The Bulls have been terrible most of the season in the second leg of back-to-back games.
The second of back-to-back overtimes turned out much better against Washington on Friday at the United Center.
Derrick Rose scored a career-high 37 points and capped the performance with his first true game-winning shot as a pro. Rose sank a one-hander in the lane with 5.4 seconds remaining after putting a spin move on Randy Foye, giving the Bulls an exhausting 121-119 victory in double overtime.
"These are the type of games you dream about when you're younger," Rose said in the locker room. "Unlike most people, I'm playing in my hometown, so everybody's standing up cheering for me. I've got the ball in my hand at the end of the game and everybody's looking at you, seeing what you're going to do.
"It's crazy. I really couldn't believe it. I don't show no emotion anyway, so I was cool. But I was happy, though."
Coming off a nice road win at Boston the previous night, the Bulls (18-20) faced a dangerous home date against Washington, perhaps the league's greatest underachiever this season.
VOTE IN THE POLL ------->
OK, this is a Rockets post, but the guy seems to have the right outlook for Bulls fans this season:
My dilemma here is that I just don’t really care. I view this season as house money – if the team plays well, like they were before the new year – I’ll get in on the fun and think of the playoff possibilities. But if they’re struggling, as they have been, I just can’t bring myself to lose sleep over it. This is a basketball team in transition with at least a 75% chance of having a completely different dynamic next season (whether simply by Yao’s return or also via trade.) So why should I be overly concerned about what’s taking place on the floor, other than from a player development perspective? It has little relevance in the long term. If something is going well, well then that bodes well for its continuity into the future. But if something is going bad, I’m not going to pull my hair out when I know someone might be riding in on a white horse by November.As Bulls fans, we don't know how the team will change this summer, but we will know a lot more by next year. Will we go forward with the current roster? Will we land Wade or Bosh? Or Bosh AND LeBron? Will we settle for JJohnson or Rudy Gay? I don't have a clue, but viewing this season as "playing with house money" will allow me to enjoy Rose/Noah/TT a lot more than worrying about whether we'll finish with 39 wins or 44 wins. So that's my plan the rest of the way, a more optimistic approach that is much less concerned with wins and more concerned with enjoying the process of seeing our young talented players grow and develop.
Pre-Game: Bosh Not Handing Out Discounts?
Toronto's Chris Bosh doesn't sound like he'll be giving anyone a discount when he becomes a free agent next summer.
"That's a good question," Bosh said before his game against the Knicks – one of his potential suitors – when asked if he'd be willing to accept something less than a max deal in order to play with better talent. "I don't know (laughs). I don't know about (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade). I really don't know. Like I said, it's a business, so that would be tough to do. You'd really have to make a big commitment to do that."
Bosh continues to be lumped in with Miami's Wade, Cleveland's James and Atlanta's Joe Johnson as members of one of the biggest free agent classes in NBA history. Ironically, each player has used the same locker in Madison Square Garden's visiting locker room.
"They probably did that on purpose," said Bosh.
Bosh continues to be hounded regarding his plans for next year, but maintains that he is primarily focused on basketball. When the subject of next year does cross his mind, Bosh knows that he'll want to play for the right coach.
Rose's 37 points help Bulls escape Wizards in double overtime
Derrick Rose drove and spun around before getting off the shot that would send the Chicago Bulls to a double-overtime victory and deny the inspired Washington Wizards.
"I've been doing that move since college," Rose said after his basket with 5.4 seconds left capped his career-best 37-point effort and gave Chicago a 121-119 win Friday night.
"If I want to go a certain way and they play me a certain way, I got to spin and I got a nice little floater. ... I used to think about what move I'm going to make or whatever. I'm just letting it come to me right now."
Just hours after suspended teammate Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty back in D.C. to a felony gun charge, the Wizards put everything they had into getting a victory before falling short.
Antawn Jamison had a season-high 34 points and 18 rebounds, Caron Butler added 27 points, Randy Foye had 22 and Brendan Haywood grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds and scored 16.
Both Butler and Jamison logged over 55 minutes. But Jamison said Arenas' problems had no bearing on the team's efforts Friday night.
"It doesn't matter what's going on off the court. It just matters what's going on on the court," Jamison said.
"It's tough to take anytime you lose a game. Off the court doesn't affect what goes on during game time. It doesn't affect us at all. We're out there playing hard, but we're just coming up short. Off the court distractions don't even come in this locker room when it's time to play the game."
After Rose's basket over Foye and a timeout, it was Foye's turn. But he missed a shot from the baseline and Haywood got the offensive rebound just as the clock ran out.
Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points and Joakim Noah had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls.
Bulls' Rose talks isolation, game-winners
Not only did Derrick Rose hit the first game-winning shot of his NBA career Friday night, he did so off an isolation play rather than a screen-and-roll situation.
Rose admitted again that he's most comfortable in such an offense, though it obviously can't be used at all times.
"My whole life -- Memphis, everything -- was isolation plays," Rose said. "So I know how to score off them. I had to get used to pick-and-roll."
Coach Vinny Del Negro discussed his thinking as to what dictates calling a high screen-and-roll for Rose or using isolation.
"Time and score," Del Negro said. "Who's guarding him, who's on the court with him, how we can space it out and give him driving angles. And just mix it in. Whether we clear a side, clear it out, flatten it out. Teams scout and see what we're going to do too, so we have to mix it up."
As for his first game-winner, Rose, not surprisingly, acted nonchalant about the shot.
"I've been doing that move since college," he said. "I go a certain way, spin and shoot a nice little floater. I hope I get many more."
So do the Bulls.
BBS Poll Results: Who should be the Bulls coach next year?
Couple of Bulls links on TrueHoop's Friday Bullets
What I noticed about the Bulls last night: Between Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, James Johnson ... there are a lot of lively dudes with long arms eager to stick their hands up to protect the rim. In general, I believe Wayne Winston's theories about the merit of playing Brad Miller with a bunch of scorers. But that worked best when Ben Gordon was in the mix, and last night it seemed like it was frenetic activity around the rim that most bothered Boston, and for that, you have to keep Miller on the bench.
Zach Lowe of CelticsHub: My personal version of hell is standing on a hot New York City subway platform as train after train full of clapping Joakim Noahs goes by.
Another Link from TrueHoop: The U.S. Secretary of Education talks basketball development
The negotiations for the NBA's next collective bargaining agreement will be mainly about money. (Owners, who have been dipping into their own pockets to keep the fires burning through a frosty economy, want more of it.)
But perhaps the hottest issue will be about a different set of numbers: The age of NBA players. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and the like were once drafted straight out of high school. Four-and-a-half years ago, the NBA declared players had to be one year out of high school before going pro. The result has been a rash of "one-and-done" NCAA players. The NBA has expressed an interest in extending the ban for an additional year, which will be an issue in upcoming negotiations with the player's union.
Meanwhile, a growing number of people are eager for the age rule to be eliminated.
On Thursday, the latter group appeared to gain an influential ally in U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Once a star player at Harvard -- one of his coaches there was current Celtic assistant coach Tom Thibodeau -- and a former professional player in the Australian league, Duncan is passionate about basketball. Speaking to university and NCAA officials in Atlanta, the former chancellor of Chicago's public schools said that the higher education of some basketball players was a "farce."
We spoke by phone shortly after his speech:
Tell me your thoughts on the NBA's one and done rule, if you would.
I focused a lot on the NCAA in general. Can I go through that first?