Tuesday , Feb , 24 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Del Negro Benches Derrick Rose over Defense

Rookie guard Derrick Rose was pulled out of Sunday’s game just two minutes into the third quarter after Pacers point guard T.J. Ford knocked down a couple of jump shots.

Coach Vinny Del Negro decided to give Kirk Hinrich a try against Ford. The Bulls went on to erase a 14-point deficit, but when Ford scored 9 points in the final 3:54 of the game, 7 of those came against Hinrich and the last basket was a fastbreak dunk after a bad pass by John Salmons.

"(Rose) is still young and he’s got to learn defensively," Del Negro said. "When you’ve got Kirk sitting over there as one of your best defenders and a guy’s hurting you, then I’ve got to get Kirk out there and try to control the penetration. We still weren’t able to control T.J. the way we would like. He carves people up a lot."

Rose took the benching in stride. He led the Bulls with 8 assists, but he hit just 1 of 9 shots from the field. Hinrich went 1-for-7.