Derrick Rose, the NBA’s reigning and youngest MVP in the history of the league, did wonders in getting his Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals, but his performance in five games against Miami left more to be desired. His rapid ascent and development had him putting up stellar numbers in the Bulls’ 62-win regular-season and helping Chicago establish an 8-2 record against its 2011 Playoff opponents.
After tearing up the Pacers and Hawks in Rounds 1 and 2 and averaging 29 points and 8.2 assists, Rose slowed down as the Bulls were nipped by the Heat in five games; he averaged 23.4 points and 6.6 assists. He also shot just 35 percent from the floor and 23 percent from behind the arc.
In the 2011 postseason, Rose attempted nearly five more shots from the floor per game, almost exclusively settling for fade-away jumpers and contested pull-ups. With his top-tier athleticism and quickness, Rose needed to continue to break-down the defense and getting into the lane for his patented short floater. With defenses keying in on him, he took too many long-twos and turned the ball over too much down the stretch. When Chicago’s lead in Game 5 was slipping away, Rose continue to miss shots only adding to the meltdown.
Chicago must address their lack of perimeter shooting in the 2011 Draft and with two late first round picks, there should be a couple of prime targets for Chicago. Tyler Honeycutt from UCLA is one presumed target as is Charles Jenkins, a Hofstra product. Kyle Korver, Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer combined for 28-for-68 shooting from the floor or 41 percent. Collectively they shot 12-for-38 from 3 too. Big man Carlos Boozer, their key free agent acquisition this past summer, did Rose no favors either, averaging 14 points per game in the series and made just 1-of-6 field-goals in the game while sitting out the fourth quarter.