By now Bulls fans have gotten used to it, but the occasional reminder is good for the basketball soul. Watching Derrick Rose take over the final minutes of a game has become almost routine these last few years, and in a meaningless March game against a Bucks team that most likely will be at home come playoff time, Derrick still finds a way to make us all jump out of our seats with excitement. We find ourselves glued to the TV just waiting to see what he will do next. The look on Brandon Jennings face said it all as Derrick dropped the step back jumper right over him. Not again. In a game where Derrick was just 8-22 from the field and 0-5 from beyond the arc, everyone in the Bradley Center knew he was getting the ball. He never lost his composure and had the entire sequence planned out in his own head. So what did we learn about the Bulls in last night’s game? Well, nothing. We were once again reminded of how fun sports can be. That’s all last night was, fun. There is no bigger meaning to that shot going in. It doesn’t give us the answer if Rip Hamilton can be healthy for the stretch run, and we still don’t know if they can get past the Heat. All the questions we had 24 hours earlier still remain.
In a sports world where everything is dissected until utter exhaustion, this can be taken for exactly what it was. They played down to the competition and what we got was a really entertaining night of basketball. The reason I may not be going crazy about this is because I expect the Bulls to win these games. I hold them to a championship standard. Teams are measured by titles, not buzzer beater wins against a sub .500 team in March. This isn’t the Kirk Hinrich Bulls of five or six years ago where you just wanted to keep things interesting and be entertained on a nightly basis. This is a team that is and should be competing for a NBA Championship. This regular season is nothing but a tune up until it is time to get down to business. There is no need to be concerned about home court advantage throughout, and though it would be nice, last year proved it meant nothing. The key for the Bulls moving forward will be their health. The Bulls rely on their depth to use guys in situations that give them the best opportunity to succeed. When they are even a man or two down it changes the dynamic of the team.
Tonight was not a defining moment of the season. The defining moments of this season have yet to be established. Don’t look for something that isn’t there. These storylines will work themselves out as the months go on, and while Bulls fans have dreams of a championship celebration in Grant Park come June, you can rest easy knowing so does Derrick Rose, and there is no one else I would rather have leading the way. Be patient. For now all we can do is sit back and watch it unfold. It’s going to be quite the ride.