Game 40 Recap: Bulls 99, Heat 96

I have to admit that the sick excitement I felt after this win…

…gave way to an even sicker sense of dread after reading the Booz news from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

“Carlos Boozer didn’t travel on Sunday with the team to Memphis, meaning Monday’s matinee will feature this season’s first game without Boozer and Joakim Noah. Boozer sprained his left ankle just before Kyle Korver’s game-winning shot with 25.5 seconds left in Saturday’s 99-96 victory over the Heat. The team is calling him day-to-day, but there is concern Boozer, one of just four players in the NBA averaging a double-double, will miss all four games this week because of the ankle’s significant swelling.”

Uh oh.

Said Boozer: “This is not my first twisted ankle. But it’s a bad one. It’s pretty swollen.”

Not the way you want to celebrate a big win. Of course, Boozer’s boo-boo wasn’t the only wet blanked that got thrown on what should have been a very satisfying victory.

To wit: The Heat were without LeBron James, who sat out with a sprained ankle of his own, and had to play the fourth quarter without Chris Bosh, who hurt his ankle at the end of the third.

I guess it’s just been a bad week for ankles all around.

But, oh man, this game. Derrick Rose (a game-high 34 points, a game-best 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 blocked shots) dueled Dwyane Wade (33 points, 6 rebounds, a game-high 5 blocks and 4 assists)…and won.

Rose stepped up to the challenge. He proved — in case anybody was still in doubt — that he’s no longer a superstar in the making. He’s a superstar. Period.

D-Wade’s a believer.

Said Wade: “Derrick is one of the great players in the game today and probably will be for a long time to come. You don’t see a point guard with the ability he has. And now he’s added an outside shot to his arsenal. Chicago’s got a good one.”

Don’t we know it.

Mind you, the Windy City is pretty spoiled. The Greatest Of All Time was here. The player against whom all players are measured was a member of the Chicago Bulls. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have more championships. That old lion, Bill Russell, won more rings. But Michael Jordan was, is and might always be The Man.

But he’s gone. And at long last the Bulls have another great one.

The post-Jordan era has been rough. There have been bad teams. Very bad teams. For a while, things go so bad we were ready to annoint those old Deng-Gordon-Hinrich-Nocioni squads. What a whiff that was.

But this is, without question, the best Bulls team since MJ retired the second time. They’re for real. They’re becoming a legit power in the league.

And D-Rose is the foundation.

He’s talented. Driven. Humble. Cares about nothing but winning.

That why I bristle when people call him a volume shooter or claim he’s not elite because he doesn’t get to the line often enough. Rose isn’t like any player we’ve ever seen. He doesn’t care about numbers. He only does what he does to help his team win. Whatever it takes.

That’s what he did against the Heat.

Said Rose: “During [crunch time], everybody knows who’s going to get the ball.  nI think it was like four or five minutes left … you know who’s going to get the ball. And it’s about will. What are you going to do to get this win?”

If you’re coach Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls, you give it to Rose and get out of the way.

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14 Responses to Game 40 Recap: Bulls 99, Heat 96

    chitown4life January 17, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    So I am suprised there are not comments about our bulls win even though LBJ did not play it is not like they did not have Bosh for three quaters and the rest of the cast on the team yes LBj is a game changer but still A win is a win and i will take it we are still without Noah our true big man and heart of the team , when we play again i hope all players are there to play i know some felt cheated cause james did not play. Have no fear we will get a chance to see lots of him in the near future …Go Bulls and congrats to our Bears Da Bears and bulls Rule …Peace

    chitown4life January 17, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    Great shot Korver yr timing was perfect to come out of yr slump you hit the game winner for us but as it is most of the time without D Rose ala MVP we probally would of lost glad to see he will be starting the Allstar game keep voting he has earned that right this year … Go Bulls ….Peace

    Gorditadog January 17, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    Good win for the Bulls. It was nice to see the Bulls beat Miami, Korver make the big play at the end, and Brewer make the final stop on Wade.

    Tibs had me screaming at the TV toward the end of the game though. “Please put in Brewer! You got to get Brewer on Wade!” I don’t really know what Tibs was thinking, but I hope he got it out of his system, like a bad virus. Here are the lines on Wade from Saturday:

    Against Bogans: 12 minutes, 2-4, 6 points -9 +/-

    Against Brewer: 14 minutes, 2-10, 8 points, -8 +/-

    Against Deng: 10 minutes, 6-6, 19 points, +13 +/-

    At the end of the half, after Wade torched Deng to lead the big comeback, I thought “Well at least Tibs knows now that Deng can’t guard Wade”.

    But then, after Bogans held Wade scoreless in the 3rd, and Brewer only allowed him two free throws over the first 8 minutes of the 4th, Tibs did it again! With 4 minutes left he took Brewer out and put Deng back on Wade. After Wade torched Deng again, this time with 10 points in 3 minutes, (in fairness Wade’s last 3 was after CJ switched over on him) Tibs finally had enough and put Brewer back in, with 37 seconds left. Ronnie made a couple nice plays at the end and the Bulls held on.

    I can’t help but think though that we would have won by 20 except for the “Luol Experiment”.

  4. Inception January 17, 2011 at 5:54 am #

    great win, but the Boozer injury killed the buzz (at least for me)

    the big three is down to the big one temporarily….if the bulls keep winning, that’ll just add more fuel to Rose’s case for MVP.

  5. Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    That’s the first time I’ve heard someone wanting Bogans back in the game over Luol Deng or anyone for that matter.

  6. Jay January 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    I have to admit Bogans is starting to come around. He’s still the weak spot on our team, but he’s starting to knock down those threes, and opposing SGs have haad trouble in the starting minutes lately.

    I’d still rather see Brewer than Bogans, but I think Thibodeaus decision to start him but give him limited minutes is slowly becoming defensible.

  7. bulls10-11worldchamps January 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    “He’s talented. Driven. Humble. Cares about nothing but winning.”

    Rose is talented. Humble, too. Believes in himself enough that he believes he can be MVP, but doesn’t proclaim to be the best. He believes he can EARN it and that’s the key.

    But, I would put an asterisk next to “cares about nothing but winning.” If he truly just cared about winning, wouldn’t he have lobbied more strongly for LeBron and co.? I’m referencing the A. Wojinarowksi article talking about how Rose didn’t want them LeBron or Wade this summer. I could understand how he wouldn’t want them AND still only cared about winning ONLY IF he assumed that him [Rose] developing as a player would be the Bulls’ best chance to claim a title. But do you REALLY think Rose believes having LeBron and/or Wade would not help the Bulls more in that feat? Just food for thought.

    Not dissing Rose. I just think we as fans/media have the potential to think too highly or our athletes when we don’t even know them nor have had a casual conversation with them. All athletes want to win, sure. But unlike fans, they don’t just want their team to win. They want to enjoy the win as contributors, and in this case it seems as if Rose wants to play the part of biggest contributor on a winning team. Which is fine. Which I think any athlete should strive to do. But again, maybe the wrong label to say he “cares about nothing but winning.”

    Savage January 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    You all know I am a Coach T supporter but even I was in bewilderment when coach kept putting Deng on Wade when Brewer and Bogans were doing such a good job at covering him. I get that Brewer had an off offensive night but still sometimes taking out the other team’s primary scorer is more important than the guy covering having a good offensive night. Glad we won but I think the team put way too much pressure on Rose to carry the load. Good news is that Rose did carry the team just as an MVP would. Rose really stepped up his defensive pressure while orchestrating a wonderful well rounded offensive night. Very impressive!

  9. TBF January 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    You know, Savage, I think D-Rose *wants* that pressure. He’s got a ton of fire and you can hear it when you listen to him. He’s been hinting around it with the “Why can’t I be MVP” stuff, but he’s too humble/shy to come right out and say it. He wants to be the best and if he has to put the Bulls on his back and dual D-Wade down the stretch then that’s what he’ll do. He’s a hell of a competetor.

    D-Wade gave him props afterwards too. That’s classy of him.

    Savage January 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Wow, saw Rose messed around and got a triple double today in win against Memphis!! He is Ballin!

    inkybreath January 18, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    I haven’t looked at all the recent games with a fine-toothed comb, but it appears that we are commiting far less turnovers per game. I think Thibs deserves credit for this …

    I think it is excellent that we only commit 10 turnovers, the first game that Boozer is out. To me, it shows that the team is really on the same page and willing to do what is necessary.

    BFD January 18, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    10 turnovers, and another solid job by Boguns. If he can keep this up, I may have to take back some of the nasty things I’ve said about him.

  13. Inception January 18, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    @bulls10-11worldchamps, of course Rose wanted Wade or Lebron to play in CHI, but he didn’t sweat them, which is exactly the attitude a HUNGRY superstar should have in a situation like that…..just ask MJ.

    Scottie Pimpin January 18, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    AAHHH da good ole days….is that mind playin tricks on me instrumntal ? old skool trak mixed in with new skool bulls highlights. nice.

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