Take Over Yourself, or “the King of Stacey”
Derrick Rose was the hero last night. 30 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals. We’re seeing it more and more now. These are numbers Chicago hasn’t seen since Michael Jordan. Every bit of the last fourth quarter play was heroic: his confidence to take the shot, his eyes fixated on the game clock, the lift off the ground, the propulsion of the ball headed towards its date with destiny. Rose is good. The hype, as Stacey King very much wanted us to understand, is real.
But the thing about being a hero is that life is a lot easier when you don’t save people all the time. Rose and his hype train has been powered by the mystique of flair and drama. Who can forget the legendary Bulls/Celtics First Round series two seasons ago? Who can forget his Game 1 performance? Who can ever forget the way in which he performs a reverse layup? With a startling combination of power and pretty, he does so easily the impossible. Why then, must the easy be so impossible?
Rose did not attempt a single free throw against the Rockets. This marks the first time — well, the first time where logged minutes — this has happened this season. There were questionable non-calls that Stacey King very much wanted us to acknowledge, but still: Rose took 28 shots to score 30. Life still isn’t easy for Derrick Rose. The magic shroud that he clings to on every jackknifing reverse layup will wear away eventually, and sooner rather than later if he keeps this up.
Rose’s dramatic tying three saves the day
So who said he can’t make the big one?
Derrick Rose continued to add pages to his scrapbook of thrills Saturday with a straight away 25 footer as the regulation buzzer was sounding to save the Bulls from a third consecutive defeat, and the Bulls led by Rose’s 30 points and Carlos Boozer’s 25 went on to survive the Houston Rockets, 119-116 in overtime in the United Center.
“I think that was the first time I’ve celebrated this whole year after I shot a shot,” a determined Rose said after utterly willing the Bulls to this shaky come from ahead victory. “It felt good knowing that I’m capable of knocking down shots like that.”
It was a crucial and clutch shot, no question, as the Bulls looked like they’d blown a 14-point second half lead after they had to rally from five behind with 36.5 seconds left in what then seemed like an ugly trip back to .500.
But Rose, who’d been especially forceful all game and even in the pregame huddle after introductions was demanding a big game from teammates, got a big boost from Boozer in his first big game as a Bull with two big offensive rebounds and scores which set up Rose’s dramatics. The Bulls also got a littler lucky as both Kyle Lowry and Brad Miller split a pair of free throws in the last 24 seconds before the Bulls got the ball back with 10.7 seconds left trailing 109-106.
Joakim Noah, who had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in dragging himself through just under 48 minutes of play, got stuck with the ball on the left wing at the three point circle looking for Rose. As the clock ticked down, the Bulls needed a three and the Houston play was to foul Noah hanging onto the ball with the Bulls experiencing still another miserable free throw shooting game and Noah one of two on the night.
“Derrick is definitely someone who wants the ball in pressure situations,” said Noah. “I think if I hadn’t given him the ball in that situation, he wouldn’t have talked to me for days.”