When Bulls fans first saw that their beloved star Derrick Rose made headlines again, they may have cringed and waited in anticipation wondering what the former league MVP said wrong this time. But to their delight, he was actually displaying a fiery edge that’s needed for this team to contend. How did his team respond?
At home, they defeated the defending champs 104-81 behind 22 points from Rose and 17 from Butler. Recently elected all-star, Pau Gasol added 12 points and 17 rebounds in the contest. This was a huge win for a team that had lost six of their last eight games. It was also significant because it came against a team that had starting getting hot – the Bulls gave San Antonio their worst loss of the season.
“Everybody has to be on the same page,” Rose said. “Until then, we’re going to continue to get our ass kicked.”
This came after their 14-point loss at the hands of the Cavs. This rant caught many by surprised and Rose admitted that he said these comments out of frustration with the losing.
Much has been made of the struggles for the Bulls this season. But a large part has come because of the plethora of injuries they’ve endured. The one guy they were most concerned about has managed to stay on the court for the most part. But Joakim Noah, Mike Dunleavy, and Doug McDermott have all missed significant time.
Many people have hinted that Tom Thibbodeau may be on the hot seat, which is something I find to be asinine. He is one of the best coaches in the NBA and has continually defied odds in previous seasons with the surplus of injuries he has had to deal with. Although they might not be playing great defense of late, Thibbodeau has proven to be one of the great defensive minds in the league.
If Chicago ever cut ties with him, it would be a mistake of the highest order. He has earned the right to coach this team for the long haul, given all he has been up against in the past.
The Bulls can use this win to facilitate the gaining of some momentum as they move on to play Dallas on Friday, another good team. I still feel that if this team ever gets completely healthy, there is no doubt that they are going to the NBA Finals.
For one night, mostly everything went right for Chicago. They held the Spurs’ prolific offense to 37% shooting. Derrick Rose backed up his comments by coming out strong and delivering. And they displayed a total team effort, anchored by their trio of Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol.
The Bulls know this isn’t about treading water, it’s about winning games and competing regardless of who’s on the court. This deep team will need to show that their depth is as significant as we thought it was.