Well, we've been wondering for a little while what the Bulls would look like if their star Derrick Rose wasn't on his game. We got the answer last night and it may not have been pretty, but it still resulted in a Bulls win. Rose shot just 4-18 from the field (he did finish with 23 points with the help of 13 free throws however) but his late game heroics still gave the Bulls an 88-84 win in game three of their first round series against the Indiana Pacers.
Even though his shot wasn't falling, Rose never got discouraged, according to Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times.
‘‘No. Never,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s just the way I am. I have confidence at the end of the game — during the game, too — to keep fighting through it. I’m happy to have the teammates I have. Because they’re fighting through everything with me.’’
With under 30 seconds left and the game tied at 84, Rose got the ball at the top of the key, drove left around Dahntay Jones and finished with his left hand over three Pacer defenders. The Pacers had a shot to tie the game, but they went for the win instead, and a desperation three-point attempt from Danny Granger went begging. A couple free-throws on the other end of the floor iced it.
The Bulls might not have looked as dominant in this series as people were expecting, but that hasn't really bothered Joakim Noah. He's opting to look on the bright side of things.
‘‘It feels amazing,’’ forward Joakim Noah said. ‘‘A lot of people say, ‘You should be winning by a lot bigger margin. I promise, we’re trying as hard as we can. That’s the beauty of it. To be in a 3-0 position — and know we can play a lot better. That’s exciting stuff. It’s gotta be a positive.’’
Our Bulls blog Blog A Bull isn't worried about the way the series is playing out either, they just want it to be over. The series now stands at 3-0, and the Bulls will have a chance to finish off the sweep on Saturday.