Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has conceded that point guard Derrick Rose will need to ‘go harder’ in order to get to the free throw line this post-season.
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Rose hasn’t taken a free throw in three straight games through the last clash with the Milwaukee Bucks and first two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
That’s the first time that it has happened in his career, and Thibodeau isn’t best pleased with how not only he is failing to attack more but also with the lack of calls from officials when there is contact.
“I guess he’s got to go harder, I don’t know,” Thibodeau said after a long pause, ESPN reports.
“It looks like there’s a lot of contact to me. But obviously others don’t see it that way.”
Rose has driven to the paint 18 times this series according to ESPN Stats and Info, with nine of those attempts being in the restricted area. The Bulls star has gone 5-for-18 from the paint and 3-for-9 from the restricted area.
However, the 26-year-old dismissed the issue and insisted that he can’t focus on that and will continue to play his game and not worry if the officials aren’t making calls in his favour.
Despite going close to a triple double with 14 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, Rose’s ability to attack the basket and get fouls is a key component of how the Bulls will be successful in this series and advance to the Conference finals.
Thibodeau will want to see that improve but also to see his team start quicker in Game 3 on Friday, as he criticised their inability to take care of the ball early on in Game 2 which allowed the Cavs to get into the open court and get a rhythm with LeBron James starring.
The series switches to Chicago on Friday night, and so the Bulls will be under pressure to regain the momentum having taken home-court advantage away from their rivals.