The Bald Truth
Love Derrick Rose's game. Love it! As he matures, however, he has to realize that he need not always take the final shot -- even though he's by far the best player on the Bulls.
Late in regulation time Tuesday, the Bulls had two chances to beat the Heat on the road and even the series. Both times, Rose tried to take jump shots over LeBron James, who is at least a half-foot taller and can jump just as high. Predictably, both shots missed.
On both occasions, Rose had open teammates. Luol Deng, who has hit numerous big shots, would have been an obvious alternative.
(Overall, I've been impressed by Tom Thibodeau's coaching -- and, in fact, lobbied three years ago for the Bulls to hire him instead of Vapid Vinny Del Negro. Still, it's hard to say Thibodeau wasn't out-coached by Eric Spoelstra with the whole LeBron-on-DRose situation.)
Doesn't the superstar always take the big shot? Didn't Rose's hero, Michael Jordan?
Most of the time, yes. But not always.
John Paxson hit the championship-winning 3-pointer in 1993, with Jordan later saying: "Once Paxson got the ball, I knew it was over."
In 1997, it was Steve Kerr who took a pass from Jordan and won the title with a 15-footer. In the time-out before the play, MJ went out of his way to tell Kerr to be ready if John Stockton left Kerr to double-team Jordan. Stockton indeed left Kerr, and both Jordan and Kerr were prepared to make history.
Even Jordan's famed 55-point "Double Nickel" Spectacular at Madison Square Garden in '95 ended with Jordan feeding Bill Wennington for the winning basket.
So yes, Rose should be prepared to carry his team. That's what MVPs do. Sometimes, though, the shot simply isn't there. And on those occasions, the MVP has to be smart and brave enough to trust his teammates.
That's what they're there for.
The End Is Near
I will be very sad when the Bulls-Heat series ends, and it has nothing to do with the Bulls' precarious predicament.
The end of the series means the end of TNT's broadcasts. And that means no more Marv Albert until next season (if there even is a next season for the NBA).
The guy is such a pleasure to listen to, it makes me want to wear a toupee and bite some broad's back.
The Balder Truth
Good thing for the Bulls that Bennett Salvatore wasn't officiating Game 6 of the '98 NBA Finals.
In the closing seconds of regulation Tuesday, he ignored the unwritten NBA commandment "Thou Shalt Not Call Fouls On Superstars With The Game On The Line" and had the cajones to make a great offensive foul call on LeBron -- who had used his free arm to shove Ronnie Brewer.
It's fun to wonder if Salvatore would have made a similarly bold call against Jordan, who clearly shoved Utah's Bryon Russell out of the way before hitting the famed jumper that won the title in MJ's final game as a Bull.
In three years under Coach K, how is it possible that Carlos Boozer didn't learn to play even a little defense?
THE BALDEST TRUTH
How hard up must ESPN be for NBA analysts if they are turning to Vapid Vinny for insight into the Bulls-Heat series?
As usual, Del Negro offered nothing of substance and repeatedly used cliches. He even disagreed with TNT's outstanding analyst pair -- Kerr and Reggie Miller -- by saying it was Rose's responsibility to attempt those difficult jumpers over LeBron.
Yep, Vapid Vinny truly sounded like a guy who deserves to coach the Clippers.