Maybe it's just me, but I don't see a let down from D-Rose. As a matter of fact, I think all the young Bulls (read: Rose, TT and Noah) should come out with a swagger. A confident young team with nothing to lose?! A pressing Boston team trying to prove they are capable without KG?? That works for me. I'm taking the Bulls in a close one, and a 2-0 series lead coming home. (What else did you expect?!?)
As always, some links ...
You have to love the Celtics giving Derrick Rose even more reason to come out blazing tonight -
In comments to Boston reporters Sunday, center Kendrick Perkins made a bold guarantee that Derrick Rose won’t come close to matching his career-high 36 points in Monday night’s Game 2.
“Everybody has their night,” Perkins said. “I know it won’t happen again. He’ll never have another game like that against us. It wasn’t anything that they did. It was all on us.”
Celtics All-Star Paul Pierce offered a similar sentiment, if more tactful.
“I was in a pretty good mood because I knew from watching the tape that we didn’t play that well at all and still had a chance to win,” Pierce said.
And I thought I hated the Celtics before this series.
That being said, expect the Celts to come out swinging -
The Bulls expect to face a focused and determined Boston Celtics team tonight at the TD Banknorth Garden in Game 2 of their first-round Eastern Conference series.
As everyone who follows the NBA playoffs knows, the odds of a team rallying to win the series after losing the first two games at home are slim, so the Celtics will approach the game as if their season depends on it -- because it probably does.
I think this list (of Bulls top10 playoff games) needs to be edited to include Rose's ridiculous debut.
The NBA Awards begin, with Mike Brown winning the anti-VDN award -
As was reported by Brian Windhorst of The Cleveland Plan Dealer, the Cleveland Cavaliers have called a 1:30 press conference presumably to announce that Coach Mike Brown has won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA's Coach of the Year.
BlogaBull reactions to game 1 -
And to win in that way saved this series, because I'm not sure the Bulls would've recovered if they lost on a day when Derrick Rose put on this type of performance. So many times when the offense broke down (kidding, they don't have one) it was Rose hitting big shots to keep them in it. With Pierce (credit to Salmons in an otherwise bad game from him) and Allen both having awful games from the field, I'm not sure those circumstances converge again.
And before I rip him, I'll give Vinny credit for conditioning this team to run. It was off makes, misses or TOs (not as many of those from Boston as I would've liked) and it's the way the Bulls can beat this team. I also liked their aggressiveness, as Rose and Gordon went to the line 20 times. Maybe it just took the playoffs for Rose to be treated like other elite guards when it comes to officiating?
ESPN has this video up, so why wouldn't I put it here:
Let the unfair comparisons begin: ROSE and MJ -
But as the Bulls prepare to meet the defending champion Boston Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs, it's hard not to draw the conclusion that we might be watching the beginning of the next era of Bulls basketball with budding hometown hero Derrick Rose.
And in many ways, Rose enters his first postseason in the same manner Jordan did 25 years ago.
Don't choke on that coffee you just gulped. Hear me out:
Case No. 1: The Bulls were 38-44 in Jordan's first season and made the playoffs for the first time in three years. In Rose's first season, the Bulls finished 41-41 and reached the playoffs for only the fourth time in the past 11 years.
Case No. 2: While Jordan's first-year scoring average was about 12 points per game more than Rose's current 16.8 average, he virtually ran away with Rookie of the Year honors. Rose is a cinch to earn ROY honors, according to several experts, including Scouts Inc. NBA analyst David Thorpe.
Case No. 3: No one expected the 1984-85 Bulls to go very far in the playoffs, and they didn't, losing to Milwaukee, three games to one, in the first round. That's pretty much the same scenario for this season's Bulls -- they're not expected to go very far, particularly against a team like Boston, although Kevin Garnett's injury might give them a fighting chance. And given how scrappy the Bulls have played down the stretch, they very well could extend the Celtics into a long series.
Case No. 4: Although the early phase of Jordan's tenure was marked with Kevin Loughery, Stan Albeck and Doug Collins at the coaching helm, it was Phil Jackson who molded Jordan and the Bulls into champions. Jackson took the job with no prior head coaching experience in the NBA. How much prior NBA head coaching experience did current Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro have before assuming the job this season? Just like Jackson, none.
Case No. 5: Then-general manager Jerry Krause decided to rebuild the Bulls around Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft. Current GM John Paxson, who joined the Jordan era as a player in 1985-86, made Rose the No. 1 overall pick in 2008. Paxson elected to build the team around Rose's speed, shooting and versatility, just like Krause did with MJ.
HoopsWorld game preview.
D-Rose still humble -
No "SportsCenter" for Rose, even though the show led with him tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record by scoring 36 points in his rookie playoff debut.
"I know what I did in the game," Rose said. "I think about the days when I don't have a good game, would I still look at TV? I know that I wouldn't. So why would I look at it if I had a good game? That wouldn't be right. That's not me."
Rose will leave the fancy adjectives and hero worship to others. He doesn't care about coming-out parties or where his Game 1 performance ranks among the great playoff efforts. He doesn't even bite on Monday being the 23rd anniversary of Michael Jordan dropping a playoff-record 63 points on the Celtics at the old Boston Garden.
And that's not just because Rose, 20, wasn't born then.
"I was just doing anything to win — diving, fouling people, whatever it takes," Rose said.
That's Rose's only goal, which is why his Game 1 performance is old news and he's already envisioning the defensive adjustments the Celtics will make for Game 2 on Monday night in this best-of-seven slugfest.
How do you not LOVE this kid?!?
Especially when he's learning to be a (vocal) leader -
Noah was wide open on the left wing, about 18 feet from the basket, and looked as though he was about to pull the trigger on his funky jump shot.
''I was gonna take it,'' Noah said after practice Sunday. ''But the rook screamed, 'No!' So I didn't take it. I went back to doing my role.''
Rose no doubt voiced the thoughts of countless Bulls fans watching on television. A Noah jumper isn't what's known as a high-percentage shot.