"We have the rules; you have to go straight up," Pacers forward Danny Granger said. "You can't go forward or to the side. Twenty-one free throws, that's a lot of free throws. We have to figure out a way to keep him out of the lane."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Indiana Pacers have to deal with it. Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls’ franchise face and favorite to win the regular season MVP, will get to the line.
Rose will get to the line for two reasons. First, he does a sensational job penetrating and drawing contact. Second, he’s a superstar. Like it or not, refs favor superstars.
This is, after all, the NBA, where league head office protects elite talent like Greenpeace protects endangered species. Right or wrong, the zebras will give Rose the benefit of any doubt.
Instead of being frustrated at Rose’s 21 free throws in game one, the Pacers should be frustrated at themselves. They blew a fourth quarter lead, and should have stolen home-court advantage with a road win.
The Bulls will settle their nerves. Carlos Boozer will be better. Coach Tom Thibodeau will hit the video room and work out the kinks on defense.
In short, the Bulls will adjust in game two. The Pacers would be wise to forget Rose and do the same.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.