By David Schuster–
INDIANAPOLIS (WSCR) — Should we look at this picture as a glass half empty or half full? The Bulls are up two games to none in their series with Indiana, but they truly have not played anything like a No. 1 seed. And if it wasn’t for Derrick Rose the Bulls would be down two games to none. There is no question that Rose has been the difference in the first two games. He has scored a total of 75 points and the Bulls have needed every one of them.
For years we have all heard about the necessity of having a closer to go to when the games are on the line. We definitely got spoiled by the greatness of Michael Jordan who had the brass to take those big shots and who could take over games when needed. Well now another generation later we are spoiled again by the presence of Rose. Time after time the Bulls third-year point guard has lifted the team on to his back and time after time he has delivered in the clutch. And this is all happening with his opponent (the Pacers) knowing that Rose will have the ball in his hands and likely going to the basket.
Indiana altered their defense versus Rose in game two and initially put a bigger and taller defender on him as opposed to game one. Then in the second half they started double teaming him with another big body and trapping him once he came over half court. The Pacers did force Rose into some turnovers, but he still broke free numerous times and got to the rim. It is nothing short of amazing watching him maneuver in traffic. And lest you think this is a jaded compliment by a home town reporter, all you have to do is listen to his opponents talk about Rose after games. They have nothing but praise and admiration for all aspects of his game. Larry Bird, who is one of the greatest to ever play the game, has long been known to begrudgingly give compliments towards opponents. But when it comes to Rose, Bird absolutely gushes with compliments and shakes his head in awe of what Rose can do on the court.
No doubt about it. We were blessed to have witnessed Jordan’s magnificence and now we’re seeing Rose. Talk about winning the lottery twice.