Bulls proving themselves on the road; beat Thunder

So the bulls beat Oklahoma City winning their fourth straight on the road.   The second time this season they've won four in a row.   They did so by beating four quality opponents.   The Suns, Rockets, Spurs, and Thunder.   Interestingly, this is the second season in a row that the Bulls have done well on the Ice Capades trip while at a difficult point in their season.  
Last year, the Bulls also went 4-3 winning some tough games on the road, this year they're 4-2 so far, and I think everyone considers this trip a success whether they win the last game or not.

More importantly, Derrick Rose has stepped up and put the team on his back for most of these wins.   There were questions about whether you can turn into an aggressive demanding player when you start out a passive one.   Derrick has answered the bell.   More on this tomorrow, but Rose is definitely back on the perennial all-star path.

Sadly, I only saw bits and pieces of the game last night, part of the first quarter, and then the late 3rd, early 4th followed by the end of the game.  It's not really enough to give you an honest account for how everyone played, but every time I looked around Derrick Rose hit a big shot. 

The Thunder looked absolutely dejected by the end of the game, as the Bulls just answered every time they'd try to make a mini-run.  Not that I doubt there were many in Chicago, but anyone putting forth the "Russell Westbroook is better than Derrick Rose" vibe was answered pretty soundly tonight.  

Where do the Bulls go from here?     They're .500 with 38 games to play.   I'm still cautious in fully embracing the Rose has arrived train, but if he continues to play as he has the past few games then they definitely have a shot of that or even better.    We haven't seen a stretch of dominance this great from Rose yet.  He's playing the best ball of his career.    While he's almost certainly still ascending towards the peak of his abilities in his career, he's likely to still have a few more valleys before getting even better.

All I know is that Derrick Rose has turned the Bulls into appointment TV again.  I know longer watch out of pseudo obligation to you readers or because I love basketball.   I watch now because I have to, because I don't want to miss it.  

The Bulls aren't bringing home the title this year, but they have become fun to watch again.   They have rekindled hope for the future.   Derrick Rose's recent play is greatly enhancing their chances of landing a star next season. 

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  • Correction: this is their 4th four game winning streak. All coming after Christmas, since Kirk moved to the starting lineup and since Tyrus returned from injury. Overall, they are 12-5 over the time period.

    I didn't listen to the game online like I usually do because of the State of the Union (plus it was date night so the girlfriend wasn't having that) but I managed to track their progress on my phone and was loving how they kept it close throughout the first 3 quarters. When I checked back in and they were up by about 12 or 14 in the fourth my jaw dropped. Who are these guys and where did they hide the bodies?!

    I'm loving this surge and hope it's sustainable. I'm just worried about the damage the inevitable trade(s) will have on the team. 2010 Free Agency is the unwavering goal but what and who will we have to sacrifice in order to secure our position. I love Kirk's impact on the team, but he's the most likely sacrificial lamb.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Double Correction: I MEANT their 3rd four-game winning streak.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Doug,

    Since you didn't see most of the game, let me break it down for you.

    Rose was OUTSTANDING again. Noah produced yet another double-double. Thomas and Miller came up HUGE off the bench. Hinrich and Salmons struggled shooting the ball. Deng was HOT in the 1st half, but not the 2nd. The newly aquired Devin Brown didn't play. And your Man-Crush, James Johnson, SUCKED as usual!!!

    I think that just about covers it.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    I have to agree with Happy, lol, perfect breakdown of the game. Jioha, I don't know why you like Kirk so much, if you watched last night he was playing for Oklahoma and had nothing to do with the victory. He was falling down, missing shots, and handing the ball to the Thunder.

    The winning has nothing to do with Hinrich being in the starting lineup. He still can't crack 40% FG shooting, he is turning into Chris Duhon except we pay him way more money. His defense has been horrible and I don't know why Vinny keeps putting him on much quicker guards and Rose would be better. Parker, Brooks, Nash, and Westbrook were killing him, especially Parker. Hinrich needs to go.

    I am also for keeping Deng unless we trade him for Bosh, I think he is learning to play great with Rose who seems to know where Deng is going to be all the time now. And I think he is good enough to be the third option on a championship team, he did very well defensively on Durant (so did Tyrus, wow).

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    continued success makes a major trade very unlikely. Bulls management love success (it pleases the masses) and they will not mess with it. Kirk & Deng are not going anywhere just for expiring contracts.

    I do feel there will be a tweak - involving Salmons and/or Tyrus.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    there will be another trade. I think the devin brown trade almost guarantees it...and there has to be. Bulls management knows they have to be able to offer a max deal this off season. I think the fact that were winning though just changes the trade component from possibly kirk; to not kirk and probably salmon.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    It's amazing how winning fixes everything. The way the Bulls are playing right now I want them to play more elite competition (i.e. Cavs, C's, Lakers, Nuggets, Mavs) just to confirm that we're for real. Not sure what changes the trade deadline will bring but looking ahead to February our toughest games will be against Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Portland. That leaves another 10 games that we "should" win.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    its pretty wild to be honest. At the start of the year I had BIG concerns about D.Rose. But....is it almost time to just resign ourselves to the fact that hes a legit beast now? I almost think so.

    secondly Im curious on your take Doug but after watching D.Rose for almost a year and a half now Id say that last night was pretty much what I expect out of D.Rose 26 and 7. I think if he can average about 7-8 assists a night thats pretty good and Id venture to guess thats what we can realistically expect from him. do you think hes ever gonna be a 10 assist guy or is this his range?

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Derrick just blew it up AGAIN(sorry for the all caps _ I know I'll be getting sued for copyright infringement from Mr. Happy) against Durant and Westbrook. D's scoring in the lane whether it was the okie doke, juke and hangtime hook(?)/overhanded layin over Thabo, the turnaround hook shot, or the run, stop on a dime turnaround hook/floater, he had it all working.

    Anyone who doesn't think Derrick is going to be the franchise player or partner whoever they bring in, does not know greatness when they see it. His jumpshot wasn't bad but streaky and sometimes flat before this spell, but now it's pure. You could have some question if it stays that way or just levels off at pretty good. But in the former you still have a multiple All-Star, and if it's anywhere near the latter, you have a guy that can score in the lane at will i.e dominate. Eventually that guy has to get the calls on contact as he will be upper tier All-Star status. Maybe a top five to seven player. I know people don't want to over commit, and be made to look foolish. But the thing is besides him looking passive at times and unimpressive, the way most young guys do, you still at times saw that drive and fire from him as a rookie. Now if you watch his demeanor/face there's been a fire every night. I'd have to say it appears a fire that will rage for some time. Keep a fire watch because Derrick "the Inferno" Rose is going to light this city up.

    I just pray the Bulls get a top player to come in here with him, and I mean including winning attitude. I doubt that's Boozer or Stoudemire. I'm not saying I wouldn't take them. But we need Bosh, Wade, or 'pipe dream' LeBron. With the Bulls recent record and Reinsdorf's abrasive ways there are a lot of reasons to doubt it will actually happen. But it must. Derrick Rose's presence demands it. Whoever comes, if we do get one of the big boys, all other NBA teams/contenders, game on.

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