Defenses focusing on Derrick Rose

The Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Mike McGraw) reports: Defense aside, Derrick Rose’s offensive performance has also slid recently. He’s averaged 13.0 points and shot 40.7 percent so far in January, compared to 18.9 points and 49.6 percent in November. His assists are up slightly, from 6.1 in November to 6.7 in January. The most obvious answer for Rose’s struggles is defenses have ganged up on him, trying everything possible to prevent him from driving all the way to the basket and daring the other Bulls to beat them. The Bulls are 16-22 heading into tonight’s game at Toronto, so the schemes have been successful more often than not. “I notice teams are playing a little bit different, trying to get the basketball out of his hands, like they did (Monday) night,” Del Negro said. “You could see the difference of his improvement compared to when we played (the Blazers) early in the season when they were pressing us to how he handled it (Monday).”

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