Derrick Rose scores career high; makes his MVP case on national TV as Bulls beat the Spurs

Derrick Rose had an MVP like game against the 'best' team in the league to lead the Bulls to victory.   HIs 42 points represent a new scoring high for him, and in the fourth quarter he just scored possession after possession after possession.  The Spurs tried to claw back into the game over and over, but every time they threatened, the Bulls would immediately go on a 5-6 point run and push the lead back up.

Rose completely closed the book on them in the fourth quarter by just becoming the unstoppable offensive player.   The Bulls continue their streak of beating marquee teams since December, and to think, they aren't even fully healthy yet.  

Joakim Noah comes back against Toronto.

  


This win was huge for Rose's MVP chances

Let's face it, not every voter is really watching that much basketball, but they do watch the marquee games and matchups.    Let's put this in perspective:

1: Derrick Rose dominated the best team in the league
2: He dominated an elite defense
3: He killed another one of the league's elite PGs head to head
4: He did this all on national TV while the MVP voters are watching

Big, big team win, but if Rose has a legit shoat at the MVP, then this game likely played a pretty big factor in that. 

Rose killed the Spurs in the paint.  He killed them with the pull up jumper.   If he had the three point shot going on, it wouldn't have been fair, assuming that trying to defend him without it is fair.

Luol Deng knocked down the three that broke open the game

The Bulls had ended the 4th up by eight and went to the bench.   They picked up one more point on the Spurs in C.J. Watson's 2 and a half minutes, and the Bulls brought back Derrick Rose.

Luol Deng knocked down a three to put the Bulls up by 12.   That shot, more so than any other broke the Spurs back IMO.   The game was previously waffling back and forth where the Spurs were closing in then falling back, but that shot turned it into a borderline route.

Deng had a nice night overall shooting 50% from the field and scoring 19 points.  He passed the ball well, finding the open man when the defense closed out on him quickly and helped the Bulls considerably on the glass.

Carlos Boozer jump started the team early

I didn't like his play so much down the stretch, but he helped carry the Bulls early when he knocked down his first four shots including a couple 18 footers.    It was a back and forth offensive battle early, and Boozer did a nice job delivering for the Bulls.

On the night he shot 50% scoring 16 points on 7/14 shooting.  He had a cringe worthy help defense moment late in the game when San Antonio was attempting a last gasp and Ginobili got the step he just ducked out of the way and let him dunk.

Give Bogans credit, he continues to shoot reasonably well

Yes, we'd like more volume.  Yes, we'd like an off the dribble game.   However, Bogans just continues to knock down around half his three point shots, and for a guy who's playing 16 minutes a night, I'm okay with that.   His defense comes and goes, but I thought he had nice energy for the most part tonight.

Thomas did a fair job out there as always

He didn't kill it in the box score, but he played solid defense in the paint, as always.  He helped on the glass and gave the Bulls some toughness inside.   The Big Sexy is going to be getting a heck of a lot more rest soon, so let's just give him some credit for stepping up big time while Noah was out.

Loved Taj Gibson's energy out there

Gibson only scored 6 points, but he scored them all during the run where the Bulls built their huge lead.  He gave the Bulls a big lift on both ends of the court making numerous great defensive plays. 

Don't sleep on Omer

we talk a lot about how Kurt Thomas has played well in Joakim's absence, but Omer has really done a great job defensviely and on the glass.  He makes excellent rotations and gives the Bulls some legit size and beef in the middle.

Ronnie Brewer had a nice night offensively

Down the stretch, he hit a big leaning jumper over Ginobili to help ice the game.   He had numerous deflections and tips that could have resulted in big plays for the Bulls and brought it all night long.   Another quality game by Brewer

Final thoughts

The Bulls have done a great job closing things out prior to the all-star break. They go into the break winning four straight including wins over the Jazz, Hornets, and Spurs.   That's a great stretch of basketball.

I said on my podcast that I felt the Spurs were a bit overrated, and I said it again on the pregame show hwen I said that I felt the Bulls could win this game.   The Bulls only need to beat the Hawks and Knicks to defeat every team on the season at least once now.

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  • Dont expect any trades in next week (deadline is one week from today)

    Bulls will go with what they have since they dont plan to mess with the chemistry

  • In reply to bulls6:

    If Rip Hamilton does get bought out....look for the Bulls to go after him!

  • Best performance by the team so far this season? I think so.

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    AGREED!!!!

  • have we played the hawks yet?

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    Nope.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    This was a lot like the first game against the Spurs except this time the Bulls held their nerve when the Spurs would make a run at them. The Spurs are a great offensive team this year and it's huge that the Bulls are able to hang with teams like that even if they can't slow them down. If the Bulls keep playing offense like that have the last few weeks then the 1/2 seeds are in reach.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bogans knocked down some great 3's. i love the new bogans. The offense looks so much better when bogans takes those wide open shots.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    One of his two threes was a great catch and shoot where he was fading away and only briefly open. His confidence seems to be booming lately.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The crazy thing is he turned it around right about the point when everyone finally gave up hope of Thibs replacing him in the starting lineup. I don't know if it's a coincidence or if Bogans thinks like we were and goes "hey I can just go out there and not worry, no matter what I do I'm getting my 8 minutes in the 1st and 3rd".

    I don't think Bogans can keep hitting over half his threes, but if he can at least stay around the 40% mark then you have to say trust what the coach sees in practice, he knows things we don't. And it strengthens Thibs coach of the year claims because pretty much everyone else would have dumped the guy, he's managed to turn him into an actual contributor to the team.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    If your 8th man on your team (Bogans) is contributing...the Bulls will be successful!

    How about Gary Neal! That dude was clutch! How do the Spurs find these guys?!?! He was just some guy playing overseas. Bulls need to take a page out of their book.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    agree. i think it's safe to say that thibs knows what he's doing. his confidence in his plan is starting to show in his players. i saw deng looking for bogans on a couple drives.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I love this team, how awesome we are playing (much of this is our great team chemistry and the guys liking each other).....Noah is coming back and we will be at full strength! WOW!!! GO BULLS!!!!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not sure if the Bulls are better than I think or SA was worse, but I was surprised at how relatively easy that game turned out to be.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Bulls at Home.....were beastly

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Derrick Rose is ridiculous......hes the MVP right now....LeBron James is playing with Bosh an Wade...his EFF should be amazing. You cant double team him. D Rose is beasting guys every single night.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Another thing....if RIP Hamilton ends up getting bought out and comes to Chicago....i really really like our chances.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Bulls didn't beat spurs. Derrick Rose did it. This guy is too good !! MVP !!

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    It helped that the refs didn't call a ticky-tack game.

    On top of the International House of Flops the Spurs typically play with (one of the main reasons I could never really like Manu or Parker as players), that Bonnar (sp?) guy was trying to instigate things left-right and all-over away from the ball. He and Brewer and he and Deng exchanged some elbow shots all night.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    DROSE DROPS 42 ON MJS BDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Sorry ya'll, but I don't want to hear 1 more goddman thing about the Bulls being contenders. Not from "fans", not from local media, national media, whoever. They have completely run the table since Dec 6 against top level teams, I'm really really tired of peoplke doubting this team, saying we need this, we need that, the tru Chicago fans know though. You guys out there on this blog know, all you true fans. Sorry, I'm a little drunk right now, not sure if its my wife's birthday party and the tequila, or just the Bullies knocking off another wanna be elite and I'm drunk on Bulls punch. Doesn't matter. Who can't we compete with? What do we have to do? Every single one of these huge wins has been while Noah was playing with a injured thumb, or not playing with an injured thumb. Some people are so obsessed with having a team on paper. Big deal. We have a team with heart, and ability. I'm calling it right here. Bulls will win the first of several trophies this year. Sorry to all the haters. Thank you true Balls family, thanks for this blog, please excuse my happy drunken rant. Love you guys. Go Bulls! Go Rose!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    sorry, 1st sentence, meant: "...not being contenders (they very much are)."

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    lol

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I am beside myself with basketball joy I haven't felt since the MJ Bulls. Best win of the season.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    The best win since game 6 against the Celtics, or any of those 3 wins in that series.

    Before that you have to go back to the first round playoff victories against Miami in what 2005 or 6.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    i completely agree with this minus it's not my wife's birthday. go bulls!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Derek Rose for MVP of the All-Star Game next!

  • In reply to petert23:

    My hope is that he throws a pass up for an alley-oop, and Wade, LeBron and Howard get injured crashing into each other trying to throw it down.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    +100

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Omar changed the game again.
    Throughout most of the game Tony Parker was able to score, but early in the 4th when Parker got by his man and into the paint he ran into the Ottoman Obstacle. It totally disrupted his game. This was a key turning point. Asik's defense is becoming a significant aspect of this Bulls team.
    A team that's winning, improving and has 10 guys legitimately contributing does have a real chance at the 1 or 2 seed.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    The Ottoman Obstacle(O squared) that is awesome.

    Asik seems to be contributing just a little bit more each game, I hope that Thibs sees the same thing and keeps giving him more minutes for the rest of the season and in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    There better be something real good coming back if Asik or Gibson is heading out before the deadline. They have so much value to the Bulls' defensive identity.

    Yeah someone is going to say that's over valuing our players, but when things are going so well isn't that what you should do? Shouldn't you demand more than fair value to make a change if what you already have is working?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    +2 your right

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Asik's Block on Parker

    I wish I had seen it.

    Omer Asik is one of the guys you need on an NBA championship team on the 2nd string. And the way Coach Thibodeaux teaches defense, Omer's only going to get better at defense (and hopefully a bit of offense).

    And Derrick Rose is out of this world.

    On 670 radio yesterday Dan Bernstein described Rose's game as "brutal and violent". And he wasn't being negative.

    Get ready Bulls fans, Noah is about to come back and Coach Thibodeaux is about to build something special for the Bulls stretch run this season.

    Improved point guard or not, the Bulls are going to create some chaos in the playoffs this year. And chaos is a good thing.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    TOO BIG, TOO STRONG, TOO FAST, TOO GOOD....!!!

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    In reply to Waldock:

    Great game for the Bulls, great time to be a Bulls fan.

    "Derrick Rose is the MVMFP already!" - Samuel L. Jackson

    Okay, last 10 games: Luol Deng 17.8 ppg, Carlos Boozer 17.0 ppg. Are we sure Deng's the third option here? Also, Thibs hasn't gotten enough credit for learning to hide Boozer on defense. He still gets beat one on one but it's not killing us lately.

    I'm amazed at Rose's performance this game and this season. Derrick is EXACTLY where I thought he had a chance to be this season. 24 ppg, 8 assists. (I'd link to the prediction but I think it was before the chicago now server and I can't find it. Tech Support!!!)

    Enjoy LA Derrick. Next year you'll have company.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Omer was really good i agree

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Normally starting tomorrow, the press, the blogs, the trolls all would begin waxing about keeping the momentum going over the All-Star break.
    "All-Star Break comes at bad time for Bulls" blah blah blah...
    But no way. Not this time. Not this year.
    We have Jokim coming back!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    hello! my first post. i am so excited about this team. anyone who doesn't think this team can win the title can suck a lollipop. i know i should want to get the 1 seed, but seriously, i want #2 or 3 so we can beat the heat and celtics. i am loving this year. go bulls.

  • In reply to bucketball:

    Welcome a board!

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