INDIANAPOLIS – Derrick Rose has been a different player since the All-Star Game.
It hasn’t come easily, either.
If there’s a player on the Bulls roster that Fred Hoiberg has invested a lot of time in this season it’s been Rose. The first-year coach has admittedly had to stay on Rose about not only the pacing of the team and the different sets he wants run, but also the defensive assignments for the point guard. That has meant a lot of extra film time as a reminder.
“It is important,’’ Hoiberg said, when asked about the constant communication he has to have with Rose. “He and I watch clips before the game, sometimes five to 10 minutes before we meet as a group with 32 minutes before the game, just show him the things I think are important. Clips from the previous game I think he needs to improve on, show some positive clips that he can build on.
“It’s about going out and playing the right way and that’s how he’s been playing since the All-Star break for the most part.’’
The numbers back that up.
Before the All-Star break, Rose was shooting 40 percent from the field and shooting 26 percent from three, while averaging 15.9 points per game. Since the break, Rose had his shooting percentage up to 49 percent, while his three-point percentage is 44 percent. His scoring has also improved, going up to 19.9 points per game.
Rose likes to insist that he has a high basketball IQ, and maybe he does, but individual film sessions and constant reminders from Hoiberg have played a key role in making sure Rose does what’s expected of him.
Obviously still a work in progress with Monday’s loss to Atlanta a reminder of that.
During the third quarter, Rose missed a jumper and didn’t bother guarding Jeff Teague as he complained to officials going down the court. Teague made a jumper, and then Rose was hit with a technical.
That led to Hoiberg and Rose having a discussion about it during a timeout.
“I grabbed him and pulled him aside before we got into the huddle and talked to him about staying focused for every possession,’’ Hoiberg said Tuesday. “The back-cut [from Teague for a basket] I think happened twice to him and then we didn’t get back on defense on the one play. That’s four points for the other team. He and I had a conversation about it. I thought he was better after that.’’
Reserve E’Twaun Moore returned from injury against the Pacers, after missing the last six games with an injured left hamstring.
“He’s so solid for us,’’ Hoiberg said of Moore’s return. “He’s a rock. He gives us that utility type player who can slide off the ball and is a very reliable defender. He knows where to be out there at all times. He has made shots for us this year.’’