Asked whether he should consider putting the ball in someone's hands other than Derrick Rose's in late-game situations, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said no.
But he also included both Rose and Ben Gordon in his crunchtime assessment. Rose has gotten the call far more often than any of the other Bulls when the team needs a late hoop.
"Ben and Derrick have consistently played well in the fourth quarter for us," Del Negro said following Tuesday's practice at the Berto Center. "But as a team, we haven't executed as well lately. It's not one person's fault or one particular player's fault, it's a team."
Rose had two chances to win Sunday's game at Minnesota but missed a long jumper at the end of regulation and had a leaning one-hander roll off the rim in the final seconds of overtime to seal the Bulls' 109-108 loss.
On the first opportunity, Rose waited until the clock ticked below five seconds before making a move. In overtime, he was sealed off in the lane, picked up his dribble and had to create an off-balance shot.
Rose had a chance to hit Aaron Gray under the basket, but once he hesitated, none of the other Bulls were able to present a good passing option.
"The execution just has to be better," Del Negro said. "There are options. All your plays have three or four options in them. We're getting to kind of one or two. We have to get to the third or fourth and make plays.
"We can do a better job. We have to set screens the right way and the timing of plays has to be good and guys have to make shots."
Late-game frustration has been a common theme for the Bulls. They headed to Los Angeles on Tuesday to start a six-game road trip mired in a five-game losing streak, with four of those defeats by 5 points or less.
At New York on Jan. 19, Rose missed a driving lay-in against Jared Jeffries with the Bulls down by 1 in the final minute. He missed a pair of driving attempts inside two minutes against San Antonio on Jan. 17. He also couldn't finish a shot over Oklahoma City's Nick Collison with the score tied late in the fourth quarter on Jan. 10, a game the Bulls eventually lost in overtime.
But Rose has also had success stories. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter of a win at Toronto on Jan. 14 and produced the Bulls' final 7 points of regulation in an overtime win against Cleveland a night later.
"I'm happy that early in my rookie year, they're giving me the ball at the end of games," Rose said. "They have trust in me, I just haven't followed through. Hopefully in the future it will work."
Rose and Del Negro weren't quite on the same page when it came to what can be done better in last-second shot opportunities.
"Today was really like the first day when we did a lot of situations like that (in practice)," Rose said.
Countered Del Negro: "We work on them all the time, almost every practice. But it was good to scrimmage and go through some things."
Gordon became renowned for hitting last-second shots during his rookie season in 2004-05, though he tailed off in the ensuing years. Asked if he'd like to see the ball more late in games, Gordon answered with one word: "Yeah."
Gordon later added, "I think defense is always the most important thing. A few years ago, we were able to get consecutive stops when we needed them, then we would come down on the other end and convert."
The Bulls are 2-4 in overtime this season and have won just twice by 4 points or less. Their one true buzzer-beater was by Larry Hughes in a 101-100 win at Utah on Nov. 24.