DEERFIELD, Ill. — Derrick Rose has already admitted to his poor play to begin the regular season and vowed that he will improve, so an in-depth examination of why he’s not performing at a high level is a whole other issue.
But when looking at the approach has been taking, aggressively driving to the basket, it’s curious to see that the point guard has only 10 free-throw attempts on the season.
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Now, that doesn’t excuse his 15-for-52, 28.8 percent shooting from the field, his 17 turnovers (5.67 per game) or 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams going for 26 points and 10 assists in the Bulls’ Friday-night loss in Philadelphia, but the fact that the former league MVP isn’t earning many whistles from referees is something to watch.
For his part, Rose refused to criticize the officials — a wise financial move — following the Bulls’ three-hour practice Monday at the Berto Center, despite shooting double-digit foul shots in five of seven preseason games.
“I can’t complain about it. It’s just the way the game is going. All I can do is continue to drive, but I guess try to get fouled,” he said. “I guess they’ve just got to get used to me, but I understand I’m creating some contact. But I’ve just got to play through it.
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When asked if he has any in-game dialogue with officials, Rose said he tells referees, “I think I’m getting hit.
“That’s all I can say to them,” he continued. “But for me, that can’t stop me from driving or taking the shots that I’m taking.”
Of Rose’s 52 field-goal attempts on the season, 29 of them have come at the rim—he’s converted 10, for a low, 34.5 percent success rate — and while knocking down some outside jumpers would certainly help him open up his game, it appears that the Chicago native is back to the days before his ascension to superstardom in his 2010-11 MVP campaign, when his forays to the hoop didn’t earn the referees’ whistles.
To Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who also advocated for his star player to get more calls back then, Rose is being victimized by his reputation as a gentleman.
“Next question,” the coach initially said, following a long pause. “I’ll say this: I don’t know of anyone who drives as hard as he does, nor as fast as he does and I think sometimes he’s penalized for being a nice guy. I’ll leave it at that.”