“I don’t care if it’s my mom on the court, she’s going to get killed.”
—Derrick Rose talking about his level of motivation on the court, via Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.
Two years ago, nobody questioned Rose’s work ethic, commitment to the game or to the Bulls. He was one of the NBA’s new generation of model citizens.
Then after his knee injury, he decided he couldn’t come back until he felt right — something that is completely within his rights. He knows what his knee feels like, not fans or sports talk radio hosts. Only Rose gets to make the call on when he could return to the court. But he turned it into a PR mess by having a series of commercials about his efforts that led nowhere, then never closing the door on his return — even during the playoffs when it was obvious he wouldn’t come back he would work out before games then not play, at the same time his teammates were trying to play through their own injuries. Rose might not care, but he came off looking bad.
Now he’s back and out to re-establish his credentials as a hard worker dedicated to the game — hence the “Basketball is Everything” ad. The only real way to do that is to just get out on the court and ball like his old self. Do that and the city of Chicago and the legions of Bulls fans will fall right in line again.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.