CHICAGO — The Bulls avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time all season last bought by trumping the Knicks 105-102 at Madison Square Garden last night.
But one of the things that needs to be taken out of last night’s game is just how good Derrick Rose is. This isn’t a secret — Rose being good — but he deserves a lot more credit as one of the league’s best players then he gets.
This was meant to be a piece after the Knicks game, but given Rose’s recent lack of production it hold more relevance now.
Rose isn’t going to be LeBron James this year. No way. He may not ever be LeBron James because what James does is throw down 40 points a night regardless of how his team performs. James will always seem like the better player because he will always be seen as statistically superior due to his stat chasing.
Not knocking on James too much here because he wouldn’t be able to throw down 40 a night if he wasn’t that good. He deserves credit for that. But where Rose becomes the better player of the two is his will to win at all costs, even if it means he won’t be the best player on the court that night.
Take, for example, the Bulls last two games. Rose has played but made little to no impact in these two games. If you take away his 4 against New Jersey and 6 against New Orleans, the Bulls still win.
This can be viewed as a poor example given how putrid the defense’s of New Jersey and New Orleans are but in the two games, Rose didn’t try to force plays that would benefit his box score.
LeBron James would never play hurt and not try to get stats. Why play in that case?
For a better example, see the Bulls game winner against the Hawks at the beginning of January. The final shot of the game can determine if the Bulls stay hot or if they lose their first home game of 2011.
But Derrick Rose used himself as a decoy on that play, allowing Joakim Noah to feed Luol Deng down low effectively winning the game.
Try and tell me LeBron James and Dwayne Wade don’t argue over who gets to take that shot in Miami. Kobe takes that shot in Los Angeles. Melo gets the call in New York.
But in Chicago it’s about winning, not highlights. Perhaps this example proves the Bulls have a far superior lineup to others in the NBA where not only Rose is a reliable option to win the game when it’s on the line.
But more importantly it shows that Rose is not a stat chaser, he’s a winner. And although it won’t get him all the credit he deserves, it will win championships and at the end of the day winning conquers all.