Call me a lot of things when it comes to being a NBA fan. A Miami Heat bandwagoner? That’s fair. A LeBron James stan? I’d say so. A Boston Celtics hater? With every fiber of my being. However, when I noted Derrick Rose was playing at a MVP-level in November, I meant it. Even with Dwight Howard’s insane last two months, Stan Van Gundy’s moaning and groaning “woe-is-me” antics and Skip Bayless’ campaign for Kobe (and my personal desire to see everyone pissed with LBJ winning a third straight), arguing against the Chicago Bulls’ floor general is comparable to holding a beach ball under water.
Last night, the entire country sat on the edge of their seats thanks in part to a duo of amazing finishes which saw UConn and Butler punch their tickets to the Final Four. The NBA played the undercard. The Bulls made the short trip to Milwaukee last night and by the end of the game, two things were clear. One, Brandon Jennings couldn’t guard Rose if he were attached to him with Velcro. The matchup presented a microcosm of what’s been Rose’s entire season. Regardless of the level of talent he’s faced, Rose has always risen to and pass the occasion making the moment his own. It may not be an official requirement for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, but every past winner has exhibited this quality.
Secondly, Rose ended the game, which was a comeback victory for Chicago, with 30 points and a career high 17 assists. His last four minutes were even more impressive with 10 points and three dimes. To put those numbers in perspective, the Bulls haven’t seen that caliber of performance since some guy named Jordan posted a 33-17 line in March of 1989. The point guard was five months old at the time.
With only a handful of games left in the season, the night of March 26th may go down as the night Derrick Rose brought the MVP back to the Windy City for the first time since 1998. Now if he can ensure the Bulls end with the same team hardware as they did thirteen postseasons ago…
Nevermind, it’s better to let the future just play itself out.