Unsurprisingly, bloggers aren't the only ones who realize Rose is hoisting up a lot of threes and playing poorly. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau also wants Derrick Rose to get out there and attack. It marks the second time that Thibodeau has been somewhat critical of Rose through the media.
The first time was when he expressed frustration with Rose's injury situation.
When broached on the topic of Rose relying on the three so much Thibs responded with:
"He has to attack," Thibodeau said. "That's the bottom line. Some teams are going under (screens) and some teams will adjust to a blitz. All I know is when he's pushing the ball up the floor and attacking, that's who he is. He can't defer. He can't pace himself. He's gotta go."
Asked if that message has been relayed to Rose, Thibodeau said yes.
"We talk every day," he said. "I'm not going to measure every play. It's an instinctive game. We have to trust him. But I know when he has played well this year, he has been in attack mode."
Neither time did Thibodeau hit below the belt, say something incorrect, or really throw Rose under the bus, but this is the guy who refused to criticize Carlos Boozer's defense or play to the media and would just discuss how great he'd been.
This is the guy for years who would answer questions about Rose's injuries with "we have more than enough to win other guys have to step up, Derrick's working really hard". Now he says Rose has to get out there.
Now he says, Rose has to attack, he can't defer, he can't pace himself, he's gotta go.
And of course, in both cases, he's right. Now Rose has gotten out there, mission accomplished for argument number one. Derrick's played in seven straight games now, and its gotten to the point where I no longer expect him to be hurt after every game or go scramble to find the news the next game to see if something flared up.
This second statement is just as important though. Stepping on to the court is one thing, and make no mistake, the fear teams hold of Rose makes him somewhat effective despite his horrendous shot selection and poor play, so that's been a positive, but he needs to attack.
We've seen Rose in attack mode this season. Against the Knicks, against the Cavs before the ankle sprain, a bit against Detroit and Toronto before the hamstring. We need to see it again, when we do, the Bulls will transform from this pedestrian team that looks good enough to compete in the East, but not the west into a team that can compete for the title.
As for the remarks through the media, Thibodeau will need to tread carefully. I think you can blast a guy in practice all you want, and I think Thibs is harder on Rose than other players in practice, but saying things in the media is a way to cause hurt feelings even if those things are really minor, said in person, and also true.
This is a situation where Thibodeau's typical response would be "he's got to let the game come to him, we trust Derrick to make the right decisions" and then (presumably) ride Rose in practice.
For Derrick's part, it's easy to forget that he had a hamstring injury to start off his second campaign and played very similar to this in terms of not pushing the attack at all. There was a small stretch where the realgm crowd was discussing trading him for Brandon Jennings who had started the season with impressive shooting and dominant play.
A month later, everything fell into place, and Rose begin to play like himself again. Hamstring injuries can be tricky, healing all the way is tough, and trusting the leg is tougher still. Maybe, as frustrating as it is, Rose needs more time for that process.
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