Chicago Sun-Times

MVP in hand, ankle OK, Rose and Bulls eye better defense

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The Bulls cleared their first hurdle Tuesday.
Derrick Rose was on the practice court after X rays were negative on his left ankle, which he rolled at the end of Monday night's Game 1 loss to Atlanta.
Rose will be formally introduced as the NBA's MVP at 4 p.m. While that honor is richly deserved and greatly appreciated by Rose, who publicly made that his goal af the start of the season, the next order of business is figuring out how to bounce back vs. the Hawks in Game 2 on Wednesday.
Top priorities are starting faster--the Bulls trailed 9-0 at the start--and tightening up the defense after allowing Atlanta to shoot 51 percent.
The slow start continued a playoff pattern that's puzzling and irritating to the Bulls.
``We have to play to they way we're capable of playing,'' Luol Deng said. ``Indiana did that, too. They came out aggressive from the start. Guys get confidence when we allow them to do that. We have to get back to playing with an edge.''
Even more baffling was the Bulls' proud defense, which allowed Joe Johnson to go off for 34 points and ex-Bull Jamal Crawford for 22.
``Some of the shots were tough, but that's going to happen with good players,'' Deng said. ``The problem is the ones that weren't tough shots. Those are the one you have to take away. [It's] little defensive mistakes. What are we doing out there on screens? We have to take those things away.''

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This page contains a single entry by Herb Gould published on May 3, 2011 1:26 PM.

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