Everything's Coming up Rose in Bulls Playoff Win


Apr 18

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For those of you who watched Michael Jordan and didn’t
appreciate what you were seeing at the time, watch the Bulls now. History
doesn’t always seem special when you are watching it. But take a look at
Derrick Rose and savor what you are seeing. You will be telling people about it
for years.

Rose was impressive/phenomenal/amazing/marvelous/fabulous—help
me, I’m running out of adjectives—brilliant in matching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s
alltime NBA record for 36 points in a first playoff game in a thrilling 105-103
overtime win over the defending champion Boston Celtics.

It was the Bulls first ever playoff win over a Celtics team
after an 0-10 start with Game 2 Monday, the anniversary of Michael Jordan’s NBA
record 63 points in a playoff loss to the Celtics 23 years ago.

But Saturday afternoon truly was the beginning of perhaps
another historic Bulls era as Rose had 23 points in the second half to hold off
the Celtics and take a 1-0 lead in the opening round playoff series.

“I was just out there feeling the game,” said Rose,
typically unfazed by everything going on around him. “I didn’t know I had that
many points (and 11 assists) until Lindsey (Hunter) told me to keep going at
them. That’s what I was doing. I know I want that, all the pressure, saying
that as a rookie, I can’t lead the team and all that

We just fed off that. We played our type of game, up tempo
type game and we played good tonight

“When I get the ball in my hand I calm down,” said Rose. “I
think I had like five turnovers. I’m not supposed to have that many turnovers.
But the game was so physical and aggressive, they were knocking the ball out of
my hand sometimes. But we stuck through it.”

Rose, especially, as he held off the charging Celtics in the
third quarter with five of the Bulls first six scores after the Bulls led 53-44
at halftime and Boston took a 72-71 lead after three quarters.

But it was the Celtics who cracked. Rose made two free
throws with 9.4 seconds left to give the Bulls a 97-96 lead after he’d made a
driving layup with 31.9 seconds left to again overcome a Boston one-point lead.
And then with 2.6 seconds left in regulation, Paul Pierce drew a questionable
foul on a Joakim Noah block attempt. But Pierce missed the second of two and
the game went into overtime, where Tyrus Thomas hit three jump shots to assure
the win.

“No I didn’t think about college at all,” Rose said,
laughing about his key missed free throw in the final game at Memphis last
year. “I just knew my team needed me to make these free throws. The person I
did think of was BG (Ben Gordon). If he was in that situation, he would have
knocked them down. When I’m at the line I think about him because he’s such a
good shooter.”

As for Pierce, who had 23 while Rajon Rondo had 29: “We were
happy that he missed that one.

“It was fun,” said Rose. “Every play was crucial. You can’t
come down and shoot dumb shots or anything like that. You have to play defense
every possession. I just thought about it being  a regular game, going out and playing. I know it was a
playoff game. You’ve got to expect aggressiveness out there. People will be out
there holding and it’s going to be a tough game. I prepared for it and we did
all right.”

Yes, we’d say so.

And so much for that lack of playoff experience.

Also in his first playoff game Noah was the best big man in
the game with 11 points and 17 rebounds, and Thomas was clutch in overtime with
six if his 16 points. Gordon added 20 points, including a dozen in the fourth quarter
after a slow start.

Hello, NBA world. The Bulls are for real.

Watch out NBA world, Derrick Rose is going to be your next
big star.

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