Saturday, April 16, 2011Posted: 12:05 PM
By Aggrey Sam
With the whiteboard in the United Center visiting locker room reading Rose Plan under the Pacers defensive keys, Indiana leading scorer Danny Granger didnt exactly back away from his comments about Derrick Rose being a virtual one-man gang, although he did acknowledge some of the other weapons on the Bulls.
Luol Deng has always been a great player. I think he really thrives because he gets a lot of stuff off Derrick Rose. A lot of people pay so much attention to Derrick RoseI could also mention Carlos Boozer, although I think Derrick Rose is the primary force, Granger said before Saturdays Game 1 of the Bulls-Pacers first-round playoff series. He does a lot for them, as far as scoring and setting up everybody else on the offensive end, and weve got to do our best to slow him down.
I didnt use the word rules specifically because I didnt want the comparison, said Frank Vogel, who became the Pacers head coach after Jim OBrien was firedironically, a day after losing to the Bulls. We know what we have to do against him. Weve just got to execute it.
Were thinking about a planfull-court man-to-man press, half-court zonethings weve never played before, joked the 37-year-old, who would only reveal that starting point guard Darren Collison would begin the game guarding Rose. We believe in what we do. Were going to play our defense with a few different wrinkles for him. Were here for a reason. Were a good basketball team.
Without being too specific, were going to have a couple different guys go at him at different times and really just have to guard him with five guys. We understand that no one guy can stop him and its got to be a team effort.
Indianas young coachthe youngest in the leagueand star player arent concerned with the perception that theyre outmatched and plan to stick with what got them into the postseason.
Basically, we started playing together a little bit more. Were young so we make a lot of mistakes, but were always trying to be unselfish, playing together, moving the basketballthat helped us win a lot of games, said Granger about the teams in-season turnaround. We didnt come here just to play a few games and lose. We came here trying to win and I think everybodyI dont care what seed you areif you dont come into the playoffs with that mindset, bad things are going to happen.
Our youth is definitely a disadvantage, but in the same instance, weve got to start somewhere. It starts here for a lot of our young players and itll be a good learning experience. The pressure, honestly, is on them. Everyone thinks were going to lose anyway, so we can come out and play free, and try to get a win.
Concurred Vogel: Predictions that the Bulls will sweep the Pacers are irrelevant to us. We believe in ourselves.
Weve proven we can score 115 against a team like this, he continued, referring to the Pacers overtime win over the Bulls in March. We can be fruitful offensively. We have confidence we can score on anybody and were confident we can defend, as well.
Weve gotten here by playing together, playing as a team and thats how were going to continue to playYou cant win in the playoffs without playing physical basketball.
Granger also referenced the overtime upsetin which Rose scored a career-high-tying 42 points, but fouled out in the extra sessionand says the Pacers will try to implement some of the successful aspects of that game plan to the postseason matchup.
We did a good job of attacking their defense. They have the best defense in the league and we used some schemes to attack them. We were successful that time. Were going to try to carry that over to this series.
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.