If Derrick Rose had hit that jumper at the end of regulation, it would have been perfectly okay to cry and remenis of the times where we had a superstar player (two, actually) on our hands. Rose is just 21 years of age and has already become the first Bulls All-Star in twelve years. But the shot didn't go, and the Bulls lost in OT. Such is life. The fact that Rose has the stones in such an early age to take these shots, speaks volumes of his character. Last season Rose received the ball in crunch time and was often good enough to put teams away for good using stretches of dominance.
While Chicago didn't play perfect basketball last night, it still wasn't a trainwreck. Rose got to the line ten times, hit a three, and the bench produced 37 points. The Sixers just executed their plays and muscled their way to a win.
A rumour in Boston has shooting guard Ray Allen connected to the Bulls at the upcoming trade deadline. Apparently the Bulls want to move Kirk Hinrich so they can gain more cap space for 2010. Allen is 34 years old, and wouldn't be a long-term fixture for the Bulls. But his $18.7 million are coming off the cap after the season, and he is still good enough to play big minutes, should the Bulls get into the playoffs. Offensively, Ray Allen fits Derrick Rose a lot more than Kirk Hinrich, with his ability to come off screens and the ability to hit a high-percentage from the outside.
The trade would have to include Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James to make salaries work, and Chicago would likely get a filler in from Boston. When the Bulls acquired Devin Brown for Aaron Gray, they essentially traded nothing for something. Brown is worthy of being a rotation player, whereas Aaron Gray isn't. Because of that, the Bulls can afford to give up two rotation players for Allen, and still survive from a depth perspective.
Bulls guard/forward John Salmons is also being shopped. The 30-year old has a player option for the 2010/2011 season and could opt in, which would mess with the Bulls' plans. Moving Salmons and Hinrich would guarentee cap room for a maximum free agent signing in July. It's still unclear who the target is, but whispers of Atlanta's Joe Johnson keep coming up. Let's hope this is the Bulls' way of making an early April's fools joke on the fanbase.
With two losses in a row, the Bulls are suddenly in for a rough time. They go up against Johnson and Atlanta tomorrow on the road and Dwyane Wade and Miami the following day. Should Chicago lose both, they'd be 23-26 just days after they were 23-22. Currently sitting at the eight seed, it's of major importance the Bulls squeeze out one of these two games.
It's going to be interesting to see how the Bulls fare after the All-Star break. This team has a tendency to turn things up a notch after the February break, and given they're at close to .500 now, March could prove to be a very good month for the organization. All depends on what moves they make on the 18th, however.