KC Johnson wrote a great article on Derrick Rose and his new-found hunger and confidence. Definitely check it out. Here are some quotable from Derrick and a few others:
"There's focus on me and that makes you play that much harder. I'm a Chicagoan and it means a lot to represent the Bulls this way. I want to make people proud. And this can make the future bright for the organization."
Glad he recognizes it, and you can tell he's being sincere.
"We're going to get the right players. We're going to get the franchise back to where it belongs."
Bold statement, and he said it with confidence. If D-Rose believes it, then I guess I have some hope that it might come true. Chris Bosh had an opinion on the matter.
"What Derrick's going to see is you walk with your chest out a lot more. You're like, 'Yeah, I'm an All-Star.' Your teammates bring it up all the time. It gives you a boost. People recognize you more. It's good from an individual standpoint."
I definitely can't wait for Derrick to develop the swagger that Bosh is talking about. I think he's close.
"You can see when I play that people are trying to make sure they shut me down. I want to get to the level where every night we play, people say, 'Man, I got him tonight. I gotta get rest. I got DRose tonight.' Hopefully that level is coming. I think I'm getting a name. I want people to fear me in this league and know I can play a little bit. I hope word gets around."
I think the word has gotten around, my friend. You're in the All-Star game. You're on the Redeem Team. You've arrived. Now take us to the promised land.
Shocked. Tired. Relieved. Worried...about the future, about April and May, about what's coming when both teams are at full strength.
Great game. Great effort without Lu. Great job sticking with a fully healthy Heat squad in Miami. Great choke job by Derrick when it mattered. And of course, terrible reffing.no comments
Rip is going to try to play. #Bulls— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 29, 2012
Not sure if I like this idea. He's an old man, and the Bulls need him down the stretch. You know he's just going to hurt himself even more by playing today. But the Bulls fan in me wants him to play, simply because this is a statement game and I just hate the Heat so much. And the Bulls don't win without him.
Also, looks like Taj will be playing today too, according to Chuck Swirsky. But that was expected I believe. 45 minutes...no comments
Big game in an hour, Bulls fans. A true measuring stick..
Here's what to expect:
-Luol Deng is a no-go. He warmed up a bit, but will be sitting this one out. This injury is all about pain-threshhold, as Doctors have informed him that the injury cannot be made worse by playing as it is already torn. Apparently it is still too painful to go. That being the case, LeBron should have a much easier time tonight on both ends than he normally would, and that doesn't bode well for the Bulls.
-Rip Hamilton is a game-time decision. With both Rip and Lu out of this game, the Bulls don't really stand a chance in my opinion. Not sure if it's smart for Rip to play, as he seems to aggravate his groin injury pretty much every game. Although the team is saying this is a new injury, a bruised thigh-bone, suffered in the Indiana loss. No Rip, no W. Period.
-CJ Watson apparantly has a wrist-injury. Not sure when that happened, but he's a no-go. Looks like Derrick will be playing 40 minutes tonight, turf-toe and all.
Should be a battle. Follow me on Twitter as I will be live tweeting pretty much the whole game.
Also, I will be posting updates here if there are any significant developments.
Stay tuned for a recap after the game. I will also be posting a belated article on the disgusting home loss to the pacers.no comments
Joakim is currently winning the poll, with 53.8%. Omer is right behind him with 46.2%. Jo has definitely stepped it up as of late to keep Omer off his back a bit. But this is definitely a close one. Should get interesting depending on how each performs tonight against the Pacers and on Sunday against the Heat. Those are the playoff-type games where people are watching each position with a microscope.
Yup. Luol Deng has a torn ligament in his left wrist. He will be out "for a while". Starting to panic yet? My advice is...don't.
To think, a couple of years ago this wouldn't have even been news. Luol Deng used to be a regular fixture on the bench in his dress clothes back in a day. Prior to last year, Luol Deng only played in more than 70 games in just two seasons, in '05-'06 and '06-'07. Than last year, he had almost an exact repeat performance of his breakout year in 2006-2007, in which he played 82 games and average 37.5 minutes, along with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Statistically, '07 was actually Lu's best year, but I digress. He did, after all, play incredibly well last year and led the league in minutes.
Like last year, he leads the league in minutes again this year. His play, by all accounts, has been very much all-star worthy, even though his scoring and shooting percentage are both slightly down from last year. I still don't think that anyone would argue that he's an all-star, simply due to what he brings on both sides of the floor. So the fact that he went down with a serious injury this season is especially disconcerting.
Still, the Bulls seemed just fine without him last night. Rip Hamilton stepped in and played exactly how the Bulls expected him to play when they signed him. In fact, better actually. Rip posted a double-double with 22 points and 10 assists. That paralleled what Derrick was able to do in his first game back after being out for 4 games. Derrick also posted 22 points and had 8 assists.
Collectively, the Bulls played fantastic. All five starters in double figures, and 6 in double figures total (Omer off the bench). Three separate players posted double-doubles. Joakim and Boozer are both playing extremely well as of late. Joakim had 16 and 10 on 5-8 shooting. Boozer had 14-9 on 6-9 shooting. When combined, those numbers are simply gaudy. Together with Deng, and with those two playing the way they are, the Bulls no doubt have the most formidable front-court in the league. And that's also because the Knicks' front-court is playing like drec and Tyson Chandler is incredibly over-rated. Yet another reason why the loss of Deng is just painful, no pun intended.
Truth be told, Ronnie Brewer has been spectacular when he's been in there filling in for both Rip and Lu. He continues to play very well and very consistent. He's shooting 45% from the field and 50% from three-point range. Very impressive. He's shooting with extreme confidence and it's showing. If he and Rip can continue to contribute the way they have been, and can both stay healthy, the loss of Deng should be absorbable.
The more concerning issue is coaching. And at this point it has to be said...no comments
So the Bulls suit up against the Cavs tonight on the road. Every game that we've lost so far has been on the road and tonight we're like to be without Derrick Rose for the 3rd game in a row. He's a game-time decision, but I see him erring on the side of caution at this point.
Looks like some news leaked today where Derrick actually said that he regrets playing in the back to back games last weekend against Toronto and Boston.
"The swelling went down. The pain is there a little bit, but it's a game-time decision. I definitely want to be out there to play, especially today. But I've got to make the smartest decision not only for me, but for my teammates. I wasn't able to bend my toe in like three years so when [the injury] happened, it bent it and it aggravated it ... I forgot when I played on it again. I played on it sooner than when I was supposed to play on it and it was real bad. Yeah, knowing that right when it starts feeling good, it could go right back to zero. I definitely want to be out there playing, but I got to make the smartest decision."
So what do we ascertain from this? Basically, that Derrick can't be trusted to make a sound decision on his own when it comes to his health. This is kind of worrisome. True, he is the ultimate competitor and wants to play no matter what, but you can't be selfish. You have to look at the big picture. He just doesn't want to let anyone down and doesn't trust his teammates enough to close out games without him. And he worries fans will turn on him if the team starts to falter in his absence. I don't blame him. But you have to be mature and realize that if you push it and make the injury worse, you're only hurting the team more in the long-run. Looks like he's learning this the hard way.no comments
Been a long, strange 2 days without a Bulls game. Preview should be up some time around 1:00 pm CST. Stay tuned.no comments
Little Tweet action from tonight's whoopin' of the Suns...
Do the Bulls look more fired up than usual right now, or is it just me?— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
Bulls can't go a game without a defensive 3 sec, true or false?— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
How good are Noah and Boozer gonna make Marcin Gortat look tonight?Good, Very Good, or Excellent?— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
Boozer, nice body control with the layin.— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
Gortat dominating down low so far.— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
Rip's missed a couple easy ones.— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
CJ en fuego early on.7 points in the first 5 minutes.— Dave Pustilnik (@dabullseye) January 18, 2012
Not good, folks. This is what Derrick had to say to the Tribune before today's matinee game against the Grizzlies currently in progress:
"It still hurts a little bit, but I still have to go out there and play. Almost every game, I jam it. By the way that I play and push off, it hurts. I'm very surprised. And I'm kind of irritated. I want it to go away. But it always finds its way back."
Clearly this toe injury is now becoming a serious issue. It's something he's been dealing with his second season and it's just not going away. If you think about what it is, you can understand why. Every NBA player, especially someone with Derrick's burst, obviously pushes off that toe on pretty much every possession, offense or defense. While you might be able to play through it, maybe off of adrenaline if nothing else, after the game it's going to swell. Something like this doesn't improve over night, and it can only heal with rest. And if you don't rest, you're only making it worse. And if you make it worse, it could lead to surgery.no comments