There were only seconds left in the game when Derrick Rose sped down the court. Rose penetrated the paint with the defense collapsing and then passed the ball out to Brian Scalabrine.
Scalabrine took the open three-point shot, which would have put the Bulls up one. It missed.
The frustration over Scalabrine taking the final shot instead of the Bulls' superstar, Rose, is a classic case of Monday morning quarterbacking.
If that shot goes in, the United Center explodes, Twitter implodes and Bulls fans have another piece of evidence that they have one of the deepest benches in the league.
We wouldn't second guess the play if the Bulls had won that game—just like we didn't second guess it against the Atlanta Hawks when using Rose as a decoy gave Joakim Noah a clear path to pass the ball to Luol Deng for an easy layup.
It was a brilliant play then—and proof that the Bulls aren't as reliant on Rose this year as they were last year.
It may not win every game in the regular season. Rose possibly could have drawn a foul and maybe even used some of his amazing athleticism to make the shot fall through contact. That doesn't matter.
The truth is that Rose made the right decision for the playoffs. He's got to be a distributor, and he's got to figure out how he can best use his teammates.
Playoff series are game-planned differently. Teams will throw everything at Rose, as they did during the Bulls' last playoff run.
Rose has to be able to drop off the ball when he's being double or even triple-teamed. The rest of the team has to make that opposing defense pay for sending a double team out to Rose.
The fact remains that Rose found a good shot. He did exactly what he's said he'd do all season. Rose pushed the ball and looked for an easy shot before the defense was set up.
I can remember plenty of instances from the five-game series against the Miami Heat where Rose passed the ball to Kyle Korver, and Korver seemed hesitant to take the shot, passing it back to Rose instead.
A few more threes drop in that series, punishing the defense for focusing on Rose, and maybe that opens the floor up for everybody—and suddenly it's a different series.
Yes, Rose has to get better at drawing contact.
Yes, it should be Rip Hamilton or Deng taking that shot instead of Scalabrine.
This game was lost before Scalabrine took that potential game-winner. The Bulls have to work on that and not Scalabrine missing a shot he could have made on a Hail Mary play.
Rose made the right decision, and that's going to show in the playoffs.
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