After a summer in which he helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the FIBA World Championships, something told me that Chicago Bulls G Derrick Rose was ready. Ready for the season, ready to lead the Bulls back to the playoffs and ready to prove to the basketball world his name should be mentioned when discussing the NBA’s top point guard.
I didn’t however, think he was a legitimate MVP candidate. Until last night.
Trailing by as many as 21 points in the 3rd quarter, Rose almost single-handily led the Bulls to riveting, come-from-behind, 101-91 defeat of the Detroit Pistons.
Rose scored 22 points in the second half, attacking the Pistons with an array of drives to the basket, short-jumpers and floaters, and deep penetration and kicks, finding open shooters once the defense converged.
Rose tied his career-high with 39 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 7 assists…..
The Bulls outscored the Pistons 34-9 in the fourth quarter, behind the inspired play of Rose, Joakim Noah, and swingman James Johnson. Noah finished with his second consecutive double-double, scoring 15 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking 3 shots. Early on this season, Noah is proving to be worth every penny of the extension Chicago signed him to, and is the anchor of the Bulls defense.
Johnson added 8 points,9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 19 minutes, but knocked down a pivotal 3-pointer with 5:03 remaining to tie the game at 86-86. Noah’s put-back with 2:38 remaining gave the Bulls their first lead since the 1st quarter and they never looked back from there.
The Pistons were led by Ben Gordon’s 21(all in the 1st half) and Rodney Stuckey’s 18.