Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 11:49 a.m.
By Aggrey Sam
1. In the aftermath of Roses 4-for-18 shooting night Thursday, Thibodeau was still impressed with some of the more underrated aspects of his floor generals game, especially his much-improved ability to draw fouls. Thats who he is. Derricks going to attack the basket, get fouled, hes going to go to the line and come back, and do it again and again and again. To me, thats toughness, said Thibodeau of Rose, who is 44-for-49 from the charity stripe through three postseason contests. Hes been a great leader all year. Its something that hes worked hard at. I think hes gotten better and better as the seasons gone along. Hes very aggressive, hes strong, quick, he can read defenses and he makes good decisions once he gets in there. Thibodeau was also complimentary of Roses floor leadership and poise despite the pounding hes taking at the hands of the Pacers. Its not just the attacking of the rimobviously thats importantbut its decision-making, also. When you look at fourth-quarter scoring, youre seeing that Kyles getting a lot of good shots, Luols gotten good shots, Carlos is getting good shots, so hes doing a great job of running the team, Thibodeau explained. He is human. Hes going to say what he has to say, but I love his poise and his demeanor. To me, hes always under control. Thats a hard thing to do. Theyre taking shots at him, but it says a lot about his toughness. Hes as tough as they come, both mentally and physically, so he wont get discouraged and I think you all saw that he wasnt making shots, but he ran the team great in the fourth quarter, made all the right plays, made the tough plays and again, he doesnt get discouraged.
2. After reviewing two fouls by Pacers big man Jeff Foster from Thursdays gameone on Rose and the other on Deng; the mild-mannered Rose confronted Foster after being elbowed in the face, while Deng writhed in pain after being clobbered over the headthe NBA upgraded both calls to flagrant fouls Friday. In the postseason, players are suspended after accumulating four flagrant-foul pointsin Fosters case, he now has two, since both were flagrant onesbefore getting suspended, an unlikely occurrence for the veteran Pacer, as Indiana is one game away from being eliminated from the playoffs. Let the league make those decisions, said Thibodeau. Were getting to the line. I think we can get to the line more. Added Boozer: Hes doing what hes got to do for his team and were going to do what weve got to do for ours I love it when they let us play, get down, get dirty and have a chance to be men out there. Its fun.
3. Speaking of the physical play in the series, Noah took exception to the perception that the Pacers are dictating the level of toughness in the series. The physicalitys good. I feel like our physicalitys pretty good, too. Theres a reason why theyre playing like that. Were kicking their tails on the boards and weve got a point guard thats gets to the rim at will, so theyve got to do something, said Noah. Noah, who recorded a double-double Thursday, appears to be thriving off of the intensity of the matchup and subsequently regaining the form that earned him recognition in the league. Hes coming back. Hes tipping the ball, blocking shots, running, running with you on fast breaks, setting the picks, giving you extra possessions to score the ball. Hes doing a lot for us and his conditioning is better, getting back to where it used to be, Rose noted. Thibodeau chimed in: His energy was great. I thought he was active, shot-blocking, pursued the ball, made some good plays and again, as time goes on, I think hell get better and better.
4. Thibodeau also had strong praise for the performance of his role players Thursday. Keith makes three threes, he guards hard, you can put him on anybody. Taj was terrific. Taj has been playing well, very well. But because of Carlos foul trouble, he got in earlier, shot-blocking, active, all those things. C.J., in the short minutes that he had, I thought he played well. We got a look at C.J. with Derrick a little bit and I thought that was pretty good. The bench has been terrific, said the coach. Weve said this all along: We need everybody. Even the guys that arent playing, theyre doing a good job of helping the guys stay ready and keeping everybody in tune with everything thats going on.
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