We all remember "The Jordan Rules." These Detroit Pistons just played physical and took advantage of Michael Jordan. The Indiana Pacers needed to do that yesterday against the league's top player. For the past two games, Indiana fell close. They had it every time in the third quarter, but just lose it all in the fourth.

For Game One, Indiana took control for every part of the game. But Rose took command and helped lead the Bulls to a 16-1 run late to slip by, 104-99. Game Two came up, and it was much of the same story. Chicago squeaked by once again.

Indiana could not allow this happen each and every game. It was time to get physical, just like the Pistons did to Michael Jordan in the last generation of NBA basketball.

http://thebestten.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/jordanrules1.jpgAnd Indiana did play physical. Paul George guarded Rose for most of the night, and boy was he exceptional. As Holly MacKenzie notes, George has been the best rookie performing by far in the playoffs. Indiana showed they weren't gonna keep letting Rose drive down the lane easy -- letting him do whatever the hell he desires.

When he came down the lane -- charging at Jeff Foster and Josh McRoberts, Foster literally facepalmed him. It was a hard foul and emotions rose. This was going to be a fun match-up to watch in the next coming years if these two hopefully continue to meet in the playoffs.

“He’s so fast, I just went in there and ended up hitting him,” said Foster, a 12-year veteran. “He reacted. It’s the playoffs. I’m sure he’s going to get hit plenty of times.”

Foster was a monster in the game and came up big when Indiana wanted him. This game showed Indiana was not gonna led Rose flash and becoming the poster child like he came into the series to be.

“This is the playoffs. There are going to be hard fouls,” Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau said. “In my eyes, that’s what they’ve been doing the whole series. They’re fouling hard. That’s part of the game. When it crosses over the line, I think the officials will make the call.

“I have a lot of respect for Foster. He’s a hard playing guy, a tough guy. He’s been a good player in this league for a long time.”

Rose may have scored 23 points in the game, but he was only four-of-18.

"It was a little rough out there, but it's basketball," he said. "They had something to prove."

Indiana showed it. They had their rules set for Rose. But it was not until the final seconds until they turned out to be a defense they played like in the past two games prior to Game Three.

With 17.8 seconds left, Rose drove past all five of the Pacers defenders, getting a lay-up while literally three were guarding him. He blew past two Pacers' players, and getting up one of the toughest and most clutch layups I have ever seen -- and it was on three players, including the big 7'2" colossal of Roy Hibbert.

But Rose was too much. Falling to the ground after the layup, the crowd went wild. Wait? This is Conseco Fieldhouse, right? Yes, it was. But it didn't matter. What happened, happened. Many from Chicago traveled down to Indianapolis to see their prized possession put up yet another big shot, leading the number-one-seeded Bulls over the Pacers in a down-to-the-wire atmosphere for the third straight time.

The Pacers would fail to score on the next possession. Danny Granger had trouble on double-teamed defense, with the Bulls knowing that if it were anybody, Granger is the one who will be taking the last shot. Darren Collison couldn't have. He already cost Indiana a possession just earlier when he put up a tough floater on no other than Rose -- who blocked Collison on a layup earlier in the series. Granger had been shooting to the right for literally the whole game, and Chicago caught up on it. Luol Deng, being the tough defensive-minded forward he is, guarded up Granger good. Granger struggled and passed it back to Collison. Granger created space -- barely -- and floated to the left on this three-point attempt. He missed as the ball clanged on to the right side of the rim. With the gloom expression on his face, he knew this game was over.

And with that, the Bulls expand their series lead to 3-0, as the Pacers desperately need the just one win to even get some good mention out of all of this. This series could end up as a sweep, but quoting fellow Pacers' writer, Chad Smith: if the NBA playoffs were like the NHL playoffs with only three quarters, the Pacers would be the best team in the league right now. It has probably been a problem for Indiana this whole entire year: closing out games. And that will probably be the moral of this team for this 2010-11 season.

With how great the Pacers were covering up the paint, seeing Rose finding space was insane.

"The whole time, I was just thinking I'll go to the hole," he said. "It was tough the whole night the way they were playing, but at that time, I saw space and went for it."

Granger finished with 21 points, but a possible 24 could have definitely helped the Pacers team. The contested 26-footer was definitely not in mind. Rather than that, I would love to see the shot Granger put up against the New York Knicks not too long ago in the regular season, putting up a huge game-winner. That would be something to see.

"We didn't get the look we wanted," he said. "That was the best shot we could get. That wasn't the way we wanted it, but that was the way it happened."

The Pacers had two double-digit leads in the fourth quarter for the past two. They were in it down to the wire with the Bulls in this game. But like I have been saying: they just couldn't pull through.

"I thought we did a great job on Rose," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "I had a lot of confidence that they would do a good job on him."

They did. But it's Derrick Rose. The Indiana Pacers were doing what happened to Michael Jordan and the Detroit Pistons. Maybe we'll see more of this in the future.

But for right now, it just can't be The Derrick Rose Rules. The only way it is if it benefits Rose, because so far for this whole series, it's been him making up his own rules and getting what he wants. Never have I seen a player be this unstoppable for the Pacers this year.

Now I have seen jump shots, three-pointers, and all these crazy shots to win the game. But doing a layup is probably one of the hardest. And we have seen Rose do that so many times this year. You can add that to his scrapbook of historic layups. This is probably the best layup I have seen this year.

Rose proved he is better than the whole Pacers' starting line-up on that one play.

"We're really frustrated right now," Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough said. "I know I'm frustrated. We now have to work to stay in this series and win our game here at home."

I really would like to see the Pacers continue to play like this the whole series. At least winning one game in this series would be nice, especially for Game Four at home just so the fans could have a good message as the Pacers' season ends at home for the year.

But the Pacers played great. They gave the Bulls a great challenge. They just can't hold on when it comes to the end, and they will learn on that for next year. A great year for Pacers' basketball.

They did their best guarding up on Derrick Rose. The Derrick Rose Rules failed.

Rose has already created the rules for himself.

Before the Pacers even expected it.


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