CHICAGO — They don’t call him the Second Coming in the Second City for nothing. Derrick Rose proved again last night in Milwaukee why he should be crowned this years MVP.
He’s dazzling teammates and fans alike, and has restored a pride in Bulls basketball that has seldom been seen this past decade. But even with the Bulls soaring high, in true Derrick Rose fashion, he’s unsatisfied with his play and the teams play at the moment.
“A win is the most important thing,” said Rose, after going just 6-for-22 from the floor in Friday nights win over the Grizzlies. “My teammates came back and had my back tonight. My shot wasn’t going for me tonight. There will always be nights like tonight. We’re playing against a good team who is trying to make a playoff push. We just have to come out with an edge and be more aggressive.”
The dismay at the Bulls play isn’t just coming from the Bulls superstar, it’s a universal feeling.
“I felt like they outworked us,” said a frustrated-looking Luol Deng said after the Bulls’ 99-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. “I just felt like we have more talent in this team. And we made big plays at the end to win, but throughout the game I just thought they played harder. They got to the loose balls first. They’re a very good team and they really outworked us. And we got to recognize that.”
The Bulls didn’t play well these past two games and that’s the honest truth. But the fact that the Bulls still managed to win boasts well for not only their playoff dreams of a title, but it shows just how good this team is and how much fight and desire they posses.
It’s what I like to call the “Chicago Chokehold”. This occurs when the Bulls take the lead in the second half of the game (or sometimes even the first half) and never let go of that lead. The chokehold is on and very few teams are able to release themselves from it’s death grip. Carlos Boozer is aware of the chokehold and knows of it’s winning power.
“For us, we get poise at the end of the game,” Boozer said. “We’ve been there before this season. We’ve had games where we had to come back. We’ve had games where we went up by a lot and the other team came back and we’ve had to hold them off. We’ve had games where we fought from being down a lot. We’ve almost seen every scenario this season, so when the game got down to the wire we were comfortable because we had already been there.”
In Rose We Trust
Despite how down on themselves the Bulls are at the moment, they all have a unwavering trust in Derrick Rose that gives them all a confidence to win. From top to bottom, head coach to laundry room janitor’s, everyone in the Bulls organization is in head over heels love with Derrick Rose and the powers he has.
“His will, the pace, making plays, scoring, whatever we needed he provided.” said Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. Even though Thibodeau is in only his first (of what will most likely be many) Bulls season, he has always had his eye on Rose from Boston where he was an assistant under Doc Rivers. With the way things are going in Chicago, the Rose/Thibodeau union is a second coming of the Jordan/Jackson marriage we saw in the late eighties and throughout the nineties.
Rose’s teammates, the ones on the floor with him night after night, are not jealous of their superstar; instead they embracing and loving of what they call not a teammate, but a family member.
“I just feel really privileged to play with a guy like that,” said Joakim Noah, who is quickly becoming the Scottie Pippen of this Bull dynasty reincarnation. “To have a performance like that and be the most humble person you’ll ever meet. He’s a humble guy, but when he’s on the court, there’s really nothing humble about him. He wants the ball at the end and he knows he’s going to make the right play. He’s going to make the right play, and with his ability to score the basketball, he can score in so many different ways, it’s pretty exciting to watch.”
The growing cliché with Rose is he’s the superstar who wants none of the spotlight. Whenever he is showered with praise, Rose is quick to pass the credit on to the next guy.
It was Joakim who made the dunk, I just got him the ball.
It was Deng who hit the three, I just drew away the coverage.
It’s Coach Thobodeau’s schemes, I just run them.
If the only drinking game in the world was drink when Derrick Rose accepts compliments, the world would be sober. Should he not win the MVP, Rose will be the only one in the world without a problem with it.
The other guy deserved it more, will be what he says.
Well according to his Bulls teammates and coaches and basketball writers around the world, that deserving guy is Rose.
In Chicago, it’s In Rose We Trust.