agree that except for the VDN Pax thing the Bulls have done everything they possibly could to look attractive to FAs this summer?

    I mean its almost perfect, the Raps didn't make it. The Heat are getting blown out with no one except Wade showing heart while the Bulls are hanging tough with the best team in the NBA and look decent even in losses. Rose looks like a surefire all-star, Noah looks like he could make an allstar team.

    Even the negative nancy that is Fred Pfeiffer would have to say the Bulls have done just about everything that was expected.

    What do you think?

  • There is no one magic bullett or simple answer to beat a team. At least if you have a good coach and some agressive players. If they zone out around the paint, call it a church whatever gimicky name they want to use to make it sound like something special when it's actually one of the most basic defensive strategies one can employ, but then a good team/coach isos getting all the bigs especially out past the three on top or near the top, and not on the sides. Also bringing double screens/picks with two picks/bigs preferably running to spots as picks are now set, not the old fashioned way where you stand there with your hands behind your back like your waiting for a wallflower dance going stag at the prom.

    I think the officials, possibly LeBron playing Derrick defensively, and another contributor getting involved such as Taj Gibson are my greatest concerns. Also, the Bulls D when they were clicking with everyone healthy before the injuries(whenever that amazing rare span of good fortune was), collapses in the paint, throws a block party, and steers cutters away from the baseline and to the middle. If they do all these things they can win again.

    But aside from the "church," god that word usage cracks me up, Clevland using Lebron as a switching defender to be near/spy on Derrick and come at him whenever he decides/looks like he's going to drive, it concerns me because Vinny is not a good in game coach with offensive adjustments/solutions.

    Someone's going to have to make a break through with the challeneges they are facing. That's just how these seminal moments are.

    The biggest thing is that they are going to have to space out the players, make sharp cuts, not turn the ball over, everybody in attack mode, and Derrick is going to have to use that space to attack relentlessly. I'm thinking if he doesn't go for 30 or more Bulls lose. Course' you could say that about every hame in this series. He's going to have to rise to the challenge of Clevland and LeBron adjusting their focus on him they way a Kevin Durant would. I'm just thinking he's not going to be getting the guidance to help him that some other guys eould. Will see. Go Bulls

  • My favorite part was when Shaq got Kurt's name right.

  • With a BIG win in Game 4, more PRESSURE comes to the Cavs and LBJ.

    That PRESSURE will surely keep them up at night.

    Go Bulls!!!

  • And once again it sounds like we're relying on Kirk Hinrich to save us, the problem is he has to he's the one open. I dont think any bulls fan should be disappointed with this series considering that the bulls have had chances at every game in this series, some better shooting, play calling and refeering and the bulls might be in the lead in this series

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