Blog Entry

Derrick Rose: Free throw misses were 'unreal'

Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:17 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:56 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver 

Derrick Rose came up short at the free throw line against the Miami Heat. (Getty Images)

There's no lonelier place in basketball than the free throw line after a big miss. Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose was reminded of that fact on Sunday night.

Rose, a career 81.9 percent foul shooter who is shooting 85.6 percent so far this season, stepped to the foul line for two shots with 22 seconds left, and his Bulls trailing the Miami Heat, 94-93. noted that Rose had not missed a free throw in the fourth quarter during the 2011-2012 season until he missed both in the clutch, helping send the Heat to a 97-93 victory in a rematch of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals.
Rose was 26-for-26 on fourth-quarter free throws heading into the game. He was also on a second-half tear, having scored 21 points, many by getting to the rim after carving up Miami’s defense in typical Rose fashion. Rose was on an even bigger free throw roll. He was a perfect 12-for-12 when he stepped to the line with the game in the balance and inexplicably bricked both shots.

“Give me one of those,” Rose lamented. “I missed both of those (expletive). Come on.” reports that Rose had trouble processing his late-game shortcomings afterwards, despite scoring a team-high 34 points and dishing 6 assists.
"This is so unreal right now," an emotional Rose said. "Knowing that I had the chance to change the game, and this time it didn't work out. I know my will to win is still very high, but I guarantee the next time those shots are going down."

"It was definitely tough," Rose said. "All I can say is I guess God [does] everything for a reason. I've been in those situations before, knocked them down, but to miss both [free throws] -- I let my team down. The only thing I can do is learn from it... If I would have hit them free throws, it never would have gotten that far. I know I can live with it. It's just going to make me a stronger player and it's onto the next game."
As Chicago's chief ball-handler and most lethal offensive weapon, Rose is constantly in the position to decide games for the Bulls. Since the start of the 2010-2011 season, Chicago is 79-25, so he's clearly coming up big in crunchtime far more often than he's falling short.

But we shouldn't act like this is Rose's first free throw adventure in his lifetime.

In the 2008 NCAA title game, Rose had the opportunity to put away the Kansas Jaywhawks with a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds remaining in the second half. His Memphis Tigers were leading 62-60 when he stepped to the stripe with the chance to make it a two-possession game by making both. Instead, Rose missed the front end, allowing a late 3-pointer by Jayhawks guard Mario Chalmers to send the game into overtime, where Kansas completed the miracle comeback to take the title. 

The 19-year-old Rose's post-championship message to the Associated Press back in 2008 was a bit different than the one after Sunday's loss.
"It wasn't really the free throws," Rose said. "If we'd done things before the free throws, we would've been in good shape."
Rose was correct then, in part. His free throw miss -- and earlier misses by Chris Douglas-Roberts -- were not the sole determining factor of the game. Technically, it's impossible to argue that a single play ever decides a game. But his miss then was absolutely crucial and it changed history.

His path has been a long, busy one in the nearly four years since that loss at Memphis. He's been all the way to the East Finals, all the way to franchise player status, all the way to a super-lucractive, almost 9-figure contract extension. The fact that his free throw misses weren't the sole determining factor in Sunday's loss hasn't changed. But his message, given the last four years worth of developments, should have changed, and it did.

And it did. Rose took responsibility, repeated his well-known desire to win, expressed a desire to improve, and guaranteed to make amends for the shortcoming in the future. There's nothing more that anyone could reasonably ask of him. He might have lost at the free throw line but he won in the locker room.

All that's left now is to deliver on that guarantee.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:03 pm

Derrick Rose: Free throw misses were 'unreal'

I love the fact that Rose is taking this seriously. Most guys would be like whatever but his drive to win is above most others. Rose won't miss next time.

Since: Jan 12, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:50 pm

Derrick Rose: Free throw misses were 'unreal'

so he is human after all 

Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 5:10 pm

Derrick Rose: Free throw misses were 'unreal'

Nobody's perfect!

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:27 pm

Derrick Rose: Free throw misses were 'unreal'

Part of the process.  I can remember the Bulls losing close series to the Pistons two straight years, and MJ taking it so badly.  Rose seems to have that same drive to get to the championship.  He has a good supporting cast.  I believe they will do it.

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