Rose brushes off 'no defense' comments

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Rose brushes off 'no defense' comments

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011
7:40 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

After being disparaged by Trail Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum after Mondays loss for his inability to stop Portland point guard counterpart Andre Miller and overall inadequacy on the defensive endBatum later stated he was misquoted; ironically, Batum, considered one of the leagues up-and-coming defenders, guarded Rose for most of the Blazers game and although Rose wasnt victorious, he did score 34 pointsRose was asked about the comments.

He threw me under the bus, didnt he? Everybodys got their opinion. I know that I can play defense, said the All-Star point guard, who added that he thought he excessively fouled Miller and allowed him too many transition opportunities. I dont get upset at all. Thats his opinion.

Utahs Williams stuck up for Rose, who has markedly improved on that end of the floor from a season ago.

Ive never heard that. I think he can play defense just fine, said the Jazz All-Star. I dont think theres anybody in this league that can stop guys one-on-one continuously or in pick-and-roll by themselves. Everything is team defense now. Depends on how everybodys playing that night.

Thibodeau also defended his point guard.

I watch him all year so I watch the progress that he makes and I dont really care what other people say, said Thibodeau. I think whats important is what we thinkhis coaches, his teammatesand I think hes done a very good job all year long.

Sloan didnt comment on Roses defense specifically, but expressed that hes impressed with his development.

He just improved on what he had. Terrific explosive guy, hes so strong. Looks to be like hes gotten stronger, said Sloan. It looks like he works tremendously hard to make himself good. That doesnt happen by accident.

Hes very good at blowing by people, putting a lot of pressure on your defense because he can pick and roll. He just makes plays, simple plays. He makes it look simple.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox crush Royals; Cubs shutout Pirates; Bulls battle Celtics tonight on CSN

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox crush Royals; Cubs shutout Pirates; Bulls battle Celtics tonight on CSN

Here are some of the top Chicago sports stories from Tuesday: 

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

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NBA Buzz: Time for Fred Hoiberg to make adjustments for the Bulls

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Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Boston Celtics today in Game 5 on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. And be sure to stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live-streaming coverage of the Bulls.

1. Point guards need to be better. It’ll be Isaiah Canaan starting Game 5 at the point for the Bulls, but their game plan can’t be to have him play 34 minutes again. That means one of Jerian Grant or Michael Carter-Williams is going to have to give the Bulls some semblance of good run at times early in the second and fourth quarters. And that’s assuming Canaan can replicate Game 4’s performance.

2. Perfect time for a Jimmy Butler takeover game. Jimmy Butler has been good, not great, in this series. And for a No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed, the eight seed’s best player needs to be great. Butler is shooting just 41 percent – and 24 percent from deep – despite averaging nearly 25 points per game. This could be a game where he decides to take over. When he does that (and is hitting jumpers), he’s unstoppable and can win a game himself.

3. Niko, Portis or Zipser? The Bulls wouldn’t have won Game 1 without Bobby Portis, and they would have had a much tougher time closing things out had Paul Zipser not gone for 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. One of those two, or the struggling Nikola Mirotic, needs to step up in a big way for the Bulls, especially with Rajon Rondo out and Dwyane Wade struggling.

4. Is this now Isaiah Thomas’ series? With the Celtics going small Isaiah Thomas appears to have found his way offensively. He was dynamite in Games 1 and 2 with one of Gerald Green or Marcus Smart in the small-ball lineup. The Bulls don’t have enough options to throw at him when he’s on his game. There’s a reason he’s an MVP candidate, and if he decides this series is over the Bulls can’t match him.

5. The series is on the line. The Bulls are eight-point underdogs heading into Game 5, and the series is essentially on the line. A loss tonight means the Bulls need a win Friday at home AND a Game 7 road win in Boston against the top team in the East (record-wise). That just isn’t feasible. The season is on the line, and you can bet Fred Hoiberg has told his team as much – as if they needed to be told.

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