Derrick Rose edges Chris Paul in MVP candidate showdown

Derrick Rose (photo. adidas)

Derrick Rose (photo. adidas)

On paper, Derrick Rose vs. Chris Paul conjures images of an offensive basketball orgy, with buckets and dimes and dunks and crossovers everywhere. But last night’s MVP-candidate matchup was a defensive battle between two of the most stingy teams in the League … The Hornets strategy was to keep Rose out of the lane by putting multiple bodies in front of him, and for the most part it worked. Chicago’s offense was a little too much of Rose (23 pts, 6 asts, 7-15 FG) pounding the rock, but even when he was forced to go where he didn’t want to, Rose hit some tough shots floating toward the baseline … On the other end, Paul (15 pts, 6 asts, 3-10 FG) couldn’t make much headway either, and N.O. would’ve been cooked if Marcus Thornton (24 pts) hadn’t come off the bench shooting reckless like he was auditioning for a Schwarzenegger flick … It was tied well into in the fourth quarter before Chicago’s defense clamped down and New Orleans’ offense went cold while C.J. Watson sparked a 9-0 Bulls run. With about three minutes left, N.O. was down seven but still in it. “The Hornets need something special to happen,” said one announcer. And then CP3 trucked Kurt Thomas and got whistled for a charge. “Uh-oh. That wasn’t it.” … Why did the producers keep letting the Hornets play-by-play guy say it was Valentine’s Day, knowing he was wrong? The “Valentine’s Day Massacre” dude kept talking about is gonna happen at his house when Monday comes around and he doesn’t get his wife anything … The Bucks weren’t bottled up by any great defense in the fourth quarter against Indiana — they just couldn’t make any shots. It was close early in the fourth until Indy went on a 14-0 run after somebody put a lid on Milwaukee’s rim. On one end, Danny Granger (30 pts) was drilling pull-up threes in transition and Darren Collison (22 pts) was making blind turnarounds amongst the trees to beat the shot clock. On the other end, the Bucks couldn’t hit wide-open jumpers. And this was on a night where they were giving out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar bobble heads in Milwaukee. It was an insult to the NBA’s all-time leading scorer … Maybe Brandon Jennings is still getting back into game shape, but he needs to step his game up soon. For all his speed and ability to run an offense, Jennings is just kind of out there when he’s on the floor, and the Bucks’ offense runs better when Earl Boykins is at the point …Read More>>

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