Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose didn’t attempt a single free throw in the Bulls’ 106-91 Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. In fact, Rose didn’t attempt a free throw in Game 1 of the series, and he didn’t attempt a free throw in Game 6 of the first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks. As noted by ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell, it’s the first time Rose has gone three straight games without a free throw attempt his entire career.
While Rose said he can’t let the lack of calls get to him, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau gave a stronger opinion on the matter:
“I guess he’s got to go harder, I don’t know,” Thibodeau said after a long pause. “It looks like there’s a lot of contact to me. But obviously others don’t see it that way.”
In those three games, 23 of Rose’s shots came in the paint and 11 came in the restricted area. And yet, still no calls.
Rose has always been quite good at avoiding contact at the paint, and he has never really been one to sell contact. Perhaps he could do a little better job of doing that in Game 3 and moving forward. With this series shifting to Chicago, it’ll be interesting to see if the star point guard gets a more beneficial whistle on his home floor.