In game one of the 2010 NBA Playoff Series between Chicago and Cleveland on Saturday night, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose shot 13-28 from the field, 0-2 from three point range, and 2-2 from the foul line, for a total of 28 points on 28 shots. He added 10 points and 7 assists, and generally played well; it was his scoring bursts in the second half that kept what could (and perhaps should) have been a blowout down to a single figure game for much of the fourth quarter. He also didn't run away from Mo Williams on defense as much as I thought he might, although this didn't prevent the rest of the team from doing so.
However, had Rose been the beneficiary of some foul calls, his stats would have looked even nicer, and the game would have been even closer. Shooting 28 field goals to only 2 free throw attempts is not easy to do, even if Rose has done it before, and for a man who takes only pull-up two point jumpshots, floaters and layups, it's very hard to do.
But it happened. And the reasons as to why it may have happened are evident in the following video.
Derrick Rose honestly doesn't get fouled a lot. He tries to avoid contact so as to maximize the percentage of making his shots, and, because of his great athleticism and body control, he is able to do this to great effect. This is the main reason why he doesn't get to the line much, and also why he shoots such a high percentage. Only one play in this clip is shown from the first half of the game, and in that first half, Derrick Rose took 16 field goals and 0 foul shots. This is not an injustice, because Derrick Rose wasn't fouled on 15 of his 16 field goals. (And the one on which he may have been fouled, the first clip in the film, Anderson Varejao may have gone straight up, thus making the no-call the correct call.) The shots he took were floaters, open layups and jumpshots that he got himself open for, either in isolation or pulling up off the dribble.
This is an issue with Rose independent of his standing with the referees; sometimes, he just needs to go for the contact and hope the shot goes in anyway. He is learning to do this, but doesn't do it a huge amount. And he did not do it in the first half of this game, save for that one drive.
However, that's not what this video intends to prove. The intent of this video is to highlight a problem that has plagued the Bulls for two straight seasons. Put simply, even when Derrick Rose is fouled, he isn't. And he doesn't get as many foul shots as he should.
It is not a statement that implies any Cavaliers bias, because the theme behind this video applies to pretty much every game Rose plays in, not just Cavaliers ones. I have only used clips from this one game, not because I couldn't use clips from other games, but because I could not be arsed to use clips from other games. (A key difference that needs highlighting.) Additionally, it is both duly noted that there are not a huge amount of disputed calls in this video, and that some of those that are included are not clear-cut fouls as defined by the rulebook (and most subjective interpretations of it).
Yet it is also of note that Rose drew only one foul the entire game, the one featured at the end of the clip. Between that and a kicked ball violation in the third quarter, Rose didn't draw a single whistle in the remainder of the game, all while taking 26 field goals inside the three point arc, pushing the ball in transition and doing his damnedest to get into the paint at all times. All fouls should be evaluated on their individual merit, but in the context of the game, the lack of calls for Rose in this or any game does not behoove his style of play and aggressiveness around the basket. For every foul Rose avoids, there's a foul he draws without a whistle.
I feel that this needs highlighting.
And yes, it was a goaltend by LeBron.