For the third straight day, Vinny Del Negro answered questions about not having a timeout for the game's final seconds.
After Ray Allen's three-pointer with 2 seconds left Monday night, Tyrus Thomas attempted a desperation 60-footer because Del Negro had burned the Bulls' final timeout with 20.1 seconds left and the Bulls trailing 115-113.
"People are going to second-guess and first-guess," Del Negro said. "So what? I don't care. I'm the coach. I will make the decisions. That's the way it is.
"In two or three seconds, the ball is going to go to Derrick [Rose] because he's our fastest guy to get it up the court. We set up a play in the Celtics' timeout [with 12.3 seconds left]. We didn't execute it because the Celtics did a good job with their execution."
Is BG gone after these playoffs? -
After 42 points in a playoff game. Dagger after dagger after dagger into the hearts of the Celtics. In the Garden (or at least the new Garden)! Against the guy he idolized, whose legacy he tried to reach in college. One of the most beautiful performances we've seen by anyone not named Jordan in a Chicago Bulls uniform.
And yet the performance could not be truly enjoyed because all folks in the Windy City could think about was this: Will he be back in a Bulls uniform next season?
Ben Gordon is playing for a contract. Let's get that straight and on the table up front. He's ballin' for dollars. But if his Game 2 performance doesn't wake up the minds and open up the hedge fund controlled by John Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf, respectively (and respectfully), then we might as well just embrace this first-round revelation for what it is: an anomaly.
Gordon's future has become the argument overtaking the city: Should he stay or should he go? The clash between his being what the Bulls need and what they can do without is reaching "Good Rex/Bad Rex" proportions. On radio shows, in bars and barbershops on the North Side, South Side and West Side, doormen at the W on Lake Shore, at O'Hare, in Boston, the debate has swelled about what the Bulls need to do with BG once the season ends. Which is why we need to pay very, very close attention to everything he does during this series, because this could be the last time we see Ben Gordon doing amazing things for the Bulls.
More Vinny hating -
Vinny Del Negro has made lots of good decisions over the last few months but his propensity for using timeouts has become an issue during the playoffs. Over the past two games, the Bulls have found themselves with the ball in their hands and just a couple seconds left on the clock.
In Game 1, Paul Pierce missed a free-throw with the game tied. Instead of instantly calling a timeout and setting up a play for the game-winner, Brad Miller had to heave a 70-footer at the buzzer.
In Game 2, the Bulls found themselves in a similar situation. After Ray Allen nailed a three-pointer to give the Celtics the lead, the Bulls were forced to inbound the ball and fire up a prayer from half-court.
If Del Negro had kept a timeout in his back pocket in either of these situations, the Bulls would have given themselves a much better chance to make a shot at the end of the game. Aside from setting up the play, the team could have taken the ball out from half-court with the added timeout and cut out the time it takes to push the ball up the floor. Nobody in the NBA can consistently make something happen with two seconds left without the benefit of a clock stoppage.
It will be interesting to see if Del Negro changes up his timeout pattern during Game 3. He seems to use the stoppages whenever he feels like his young team is in need of a momentum change. As several people on the airwaves have pointed out today, these decisions have usually paid dividends for the Bulls' coach.
At some point though, he's going to have to grit his teeth and let his players work through their own problems, or else the season will be over and there will be no way to turn back the time.
Rose got what everyone wants, the ROY -
Despite heavy competition from a strong rookie class, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was a runaway winner in the voting for the NBA's T-Mobile Rookie of the Year Award today.
After downplaying the importance of winning the award all season, Rose finally admitted it was a goal of his.
''I know I told you I didn't want this,'' Rose said at a news conference announcing the award. ''But when you're coming in, you really do want this award.''
Rose will be also presented with the award before Game 3 of the Bulls-Boston Celtics series tonight at the United Center.