Lockup: Ball Denial Defense Could Be Cavs’ Key to Five-Game Series Win

April 23rd, 2010 by Dan Delagrange Leave a reply »
Thus far in the Cavaliers' first-round series with the eighth-seeded Bulls, the Chicago backcourt tandem of Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich have done a masterful job of frustrating an otherwise impenetrable Cleveland defense.

Rose has frequently abused counterpart Mo Williams on the Cavs' defensive end, slashing into the interior of the floor at will and either getting open looks at the hoop or having myriad passing options through the carouseling Cleveland defensive unit.

In Games One and Three, Hinrich—a terribly inconsistent scoring threat—was one of the direct beneficiaries of Rose's explosive one-on-one ability. The former Jayhawk registered 28 points while shooting 46 percent in Game One before having an off night in Game Two and once again lighting it up in a 27-point Game Three burst (75 percent from the floor).

The Cavs have an ocean-deep bench, so finding the right matchup to slow down Rose and Hinrich isn't a problem. The problem has been a more non-personal X and O issue.

When dealing with a player like Rose (someone who can beat his man one-on-one and either get to the basket or make the remaining four defenders ...

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