Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer, left, shoots over Indiana Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough during the first quarter in Game 2 of a first-round NBA playoff basketball series in Chicago, Monday, April 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: May 20, 2011 12:32AM
Derrick Rose’s sensational play is making him the Bulls’ brightest star since Michael Jordan. But the way he hurtles to the basket, Rose’s game also is reminiscent of another Chicago sports icon: Walter Payton.
What Rose does often involves tough, physical stuff. But his teammates have full confidence that he can take it.
‘‘It’s playoff basketball,’’ forward Carlos Boozer said. ‘‘When you’re the best guy on the court, you’re going to get the other team’s attention.’’
Boozer even sees a positive from an experience standpoint.
‘‘Those of us who have been in the playoffs for a long time and have advanced from round to round know it gets tougher the further you advance,’’ Boozer said. ‘‘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.’’
Leave Carlos alone
Coach Tom Thibodeau bristled at the latest round of bashing after Boozer was singled out as the face of the Bulls’ defensive troubles in Game 1.
‘‘He’s a lightning rod,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘The guy played 26 minutes, and he gets blamed for everything. Look, Carlos is a terrific player. He started the game off very aggressively. He got into some foul trouble, and he was limited after that. He has to stay aggressive when he has fouls. But he wasn’t responsible for all our defense. I can assure you of that.’’
Young and resilient
When Rose says a workout regimen that includes serious weightlifting gives him confidence that he can continue to take a licking, his teammates believe him.
‘‘He’s been banged up a lot this year,’’ guard Kyle Korver said. ‘‘But he’s tough and he’s young, right? He’s what, 22? He just bounces back from that stuff.’’
Korver also said the NBA’s rules protect players who go to the basket more than they did years ago.
‘‘It’s not like the old days when you could just go clobber somebody,’’ Korver said. ‘‘If you do, you might get suspended. You can get fined incredible amounts of money. You want to send a message, [but] you don’t want to cost your team in the long run.’’
In putting in his RSVP for MVP this season, has Rose gotten to the point where he gets calls accorded to superstars?
The Pacers seem to think so, but the Bulls don’t.
‘‘At the beginning of the year, the talk was that Derrick didn’t get to the free-throw line,’’ Korver said. ‘‘There were a lot of hard fouls on him Sunday. I dont think they gave him a lot of calls. He just went to the basket really hard.’’
A vote for Bogans
Three Bulls received votes for NBA defensive player of the year, which Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard won for a record third consecutive season.
Luol Deng finished 10th, Joakim Noah 15th and Keith Bogans 20th. Noah and Bogans each received one first-place vote.