The Bulls didn't play all that well, but they played well enough to get a win. Derrick doesn't feel he's getting the calls and decided to let the world know about it.
Per KC Johnson:
"I gotta be the only superstar in the league that's going through what I'm going through right now," Rose said. "But I can't say too much about it."
"I don't usually dunk it, but I was just mad I wasn't getting any calls," Rose said.
Asked if he feared a fine for criticizing officials, Rose shrugged.
"I could care less right now," he said.
Derrick has been barking at the officials or quite some time now, however, he's now amped up his barking to include the media post game. Rose certainly has a point in how he's being treated by officials, and we'll see if emphasizing that point right before Chicago takes on Miami becomes a help or a hindrance.
The dunk came on a perfectly executed give and go, the funny thing about the play is that it was so telegraphed you could see it coming a mile away, yet Rose parted Knicks in the lane like Moses and the red sea. They all simply fell away from him with no one even attempting to contest the shot.
Taj Gibson, lunch pail superstar
It felt great in the mid to late fourth quarter when Taj Gibson secured what felt like his 30th offensive rebound [actually his eighth], and the UC crowd gave him a standing ovation. The United Center can sometimes feel pretty dormant, but they showed some serious appreciation for Taj.
Derrick Rose dominated in the second half, but Taj was the player who stepped up to get the Bulls the win. Chicago didn't shoot as well as the Knicks, get to the line as much as the Knicks, and generally didn't execute as well as the Knicks. They [and by they, I mean primarily Taj] dominated the offensive glass though, and that was the difference in the game.
The thing about all of Gibson's offensive boards is that he had legit offensive boards too. Frequently a guy gets four offensive boards by rebounding his own shot a couple times after a block or making a tip attempt. In the flow of the game it feels like it's just part of the shot attempt. The vast majority of Gibson's boards were grabs where he was simply able to reset the whole offense and give the Bulls a new shot clock and bring it back out, giving them a full possession rather than a wild tip.
Jimmy Butler continues to step up
Butler shot just three for seven on the night and his makes were largely opportunity baskets. He showed nice body control finishing a breakaway after Kyle Korver dove to the floor to beat the Knicks to a loose ball and made a brilliant little skip pace to Jimmy on the break [in the running for my favorite play of the night].
However, Butler wasn't making his money on offense. For the second time this season, Butler was called upon to play some serious defense on Carmelo Anthony, and for the second time this season, Jimmy Butler delivered. Anthony used up 25 possessions to score his 21 points and looked out of sorts for much of the game. If Butler doesn't have a nickname yet, I nominate Jimmy Blankets for the way he's defending some top notch players.
Chants of overrated reigned down on Jeremy Lin
Hubie Brown had the best response to the overrated chant when he said something to the effect of "Overrated? Jeremy Lin's should tell these people he's making the minimum". It's not surprising that there's been plenty of Lin backlash as his game has come back down to Earth a bit, however he's still filling up the box score every night, just against good teams it's not translating to victories.
In Lin's first 11 games, the Knicks went 9-2 but had just three quality wins. In their next seven they went 1-7, but all of the losses came against playoff teams [okay, the Bucks game barely counts, 5 of the losses were against really good playoff teams, one was against Boston, and one was against Milwaukee].
It's not Melo, it's not that Lin stinks, it's that against lousy teams when he was the only scorer on the offense he was going to score a lot more. Against good teams with fewer shots, he's going to score a lot less. The luster is probably off the Jeremy Lin story in terms of the megahype, but his play has still been at a high level.
Prepping for Miami
The Bulls now have a day off to prepare for the Miami Heat. With both teams sitting with nine losses, the game becomes pivotal in terms of who can get the #1 seed out of the East. Who will go for Chicago? We probably won't know until Wednesday morning, but if the Bulls are missing Watson, Korver, and Deng then it won't look pretty.