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updated: 4/17/2011 7:15 PM

Bulls hope Rose can endure Pacers' physical play

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  • Derrick Rose (1) waits for play to resume during Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.

      Derrick Rose (1) waits for play to resume during Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Derrick Rose (1) gets fouled going to the basket by Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster (10, not seen), igniting some tense words to be exchanged during Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.

      Derrick Rose (1) gets fouled going to the basket by Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster (10, not seen), igniting some tense words to be exchanged during Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

In the last two games between the Bulls and Indiana Pacers, Derrick Rose has scored 81 points and attempted 42 free throws.

The Pacers complained about the officiating on Saturday after losing Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series, but it was the second straight game Indiana sent Rose to the foul line 21 times. He also went to the line 21 times in a March 18 overtime contest.

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"This game's not easy to officiate," coach Tom Thibodeau said Sunday at the Berto Center. "I thought they were trying to make fouls and the refs made the right calls."

Rose certainly earned most of those free throws. He took a hard foul from each of Indiana's big -- Josh McRoberts, Jeff Foster, Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansbrough.

Rose participated in Sunday's practice, but did not talk to reporters when it was over because the training staff wanted him to get a massage right away.

Complaining about foul calls is all part of playoff gamesmanship. In reality, the Pacers' plan is to deliver some hard fouls when Rose drives to the basket and make him fight through screens when he's on defense.

It hasn't slowed him down so far.

"That's playoff basketball," Carlos Boozer said. "It gets tougher the further you advance. So it's good for him to see it now. Trust me, D-Rose is tough enough to deal with any of that and our team is as well."

Thibodeau admired the fact that Rose could take the physical play in stride and still lead the Bulls on a game-winning 16-1 run in the final 3:38.

"People have different interpretations of toughness. To me, that defines toughness," Thibodeau said. "The ability to drive the ball hard, get hit, get fouled, go to the free-throw line, make your free throws and do it all over again time after time after time.

"He's attacked all year. That's not going to change. Quite frankly, he's getting more calls because I think people are used to seeing him driving the ball that way now. People are trying to figure out ways to stop him, they're trying to take fouls thinking that may deter him. That won't deter him. He'll just keep going more and more."

The Bulls' playoff record for free-throw attempts is 28 by Michael Jordan in 1989 against New York, if the opponent wasn't obvious already.

Orlando's Dwight Howard shot 22 free throws in a loss to Atlanta on Saturday and set the regular-season high of 24 free throws twice. Howard gets fouled a lot, though, because he doesn't shoot free throws very well. Rose made 19 of 21 against Indiana, a 90-percent clip.

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