Not since the Michael Jordan days have Bulls fans been privileged enough to witness a player of Derrick Rose’s caliber. Since Jordan’s retirement, we’ve been humbled as Bulls fans. We’ve suffered through the likes of Mark Bryant, Khalid El-Amin, Kornel David, Marcus Fizer, Fred Hoiberg and the list goes on.
I’m sure we’d also like to forget the drafting of Jay Williams, who’s career was ruined after being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. The Ben Wallace signing proved to be a disaster and was also short lived.
Those days are over and now we have a guy we can root for and truly be proud of. Derrick Rose, yet again, took the entire Bulls team and put it on his back today when he rallied the Bulls to beat the Indiana Pacers 104-99 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The Bulls never lead in the game until the final 48 seconds of the fourth quarter. Carlos Boozer had a rough night and was in foul trouble early. Luol Deng didn’t get much of a rhythm going until the second half and Joakim Noah waited until the final minutes of the game to make his biggest impact. Kyle Korver also became a factor late after a shaky start in the first half with two embarrassing turnovers.
But Derrick Rose? He was sensational from start to finish, showing off his athleticism all throughout the day, especially on his reverse that tied the game late. He finished the first half with 18 points and had 39 points for the game, despite being Indiana’s focal point. He was also a beast from the free throw line, making 19 of 21 shots.
“They got a guy who says, ‘Hey, every night I step on the floor we’ve got a chance to win,’” said NBA legend and current analyst Charles Barkley. “At some point, you’re going to have to have a guy who says we need a basket, and I’m going to get us a basket. “Well, the Bulls have that guy so they’re going to have a chance.”
The Bulls are going to need someone to step up and be the “number 2 guy” sooner or later but with a player like Rose, who can single handedly take a game away from an opposing team; the Bulls are going to be dangerous no matter what for many years to come.
We were spoiled during the 1990’s, we were in misery through the majority of the 2000’s and we’ve paid our dues. Now it’s time again to sit back and enjoy another ride with another superstar leading the way.