INDIANAPOLIS -- When Derrick Rose gets the ball late in the game, there is no doubt in his teammates' minds that he will score. The Chicago Bulls point guard proved that again Thursday night by scoring the game-winning basket on a drive to the rim with 17.8 seconds left, giving the Bulls a lead they would not relinquish.
"We got the best closer in the world," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "And everybody knows it. And they know it. And we know it. And their coach knows it. And they say it, too. They have no problem saying it. And we all know it, so that's definitely gives confidence to our team."
Rose, the favorite to win the MVP award, gives his team confidence even when he isn't playing well, as was the case in Game 3.
"Right now, he is the best closer in the world," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said. "He wants the ball. He knows he can get a shot off. It doesn't matter what has happened the whole game. Great players are able to do that, come through when the team really needs you. And he's done that all year. He's He's hit so many big shots this year ... He's 22 years old. It's pretty special. I'm definitely glad he's on my team."
Rose feeds off the confidence of his teammates.
"It was tough all night trying to get to the hole, but I don't care how hard they foul me, I'm going to continue to go," Rose told Comcast SportsNet Chicago after the game. "That's how I got into this league. My teammates have confidence in me to take the last shot, and like I always say, I'm fortunate to have my teammates."