Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of Michael Jordan's playoff-record 63-point game at Boston Garden.
With that in mind, talk about whether Derrick Rose is carrying too much of the offensive load seems a little misguided. The Bulls won six championships with one player doing most of the scoring.
Getting better scoring balance is a legitimate issue for the Bulls. But having someone like Rose, who scored 39 and 36 points in 2 victories over Indiana, is more cause for celebration than concern.
"There's always going to be something. For us as a team, it's whatever it takes to win," Luol Deng said at the Berto Center. "Every game has a different story. Whoever says we're leaning on Derrick too much, that's the story for now. If that's what it takes to win, we'll take it."
Did Jordan ever score this much in the first two games of a first-round series? During the six championship seasons, he did twice.
In 1992 against Miami, Jordan averaged 39.5 points and in '97 against Washington, he averaged 42 points in the opening two contests. Most years, he at least came close to what Rose is doing now.
Rookie tries stopping Rose:
It seems a little strange that after Derrick Rose collected 36 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in another Bulls victory in Game 2, Pacers coach Frank Vogel was so excited about the defensive efforts of rookie Paul George.
"I thought he was spectacular on (Rose)," Vogel said, according to Pacers.com. "A couple of breakdowns, but a couple of breakdowns over the course of a long game. I thought he did a great job. He was great with his hands, great with his angles. I was just very proud of him."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was nonchalant about Indiana putting the 6-foot-8 George on Rose. Late in the game, the Pacers tried 6-8 Danny Granger with poor results.
"This is nothing new," Thibodeau said. "We've seen everything that we're seeing, seen it all season. He's seen traps, seen size on him. He just has to keep doing what he's doing."
George claimed he headed straight to Conseco Fieldhouse at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning when the Pacers returned to Indianapolis after Game 2 to hoist shots and practice some plays that caused him problems.
"He had me tired, legs cramping, back sore," George said of Rose. "I tried to give him my all, really tried to force him to take some tough shots and make him try to make some tough passes, and really tried to get the ball out of his hands. But he's a great scorer, a great player and he ultimately made the best plays."
Rose started the game slowly, but that's not unusual. He usually tries to get teammates involved unless he's feeling good from 3-point range.
Plea to Pacers fans:
Knowing many Bulls fans are expected to attend Games 3 and 4 at Conseco Fieldhouse, Pacers coach Frank Vogel made a plea for local fans to buy remaining tickets.
"We need to fill the building with blue and gold. I'm asking all our fans, come out and support us," he said. "When we played them here in the regular season, there were an awful lot of red shirts.
"We're going to have metal detectors up there to scan the metal people are bringing into the building. If people are wearing red, too, they're not going to get through the metal detectors. We've got a plan in place to help prevent that."
Vogel was joking about the metal detectors rejecting red clothing, but not about the likelihood of a large Bulls cheering section.
Another late night:
The only way a potential Bulls-Pacers Game 5 on Tuesday would not start at 8:30 p.m. is if Boston sweeps New York.
The NBA released potential scenarios for that night's television schedule. The Bulls could end up as the second leg of a TNT doubleheader or be relegated to NBATV if a Game 5 is needed in both the New York-Boston and New Orleans-L.A. Lakers series. Or the Bulls could sweep the Pacers and make it all irrelevant.