Bulls' Rose scores two wins in one day


Mar 22

By Adam Fluck

Not only did Bulls guard Derrick Rose return from injury to lead his team to its first victory in eleven games on Saturday, but his high school, Simeon Career Academy, won the Illinois Class 4A state championship on the same night.

“It felt good,” Rose said of Simeon’s fourth state title and third in five years. “We just need to keep it going from generation to generation. Hopefully, we can go down as one of the best teams in the state.”

Rose, who stays in touch with Simeon coach Robert Smith and attended a jersey retirement ceremony for the late Ben Wilson and other select players who wore his No. 25 at the start of the season, talked with the team prior to the state finals and offered some advice. After all, he did lead Simeon to back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007.

“I just told them it was going to be different down there,” Rose said of Simeon playing the finals at Peoria’s Carver Arena. “The crowd wasn’t going to be on their side being from so far away. They needed to come together, play for themselves, and play hard.”

As for Rose’s return to action after missing four games with a sprained left wrist, his Bulls snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 98-84 win in Philadelphia on Saturday. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Bulls became just the 11th team in NBA history to snap a double-digit losing streak with a road victory by at least 14 points.

Though not yet 100 percent, Rose said he felt good and didn’t expect the wrist to be an issue moving forward.

“It’s getting there,” said Rose of his progress. “Right now I’m just waiting for it to properly heal back. But I really didn’t feel it during the game or when I was out there shooting [during pregame on Monday], so I should be fine.”

Rose started on Saturday and scored 23 points, while Joakim Noah, who had been sidelined since Feb. 26, came off the bench to score seven points. The Bulls are 26-25 this season in games in which both Rose and Noah have played, but they’re 6-8 when one of the two players is missing from the lineup and 0-4 when both men are out of action.

Needless to say, having a healthy Rose and Noah down the NBA’s stretch run is vital for Chicago. With 13 games to go and the Bulls currently two and half games behind eighth place Toronto, Rose acknowledged now is the time to start winning.

“Everybody wants to win them all, but we’re playing against some good teams,” Rose said of securing enough wins for a postseason bid. But if we can go out there and win the majority of the games, we’ll have a good shot at making the playoffs.”

Viva Los Bulls

Once again, the Bulls will take part in the NBA’s Noche Latina (Latin Night) program, which celebrates the league’s Hispanic heritage with special telecasts and in-arena festivities, including distinctive NBA team uniforms. Noche Latina celebrations will take place in Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, New York, and Orlando, and highlight the impact of the league’s Hispanic players, while paying tribute to the more than 16 million Hispanic NBA fans across the country.

Noche Latina, first launched during the 2006-07 NBA season, features uniforms that display the team name as spoken by the Latin population. The Bulls, for example are referred to as “Los Bulls,” and the Miami Heat is called “El Heat.” The Bulls first wore their “Los Bulls” jerseys in Miami March 12 and will don them again this Thursday when the Heat visit the United Center.

Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on facing the Rockets, whether or not he is scoreboard watching, and Brad Miller’s role against Houston (03.22.10):

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