Here's more evidence that the NBA preseason means nothing:
Remember how often Derrick Rose drove aggressively to the basket and was rewarded with free throws? He averaged 9.4 attempts per game in the exhibitions.
Now that the regular season is here, Rose has gotten to the line just 10 times in three games. That's quite a drop and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was asked his thoughts Monday at the Berto Center.
"Next question," Thibodeau said with a smile, before adding, "I'll say this: I don't know of anyone who drives as hard as he does. Nor as fast as he does. And I think sometimes he's penalized for being a nice guy. I'll leave it at that."
Thibodeau seemed to suggest Rose doesn't get many calls because he doesn't complain much to the officials. In contract, talking to referees at every break in the action has worked well for Dwyane Wade during his career.
The lack of supposed superstar foul calls is an old topic, even with Rose playing his fifth NBA season. He shrugged it off Monday.
"I can't complain about it," Rose said. "It's just the way the game has gone. All I can do is continue to drive. I guess I'm not getting fouled or I guess they've got to get used to me. I understand I'm creating contact, but I've just got to get through it."
Through three games, Rose is averaging 14.3 points, but shooting just 28.8 percent from the field. On the bright side, he's at 90 percent from the foul line (9 for 10), but has yet to attempt more than 4 free throws in a game.
"I think I'm getting hit, that's all I can say to (the referees)," he said. "That can't stop me from driving or taking the shots I'm taking."
Thundering to foul line:
Derrick Rose is well back in the pack when it comes to getting foul calls, even among point guards. Heading into Monday's games, Kevin Durant led the league in free-throw attempts per game at 14.0, followed by Minnesota's Kevin Love at 13.0, Phoenix point guard Eric Bledsoe at 11.0 and Clippers guard Chris Paul at 10.3. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook shot 14 free throws in his season debut on Sunday.
Rose is tied for 76th in free throw attempts per game, with guys like Caron Butler, Cartier Martin and Gary Neal.
Handled with care:
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wouldn't comment on a report out of New York that Bulls management is dictating minutes played for some players. Considering the Bulls brought in director of sports performance Jennifer Swanson this summer, along with the injury history of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, it seems likely management has a hand in helping guide the minute count. Why that's controversial is unclear.
Ex-coach visits Berto:
Former Bulls assistant coach Rick Brunson was a visitor at Monday's practice. Brunson left the Bulls to join the staff of Mike Dunlap on the Charlotte Bobcats. But when Dunlap was fired after one season, Brunson became a free agent.
It's a good thing Brunson didn't move his family to North Carolina. His son Jalen, a junior at Stevenson High School, is one of the state's top-ranked guard prospect.