Pick 'n' roll: Thursday’s best NBA bets
Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls (-3, 180)
Forget about LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. When aging veteran Mike Bibby and third-year guard Mario Chalmers can manage nothing more than a decent at the point, the Heat are nearly impossible to beat.
“Our point guards are very key to our team,” James said. “When they play big and make shots and also defend like they are doing, we’re a pretty good team."
Better than just good. Ask the NBA MVP what it’s been like going up against the suddenly dynamic duo. The Heat’s strategy for defending Rose is simple: play him one-on-one and only help if he gets down low in the paint. Otherwise, play him physical and allow him to shoot as many jump shots as he wants.
That’s the dirty secret about Derrick Rose, who carries an inordinate burden of his team’s offense. If his shot isn’t falling, he fails to create for teammates.
"A percentage? It's a large part," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "There’s no question about it that he generates a lot of their offense. But I think I mentioned this yesterday: he's like trying to contain a tornado. It's unpredictable. The explosiveness, all of that can break down your defense. And then it comes down to your instincts in making multiple efforts."
In the Chicago's only win of the series, Rose was 10-for-22 from the floor with six assists and 28 points. In the three losses, he is averaging just 7.1 field goals on a staggering 23.6 attempts. But more disheartening, he is averaging just over six assists per game for the series – nearly two below his season average.
The Bulls are also having a huge philosophical issue on offense. The team is atrocious from beyond the arc, yet forced up 24 attempts in Game 4. Even worse, Rose was 1-for-9 from distance and continually ditched attacking the rim for jumpers that wouldn’t fall.
Until Rose starts to bloom as a more complete guard, the Bulls will have no way to continually score against the Heat.Pick: