INDIANAPOLIS -- Derrick Rose knows that the rivalry which has developed between the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers is only going to grow stronger over the coming years. While there may be some lingering bad blood between the two teams -- two years ago Rose got angry when he felt the Pacers celebrated too much after a regular-season win over the Bulls -- the respect factor on both sides is palpable.
"They proved their point in the league," Rose said. "They made a difference. They made it far last year to the conference finals, and they have young players where we're going to grow old playing against each other in this league. Especially with the team that they have; they have good players, old veterans, adding [Luis] Scola and other players like that, it's just going to get tougher. But at the same time, we've been putting in our work and practicing hard too."
Watson sees similarities between Vogel and Thibs: New Pacers point guard C.J. Watson couldn't help but smile while comparing his new coach, Frank Vogel, with one of his old ones, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
"They're very similar," Watson said. "I was talking to [Carlos Boozer] about that last night. I think Vogel's just a little more nicer than Thibs sometimes. But they're both very similar. They're pretty strong on defense, preach defense, and that's most of the similarity I think."
As for Watson's progression in a new system, Vogel has liked what he's seen so far.
"C.J.'s doing great," Vogel said. "He's really exceeded our expectations with his play so far. Obviously, there's a lot of basketball to be played. We know he's a really good basketball player, at the minimum a very solid backup point guard. But has done some real damage as a starter, as you guys know, when Derrick was out a couple years back. Just very pleased with where we're at with him."