Derrick Rose had a tough Sunday against the Miami Heat. His team lost, and he missed two crucial free-throws with his Bulls down one point and 22 seconds left. He missed a potential game-tying jumper with three seconds left too. He took it kind of hard.
“I think of my legacy, I want people to think of me as being a clutch player,” said Rose before facing the Wizards in Washington the next night. “Someone that always comes through a majority of the time when they’re on the court, and yesterday it hurt a little bit, but I know it will help me in the long run.”
Rose was later asked if it’s hard to adjust, coming off a tough 97-93 loss like that on the road in Miami and into a road game the next night in another city.
“Aww hell no. Hell no. It just makes me hungrier, where tonight… I’m going to try to go crazy.”
That he did. Rose scored 13 points on 6-8 shooting against Washington in the first quarter, while picking up three assists with zero turnovers. He did it with his norm of slicing direction changes, with much help from screens.
“I watch him on T.V., but in person it’s different. It’s way different,” said Wizards forward Trevor Booker after the game. Rose’s stylings may be normal for Rose but quite abnormal judging by the confused/baffled/sour look on JaVale McGee’s face as he checked out with 5:52 left in the period. Randy Wittman had seen enough, he wanted to try something else, but not before spending genuine time consulting with McGee on his defense.
Other dubious P&R defensive combinations like Nick Young and Kevin Seraphin also came up short. The Bulls had a 26-16 lead after 12 minutes, and with his dimes, Rose was directly responsible for 20 of those points. He finished with 35 points (10-20 FGs, 14-15 FTs) with eight assists, five turnovers, three blocks, two steals and zero rebounds. (He doesn’t really go for boards, doesn’t really have to.)
Rose’s Bulls won 98-88, a slimmer margin than Chicago’s largest lead of 22 points, thanks to some fight and a scrappy full court defense from Randy Wittman’s Wizards in the fourth quarter. Wouldn’t you know it, the final margin was a point above the pre-game betting line of nine. Chicago doesn’t necessarily have to worry about a close one against one of the league’s worst, for a meat and potatoes defensive team like they are, a simple win will do.
The Wizards Said WHAT?
Oh, they said a lot … and it was all about Derrick Rose.
Example Quotes of … who? More in the video below.
“Did he dice it up? Yeeaaa… I mean, is that what you want me to say? I think you watched the same game I did.”
”I was like, ‘Wow’ … sometimes I caught myself spectating, just watching him and some of the shots he hit … just unbelievable.”