Derrick Rose is humble. Looking at his game, some are indifferent to his voice when speaking because of his humility. He has all the athletic skills of anyone who has ever played the game and heading into his 4th season, the Bull Wonder already has an MVP to his credit. Think about a player who never watched anyone but Mike and Scottie (he told me this as a rookie), heading into LA to face Mike’s basketball son, Kobe Bryant, in the first game after losing to Miami in last season’s ECF. He knows what’s there for him. The proverbial expectations will be high and everyone knows Rose wants a ring. He’ll tell you the Memphis loss to Kansas is far in the rear view (more he’s blocking it out) , but we all know losing the big ones inspire the would be great ones.
Rose’s tear drop with 4.8 left shocked LA’s Christmas faithful and put the NBA world on notice. He had an efficient 22, made 4 of 6 three point attempts, looked as aggressive as ever despite putting it up just 13 times and continued to show again and again he’s as unique a talent as we’ve seen.
He has help. Deng had 21, Boozer 15 and Richard Hamilton…late of Detroit, debuted with 6 but at times yesterday, Derrick Rose was the best player on a floor that included Kobe Bryant. Bryant was spectacular at times and finished with 28 but after Rose hit his game winner, I thought Beans should have dished the ball to any of his teammates standing under the basket. Yes it is his court and has been his league for a generation, but at least for yesterday, he didn’t have the elevation to shoot over a triple team and dramatically finish off a hungry and deep Chicago team looking to make a statement.
Andrew Bynum is out three more games because of suspension, Phil Jackson is somewhere in Montana doing whatever a retired zen-master does, Lamar Odom is a Maverick, Mike Brown is implementing a new system, Troy Murphy is a Laker…
Yeah and so is Josh McRoberts.
Does Kobe have enough left to do something with a team full of castoffs and rocked by sudden departures, breakups and impending divorce papers?
We’ll see but yesterday in a playoff atmosphere type game, it was only a matter of time before youth was served.
Gasol took just 14 shots and finished with 14, Steve Blake had 12, Devin Ebanks had 8, McRoberts 6 and the recently named Metta World Peace pinched in just 4.
Remember Kobe is banged up with a wrist injury. I’m sure most of us forgot he was less than 100%, but playing hurt is what Kobe does, so he would never use this as an excuse. If he was healthy, maybe he makes that last shot but yesterday belonged to Rose.
Chicago shot just 40% to the Lakers 47% but the Bulls made 7-15 threes to Los Angeles hitting 4 of 16. The Lakers grabbed 42 boards to Chicago’s 41.
It will be interesting to see what Mike Brown does with this Lakers team because at least defensively, he will have the Lakers prepared and disciplined.