You still see it: Derrick Rose blows by his man as quickly as any player in the league, he is in the lane fast. The help defender is moving over just a second or two late, and Rose makes an athletic, acrobatic move to avoid the defender and spin in a bucket. You see the shot again on SportsCenter.
That’s not what Dwyane Wade would do — he’d slam into that late defender, maybe or maybe not making the shot but drawing the foul for sure. Wade also probably would go crashing to the floor in a manner as spectacular as the shot.
Last season Wade averaged 9.1 free throws per game. Tyreke Evans was 6.5. Deron Williams was 5.5.
Rose was down to 4.3. It’s long been the one thing that needed to change about his game. He needed to draw the foul. And he knows it, he told the Sun-Times.
”I’m trying to change it now where instead of avoiding the contact and hitting crazy shots, I’m trying to get fouled and go to the free-throw line,” he said. ”It’s kind of weird for me right now getting used to it, but it’s coming along.”
It’s working. So far this season — just three games, so small sample size alert — it is 7.3 free throws a game. That’s meant six points a game at the line. It puts more pressure on opposing bigs. If he can keep this, and when Carlos Boozer returns in a few weeks, the Bulls could be very hard to defend.
Now, what would really make the Bulls impossible to stop is a point guard that can shoot better than 21 percent from three… but one project at a time.