A point guard’s job is to lead the offense, pass the ball and get his teammates scoring. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau thinks his point guard his taking that definition too literally and it’s time for Derrick Rose to “attack!” Rose had been getting off to some slow starts in the Bulls’ first couple of games, but now Thibodeau thinks it’s time to change that.
“We’re a lot better when he’s aggressive,” Thibodeau said. “It puts enormous pressure on our opponent’s defense. When he’s attacking, we’re getting easy baskets, we’re getting to the line, he’s getting people into foul trouble. It helps us in so many different ways. When we talk about him attacking, we want him attacking on both ends. We want him attacking on defense, also. That’s when he’s at his best. Right now, he’s trying to get others involved early, which is good, but when they put two on the ball, that’s good for us. That’s easy offense.”
The reigning MVP said he noticed the problem too. He seems ready to take on the role of a scoring-first point guard.
“As long as we win,” Rose said. “My teammates realize that. The shots I take, I don’t take that many bad shots. They know for us to win, I have to attack. Coach already told them. Everybody on the team is cool with it and comfortable with it. That’s all I have to do.”
We’ve already criticized Russell Westbrook this week for taking too many shots when he doesn’t need to. A ball hog at point guard can cause all sorts of problems for a team, but Rose’s teammates already seem on board with the idea.
“He’s a natural-born scorer,” Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. “We know that. One thing he’s trying to learn as he continues to grow as a player is how to use his teammates. Honestly, he’s been doing a great job of trying to figure it out, but at the same time, his first instinct is to score. We’re a better team when he attacks and makes plays off what he sees. I’d rather him stay aggressive.”
This is smart for the Bulls. Everyone already knows that Rose can score. If he starts doing it early, opposing defenses will have to adjust, and then it will be even easier to get his teammates involved because all the focus will be on him. Ironically, I think focusing more on scoring early will help him become a better passing point guard.
We’ve seen what Rose can do while keeping it conservative at the beginning, imagine what he can do when he’s unleashed.