Bulls crush Wolves - Is Rose too unselfish to be the MVP?


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Kevin Love thrown to the ground by Taj Gibson's massive size and strength. Seriously, is there anything funnier than Love trying to get a call by flopping against Taj Gibson?

Guess we didn't have to worry about the let down game.

Seriously, at some point in this game, did you kind of hope the
Timberwolves would make a run just to make it a little more
interesting?    They were so thoroughly beaten down that I started to
feel bad for them.   Of course, it's a nice change from those 1999-2003
years where that was us.

Even the Tribune photographers decided to leave early as they only left me with six pictures to choose for the game.

  

Derrick Rose is too unselfish to be the MVP

Not fake unselfish (LeBron) where you dominate the hell out of the ball but pass to let someone else score as long as you get the assist, but truly unselfish where you let other people make plays, manage the ball, and don't need to run the whole show.

The problem with Derrick's candidacy is that Derrick Rose just wants to win.  In a game like this, Kobe or LeBron would have scored 50+ making a mockery of their opponents and showing off all game. 

Derrick Rose was content to win and let his teammates really share in the glory rather than just get his scraps.  It's why we love him, and it's why he won't lead the league in scoring at the end of the season, because he's not padding his games by dominating crappy teams in 30 point blowouts.

He scored 21, but he only took 10 shots on the night.   Believe me, Kobe or LeBron are putting up 20+ shots against this defense and furthering their own glory.

By the way, 5/6 from the three point line?    D-Rose is now up to 41.6% from beyond the arc on the season while averaging 4.2 three point attempts per game.   That's simply amazing.  

Derrick Rose plays the game how it's meant to be played.   We've see how that hurts him at the free throw line because he doesn't get bailed out by flailing into opponents, and I think it hurts him in an MVP contest as well, because though we want a guy to just be a winner, I don't think the voters will vote for one.

All the Timberwolves are invited to the block party

Joakim Noah just shut down the paint early.   Amusingly, the Wolves tried to start the game by going to Darko over and over again which resulted in failure after failure, then Noah stuffed Beasley, Ridnour, Love, Petrovic, and everything else going into the paint.   He was credited with six blocks but it felt like so many more.

He only had a 9/10 night, but played just 28 minutes and got some well deserved rest.

Carlos Boozer looked better than his box score offensively

Boozer shot a mere 5/14 from the field, but got to the line for seven free throw attempts to give him 17 points on the night.   His night was only marred by a couple of bunnies he missed on nice moves to the basket that he just didn't finish.

While Kevin Love had a dominant statistical night, Boozer generally did a good job keeping him off the offensive glass as Love only had 3 offensive rebounds compared to his season average of 7. 

Luol Deng started the show with some jumpers and exposed Beasley all night

Michael Beasley simply couldn't be bothered to run around and try to defend Deng who knocked down his first three jumpers then had numerous shots attacking the basket, threes, and generally had a high quality offensive night.

Beasley initially started off hitting some tough jumpers against Deng, but Deng's effort cooled him off before too long.

Keith Bogans even helped out

In the second half, the Timberwolves cut down the Bulls lead to 14 points and starting to get a little bit of momentum, Bogans knocked down an open 3.   He did hit 2 of 3 on the night, and hopefully he can build some momentum with his shooting from the game.

I'm glad to see Bogans play better as long as he's going to play, but he's still not doing enough to keep getting minutes.

Kyle Korver made his shots

Korver did what you expect Korver to do, he hit his half his shots including 1/2 from behind the three point line to provide some offense.  

Ronnie Brewer had a field day

As predicted, Brewer came up with a boatload of steals, registering four on the day.   He pressured the ball and made the Wolves life difficult while in the game.   Brewer's really starting to get back to the level we expected of him and fill his niche of aggressive disruptive defender very well.

C.J. Watson was the only Bull not to knock down a shot

He still did a nice job leading the team in his minutes though.  He had three assists, four boards, and the second unit still crushed the Timberwolves while he was out there leading it despite his 0-4 performance from the field.

Tom Thibodeau finally rested his starters

The Bulls had been running Deng, Noah, and Rose ragged up to this point, but they registered 30, 28, and 30 minutes against the Timberwolves.  It's probably still more than I would have given them, but at least it wasn't 40/38/40 again.  

One of the key problems with resting these guys earlier was the strength of schedule, look for the Bulls primary players to play far fewer minutes over the next two months. 

Final thoughts

If the Bulls dominate the next stretch of games, people will say it doesn't count because of the schedule, but the same people won't credit the Bulls for coming as far as they have over the gauntlet they've presently played.   

Strength of schedule is a more or less meaningless metric over the course of an NBA season where everything mostly balances out, but it really means a lot over the course of a quarter season when the quality of opponents played varies tremendously.

The Bulls look like a legit contender to me, but they still need to prove their worth against Boston, Orlando, and Miami.   They're 0-3 against that group with two road losses to the Celtics and a home loss to the Magic, but those are the teams they  need to beat in the playoffs to make some noise.

Comments

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  • Rose was really UNSELFISH when he was knocking down a career high five 3's.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    mmmmm....agreed.

  • In reply to MrHappysBoyfriend:

    THAT......is.....hilarious....

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Best name ever.....and so true. There is only one thing to do, AGREE (in all capitals)

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    DELICIOUS.

  • In reply to MrHappysBoyfriend:

    Reese1?? I didn't know you changed your avatar...

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    LOL LOL... U must be really infatuated with me or u must be remedial cause you keep giving me shout outs, I do appreciate it though but u really shouldn't reveal your sexual preferences on a blog, Sorry but I am not your type cause I do like women.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    CHICAGOSPORTSGAYGUY...LOL LOL LOL.... That's what your avatar should be...LOL LOL....

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And I do apologize to anyone that I may offend but this person seems to want to keep my name in his mouth even though I have explained to him I do not go that way.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    pathetic

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Yes u are that's why u need keep my name out of your mouth. Thank u

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You're an idiot.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Don't talk about yourself like that.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I wasn't. I was talking to you.

    You're a ****ing idiot.

    Case closed.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    You guys really need to chill with the Immature name calling cause one, I have my own opinions that I can express because this is a blog where we all have different views and two, you my friend can open and close cases all u want cause just for the fact that you have no reason to try and call me a name just goes to show how much of a ####ing idiot you are. I wasn't even commenting to anything you have said... so with that being said... I hope calling people names have made your day today and that you find something else to do with your time cause trying to insult me wont make me lose any sleep in the least. You have a good nite sir...SOME OF YOU GUYS ARE HILARIOUS cause some of you guys comments are very entertaining.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And again... don't talk about yourself like that. I see have my own fan club on here.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The rest of the league must have crapped their collective pants when they saw Rose's 5 for 6 on 3-pointers last night.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    How DARE Derrick Rose take 10 shots this game?!?! And make 8!!!

    What a selfish pig! Time to start CJ Watson!

    Mr. Happy, I used to think you were a nagging, annoying type like Bill Murray's character in 'What About Bob?'. Now I'm thinking you have more in common with Corky from 'Life Goes on'.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Your interpretation of Lebron's game is totally inaccurate and over the top. You shouldn't have to discredit and denigrate Lebron and Kobe's game to credit Rose's game. And Rose, over the course of this season has been JUST as selfish as those guys when it was warranted.

    That said, Rose will get MVP consideration as his team continues to improve. He is very likable and respectable towards the media, and
    has played well enough to garner that level of acclaim. However, there is a pecking order with the NBA and how votes are cast. Its sad but true. While Durant is the one who has been coroneted, I think Rose is easily in the picture.

  • In reply to Houston:

    I think it's really easy to attack LeBron because he acts like a bit of a douche. That said, he is on par with Rose in terms of selfishness. Just because he acts like a self-indulgent tool outside of the court doesn't mean he is that way in between the lines. Durant is falling quickly out of the MVP picture, being the 2nd best player on his team. I don't think anyone seems to realize that Dirk Nowitzki is playing the best ball in the league right now, not Derrick Rose. I think over the course of the season Rose can rise up to Dirk's level.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Rose cares a lot too, which is why he said that he could be MVP before the season started. He cares a whole lot about where he stands in today's NBA. He could have said the MVP doesn't matter to him if he is so much more unselfish than the great players you named.

    But your characterization of Lebron's game in particular is inaccurate. He shared the ball and made his teammates better. His dominating the ball is what had to happen in Cleveland. Calling Lebron "fake unselfish" is like calling Magic or Nash the same.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Lebron does seem a little more selfish as seen by how the heat started the season. Wade and him had a hard time sharing the ball because they each want to believe they are the locus of control. Now they're playing off each other better relinquishing a little responsibility and their latest win streak represents that.

  • In reply to bwself:

    Lebron's selfishness wasn't the problem in that situation.

  • In reply to bwself:

    I just want to take a moment to express my disdain towards Hollinger and Abbot from ESPN. The fact that they make claims like Russel Westbrook does what it takes to win where Rose does what the fans and media want to see really bothers me. Abbot even pokes at Rose's quiet demeanor as if its not that of a winner's. I appreciate and use Sabermetrics to evaluate sports as well, but the level these guys take it to disregards all the other aspects existing in sport. If it was a game of sabermetrics John Hollinger would have picked at least 1 correct champion in the past 5 years, he hasn't even come close.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Not sure what you're talking about Hollinger not being able to pick winners, Hollinger picked the Lakers pre-season last year.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I was referring to his end of the season predictions he makes with his statistical analysis. Funny that he made the Lakers pick preseason using subjective thinking, by the end of the season he had the Cavs winning it according to his beloved statistical breakdown, in fact he had the Cavs winning the past 3 championships according to his end of the season playoff predictor.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I'm not saying PER and the other methods he uses to breakdown basketball are useless, I'm saying its ridiculous to flat out ignore everything not quantifiable.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    He's hardly the lone ranger for thinking the Cavs would win.

    I think there's a lot too much put into the idea that the championship team is the best team. Playoff series are often pretty close to coin flips, even Hollinger's odds he gives shown a number of series as 60-40 or closer. There's certainly a non-trivial chance that the Cavs were indeed the best team those three years and just got bad beats.

    Both Hollinger and the betting sites pretty much never rates any single team as better than a 1/3 chance to win the championship before the playoffs start, acknowledging that the level of confidence in any predictions has to be quite low.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Again, I don't see Hollinger's prediction as ridiculous, it merely shows that his use of statistics as the end all be all is just too much at times. I read his stuff often and he's a good source for statistical analysis. But when, as MW said above, they use their own mathematical model to make absolute conclusions, I'm bothered as a sports fan. I'm especially bothered by statements like "well the Cavs very well may have been the best team that year". The best team is decided by who wins the title each year. Any subjective argument saying otherwise is merely a futile attempt to weigh certain aspects of the game; like well they led the league in offensive and defensive efficiency so they are the best, or they had the best collection of player's with high PERs. The fact is in sports, the whole over rides the sum of the parts. Hence wins, and losses. Thats what Hollinger doesn't get, its not how you got there, its the fact that when all is said and done you are the last one standing. Wins and losses are the only absolute aspects in sport, and yes how or why one wins or loses is worth a sports fan's time and interest. But arguments that a combination of those how's and why's can somehow superscede the end result are useless and lack practicality in regard to sports.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I think when people talk about the best team they usually mean if you play an infinity game series who would win the most games. I mean even if you have a 60% chance in each game (probably as big an edge as you're likely to ever have in the finals) there's still a 2.56% chance you get swept (yes, oversimplification that doesn't take into account home court).

    As far as Hollinger taking into account the non-stats aspects of the game, from what I've heard he's a basketball nut and he watches more games than anyone else at ESPN. I think like Mitchell says he's paid to push his stats because that drives traffic to ESPN, whether people agree or disagree with him.

  • In reply to bwself:

    I think the weak part of the schedule is the important part, I'm not really that concerned about not beating the top teams yet. Good teams are going to drop games to other good teams, it's when you play the weak teams that you build up the win total.

    The Bulls aren't a proven team, they're not a team that can coast through the regular season then turn it on in the playoffs like the Celtics or Lakers. They're still working things out with the new guys (especially Boozer) and they still need to prove to themselves as much as anything that they're an elite team. Put the wins on the board against the easy teams is important for building up that belief, at the end of the year everyone talks about a team being a 45 win team or a 55 win team, nobody cares which teams you beat to get there.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Its not a matter of opinion when comparing the number of shots Rose takes against a defeated lesser opponent to those that Kobe or Lebron take. Its a matter of fact.

  • In reply to Houston:

    While it's true Derrick's demeanor might hinder him from winning the MVP this year, it will in fact be on of the biggest factors in him winning a potential championship which is what we judge athletes on in the end anyway, or at least should.

  • Do you ever proofread your headlines...first it was "Lathergic" and today he is "to nice".

  • In reply to Dionysus:

    Why you mad tho Dionysus? You mad I spell "though" as "tho"? Come at me bro. By the way "bro" is short for brother and is typically accepted as an actual word and not a misspelling. Peace out

  • Great recap Doug, and I think that last sentence sums up the early part of the season perfectly. The Bulls are a good team, we know that, but how they fare against Boston, Orlando, and Miami will dictate whether it can be a great season, or just a good one.

    Personally, the only team that really frightens me is Orlando, because Howard turns Rose and Noah into D-League players. Boston played us tough, but that was more circumstantial imo, with Boozer just coming back. We'd have the best player on the floor against them, so they're probably my preferred second round opponent.

    I love what you wrote about Rose being a truly unselfish player. I think that sums it up perfectly. He really does not care about getting his. And I think that will affect his MVP candidacy, as well as his value in the eyes of statistical guys like Hollinger (Booooo!). Oh well, at least Bulls fans recognize how amazing he's been. Can't wait for Monday's game. Time to let Indy know what's really going on in the central division.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    You know what? I'm ok with him not getting the respect he deserves. He's the kind of guy who uses that to drive himself, so go ahead main stream media, underestimate him.

    On a similar note, yes, it would be great if he got more foul calls. But I must be one of the few who doesn't want him to change his game to draw more contact. I'd much rather he have a long career, free of major injuries. Guys his size who try to draw a lot of contact at the rim have a lot less chance of that.

  • This team has definitely improved from last year. Last year they only had 13 wins out West and they already have 11 or 12 against the West already but I guess you could make the argument of the West becoming weaker. Also, since Boozer has come back Deng has shot 55% from the 3pt arc, not to mention Derrick's improved long range either. I think you really can't complain about Watson either, he's done just about as much as Steve Blake has done at backup PG for the Lakers has so I have no complaints. Also Taj had a very good quiet night scoring 12pts and 10rebs. Overall Good game! Hopefully we'll start seeing the Bulls on ESPN more as one of the hottest teams instead of the Knicks!

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Well, we're doing it with defense and three point shooting. Hopefully when we see Orlando next we can give them a dose of their own medicine.

  • This is a blog. So if Doug makes a few grammar errors who really cares? I've never once read something he has written and not understood it. Keep up the good work DT, this is my first internet stop everyday.

  • Ditto, the only time it is appropriate to offer a correction is when the mistake causes a potential comical new meaning to the sentence, and even then it should be done in jest.

  • I am a baseball fan and tend to like the use of sabermetrics more in baseball than other sports, but nice reference to the Mariners, talk about the perfect case of statistical analysis' short comings. Stats are great, and I don't have a problem with a guy picking at Derrick Rose with numbers, I'd just like him to make note of the aspects those numbers can't cover.

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