Shadows on the cave wall.

So I wrote once awhile back that the Bulls bread and butter should be Rose penetrating and either taking it in for a lay in/dunk or a bail out lob pass to Tyrus Thomas. I guess I feel that it's almost a perfect option for Rose especially when the Bulls have the ball to win during the end of the game. 

I mean think how hard that is to guard with 10 seconds left and the ball in Rose's hands. Not only does it give Rose a bail out option but it then has to keep the defense honest to some degree. 

Having BG set in the side pocket 3 also gives you three pretty good scoring options. 

So my play would center around Rose, Tyrus and BG with Miller and Salmons as outside shooting threats. This give Rose spacing and defer options. 

The screen is set by Miller giving Rose a his first option but the key is the lob pass to Tyrus Thomas coming weak side. Once Rose breaks down the defense he needs to either take it to the hole or lob it up to Thomas and to me 9 out of 10 times Tyrus will out jump people to go up for the dunk. If neither option works he can kick it out to BG assuming his man has come down to help on Rose. 

The only time the Bulls finally did something close to this was by accident.

When you watch the video notice not Rose but what the defenders are doing when Rose has the ball. All eyes on Rose. Perfect set up for the lob.

How many times have we watch Rose drive to the hoop with no other option but to force a shot? Help the kid out and use the talent around him.  Release the chains! (educational)

The way the Bulls use Tyrus frustrates me. He should be trailing every time Rose drives to the hoop. To get this far into the season with out them connecting on more lob passes is just example of not using your talent correctly. I really thought Rose and Tyrus would play more like Chandler and Paul or GP and Kemp before them. 

Derrick Rose, Bulls
One of Rose's biggest weaknesses is executing a good lob pass. Lobs are an effective way of taking a smaller defender out of the play when a big is racing the floor in transition. Or, in the classic CP3 manner, lobs can be used when Rose gets into the paint after a ballscreen penetration and the opposing big stands between Rose and the rim.

Timing is a requisite, as is a proper pace and trajectory. I liken it to an out route between a quarterback and receiver in man coverage. If it's a perfectly thrown pass, even a well-positioned defender cannot make a play on the ball. (Remember the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl?)

The same rule applies in hoops, with the added bonus of Rose always being able to finish the shot if the help defender stays home. This is a pass play that can be greatly improved with practice.

David Thorpe

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