Another Close One: Bulls 113, Raptors 106

Derrick Rose.

I have to tell you, as great as he’s been playing, it’s been hard to feel really good about the Derrick Rose experience lately. He’s been getting killed across the Internet. Rose’s game has been dissected (by which I mean shot full of holes) ad nauseam because of his MVP candidacy. Every day seems to feature a new “Derrick Rose is not the MVP” story (even if they all say the same things). It’s been overwhelming.

I’m glad Derrick isn’t paying any attention.

Last night, Rose was huge all game long, especially when his team needed him the most. Playing on the second night of back-to-back games after a close win over a hyped up Pistons team (because of Dennis Rodman’s jersey retirement ceremony), the Bulls were a step or two slow on defense. Seriously, not many teams come into the United Center and score over 100 points on 50 percent shooting.

Fortunately, where there’s a Rose, there’s a way.

Derrick scored 15 points in the third quarter when the Raptors were trying to rally. In the final 5:33 of the fourth quarter, he scored 6 points and tallied an assist on three straight possessions to help the Bulls hold on for the win.

Said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: “Derrick has done that all year. Whatever the game calls for, he is going to provide. He set the tone for us. We were flat most of the night and Derrick came up with huge plays throughout the game.”

Added Jerryd Bayless: “That’s what an MVP is I guess. I think he should be it. I can’t speak highly enough about him.”

Now I’ll let the numbers do the talking. From ESPN Stats and Information:

Rose scored 36 points, had 10 assists and as a bonus added 3 blocks. He is just the sixth different player over the last 25 seasons to finish a game with 35 points, 10 assists and 3 blocks.

The only other active players to have done it are Dwyane Wade (six times), LeBron James (three), and Vince Carter.

This was Rose’s sixth game this season with 30 points and 10 assists, the second most by a Bulls player in any season over the last 25 years.

The only other player with more such games in a season for Chicago during that span — you guessed it — was Michael Jordan.

Apparently, Rose was inspired by some shennanigans that went on back in February, when the Raptors beat the Bulls in Joakim Noah’s first game back from thumb surgery.

Said Rose: “I just remember them celebrating after they won back in Toronto. When you see people celebrating when they normally don’t do that if you watch other games after they win, it kind of gets to you, especially being the person that I am. I just try to feed off of anything, where by nature I’m just a quiet guy trying to get along with a lot of people.”

Consider it a lesson: Don’t make Rose angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Admittedly, it wasn’t a great defensive game for the Bullies, Rose included (despite those three blocks and a steal). No excuses, of course, but that’ll happen on the second night of back-to-backs, especially minus a major defensive cog like Noah. But it’s a win. And it kept the Bulls three games up on Miami and 3.5 games ahead of Boston in the race for the first seed in the East.

Said Thibs: “You have to win different ways. The bottom line is getting the win. They were short-handed. They played extremely well. They played hard, they played smart, they played unselfishly. They put a lot of pressure on us, and in the end, I thought we did the things that we needed to do.”

By the way, although Rose had a great game, I don’t want to undervalue the rest of the team. Carlos Boozer had his third strong game in a row (18 points, 10 rebounds) and “Do-All” Deng did what he so often does (17 points, 7-for-11, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal). The Bench Mob was fantastic (35 points, 22 rebounds, 7 assists), most notably Taj Gibson (15 poins, 6-for-11, 9 rebounds) and Kyle Korver (10 points, 3-for-4, and back-to-back jump shots down the stretch). And although his stats weren’t overwhelming, Chicago outscored Toronto by 17 points during Omer Asik’s 18 minutes of PT.

Four games from 60 wins.

Recap, Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.

10 Responses to Another Close One: Bulls 113, Raptors 106

  1. Inception April 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    the media can knock Rose all they want, but compare his stats with Kobe’s, and they look very similiar….however, Kobe is playing less minutes than Rose.

    Antz April 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Great recap as always. Do you know that this season so far, Rose has more blocks than LBJ? 48 vs 46.

    inkybreath April 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    awesome stat, Antz

    Tony C. April 4, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    With regards to that stat, and Rose’s brilliant block, it is worth noting that he swatted the ball back into play, giving his teammates a chance at it. LeBron often whacks balls without considering the consequences of where they are heading.

    That play was unquestionably one of the elite highlights of Rose’s career to date, and I say that only partly because of the remarkable athleticism on display. It would have been so easy for him to have stayed back after he lost the ball, but his exceptional determination wouldn’t allow it.

    There are many great athletes in the NBA, but precious few have the mental attributes that Rose brings to the game.

  5. Brian April 4, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    I would’ve never guessed that D-Rose had more swats on the season than Lebron. for 6’3″, he gets UP. and it makes it even better that it was on James Johnson. haha.

    that being said, I’d like to continue with something that Tony C. touched on. Lebron, as well as Dwight and many others, tend to go for the flashy ‘get-that-thing-outta-here!’ block, sending shots into the stands. I’d really like to see more players do what Rose did, and swat the ball back into play, or if they have enough hop, just pull the sucker down! JaVale McGee actually did that a week or so ago, swatting the shot, and coming down with it to maintain possession.

    I was sweating it out through this came, but D-Rose (along with the Bench Mob) came up clutch. I’m really intrigued by how far this team can go in the post-season. should be fun to watch.

    inkybreath April 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Yes, I really hope that the team can continue to pass around with confidence. That ‘you never know who is going to take the shot’ passing will be a big help against the better, more focused defenses in the playoffs.

    I am curious how we feel about Thibs substitutions in the last 20 games or so?

    The one thing I notice is that we are saved by our offensive rebounding in many games. Derrick getting to the line consistently is another aspect that has kept us in games, but I really worry about an opposing coach, with the personnel to back it up, taking away those offensive rebounds and making our FG% stand on it’s own.

    Jake in Minnie April 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    I can’t sight a source on this, but I have heard that teams with the penetrate and kick offense, like Toronto and more importantly Orlando, is the style of offense that gives Thibs defensive system trouble.

  8. Ike April 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Don’t make Rose angry…

    I’m thinking Rose is very much like Jordan when it comes to how much he hates losing games.

    I mean, yeah, everyone wants to win, and nobody like to lose.
    But remembering bad losses or any losses, reminds me of MJ’s speech he gave at the HOF. You listen to Rose, and he’s like:

    1. Sacramento came from behind and beat the Bulls last season, and Rose basically said he wanted revenge and beat the Kings by 50pts. Well, it wasnt’ a 50pt differential, but it was pretty close, and beat the crap out of the Kings this year.

    2. He really came down hard on himself about the missed free-throw of the 1st Clippers game, and he’s been almose perfect at the FT ever since (and pounded the Clips at Staples Center).

    3. He despised the Atlanta game by losing on such a close margin, and he promised to never have a game like that. Well, Bulls beat the crap outta ATL in the next match-up.

    4. And there’s this Raptors game… Raptors won the 3rd game and celebrated, and that didn’t sit well with Rose.

    Hey, whatever drives him, it’s all good. I like this similarity between Rose and MJ, how they almost hold a grudge against other teams sometimes.

    Go Bulls.

  9. Brian April 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    @Jake – Toronto’s style definitely has, as they took us to the final minute in this game, and beat us in the game prior to that.

    however, i think Chicago realized that Orlando’s offense, despite being mostly centered around Dwight, relies primarily on the 3 ball. Howard blew us up for 40 and 15 in the second game, but their team was held to 24% shooting from downtown. Chicago held them to 26 the game after that, which they also won. compare that to the Magic shooting 48% from downtown when they blew us out earlier in the season.

    Dwight can get his stats all day, but if Chicago adequately defends the 3, they’re more likely to pull out the win. and i know this is basic Rebecca Black-type stuff i’m reciting, but we all know 3 is greater than 2 and 1. i’d rather we defend the perimeter and force Dwight into making a bucket, or heading to the charity stripe, as opposed to Anderson/Redick/Turk/Rich/Jameer draining a triple. hopefully they can execute that during the playoffs.


  1. A couple interesting stats » By The Horns - April 4, 2011

    […] Rose’s highlight block from the Raptors game generated some interesting discussion. By The Horns reader Antz noticed that Rose has more blocked shots on the season (48) than LeBron […]

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