Bulls

Pacers to use 'Rose plan' against Bulls

Pacers to use 'Rose plan' against Bulls

Saturday, April 16, 2011Posted: 12:05 PM
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

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.

Fun with tall people: Lauri Markkanen takes photo with Yao Ming and looks short

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USA TODAY

Fun with tall people: Lauri Markkanen takes photo with Yao Ming and looks short

Lauri Markkanen doesn't often feel short.

The Bulls forward is 7-feet tall, which even in the land of NBA giants makes him one of the tallest players on the court at all times. So when Markkanen stands next to Yao Ming, it changes perspective quite a bit.

Markkanen posted a photo with him and the 7-foot-6 Chinese Hall of Famer. Markkanen looks like a child.

Makes you wonder if Markkanen pulled some "What's the weather like up there?" jokes just because he otherwise never can.

 

Could Derrick Walton Jr. become the solution at backup PG?

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USA TODAY

Could Derrick Walton Jr. become the solution at backup PG?

Former Miami Heat two-way player Derrick Walton Jr. is reported to be nearing a deal with the Bulls. In an interview with The Athletic, it was stated: "Walton, 23, says he knows where he’ll play next season. An agreement is in place, but his agent, Mark Bartelstein, is requiring him to sit on the news until next week. All Walton can put out publicly is this: 'Long story short, I’m good. I’m going to a great situation. All I can say.' "

And while it is not yet known if the potential contract will be a two-way deal or not, Walton would provide an intriguing lottery ticket for the Bulls. 

The team mostly ignored looking for a backup point guard on the market. There is obviously a belief in the organization that Cameron Payne will have some internal growth, making him the best option. And the trade of Jerian Grant for essentially nothing, shows even more that Payne is there guy. Retaining Ryan Arcidiacono is a nice move considering the hustle that he showed last season at both the G League and NBA level, but it still leaves the Bulls thin in terms of established backup PGs behind Kris Dunn. And that is where Walton comes into play. 

Walton was a four-year player at the University of Michigan, where he played in some big-time games and showed immense leadership potential. But in terms of strictly on the court skills, there is one thing that he does extremely well: space the floor. 

In his four years at Michigan, Walton took a total of 581 3-point attempts, and knocked them down at a 40.1 percent rate. His elite shooting is enough to make him a legitimate rotation player for Fred Hoiberg. And while Payne still may develop into a better player, his outside shooting is his calling card despite never being elite at that skill at the NBA level. And in fact, when you compare he and Walton’s stats from college, the G League and the NBA, it becomes apparent who is the better shooter right now.

3-point percentage at NCAA level: Payne- 35.9 percent, Walton- 40.1 percent
3-point percentage at G League level: Payne- 33.8 percent, Walton- 37.7 percent
3-point percentage at NBA level: Payne- 34 percent, Walton- 41.2 percent

Now obviously, there is a “small sample size alert” for the NBA level, as Walton has only taken 17 3-pointers at the NBA level in his limited time with the Miami Heat. But these numbers show that even dating back to their freshman years of college, Walton has been the more efficient shooter from 3-point range.

Cameron Payne has the edge when it comes to playmaking, and this is based off of the fact that Payne has maintained an assist rate above 30 percent through all of his G League stints, while also having a low turnover rate (9.9 percent). Walton didn’t come close to Payne in terms of G League assist rate, and his 17.9 percent turnover rate at the G League level shows that his decision-making has yet to catch up to his shooting. 

Ultimately, Walton is going to be most effective as an off-ball guard who can make quick decisions, and knockdown the 3-point shot at a high level. Though if Summer League was any indication, his passing out of the pick-and-roll is getting better. And while Payne certainly is a good shooter, his game is much more predicated on having the ball in his hands, and playing in the pick-and-roll. With so many players on the Bulls who can create their own shot, Walton could end up being the cleanest fit with this constantly evolving Bulls roster.