Drink: Oyster Shooters
The overwhelming story in this one was the Derrick Rose smoke show of the fourth quarter. However, the only reason it was needed was due to the apathetic first three quarters the Bulls played to start the game. Granted, the Bulls were on the second of a back-to-back and on the road (kind of). Yet, the Bulls looked like they put in a disinterested effort to begin the game. The offense was plain lazy. There was little rotation with the ball and players were settling for jumpers. On the defensive end, the Bulls defended the Bucks jumpers, but until the end of the fourth, they gave up the lane way too easily. Derrick Rose made Brandon Jennings look silly on more than one occasion. Conversely, Jennings blew past Rose several times in this one.
For all of their flaws, the Bulls were down only four at the half (The only reason they were not down by two is that they laid down on defense, leading to a Jennings open stroll to the basket going into the break.). The Bulls came out of the locker room forgetting some of the fundamentals of the game, particularly: the pass. They played some sloppy ball, and that combined with the Bucks hitting their shots, had the Bulls down by as many as 15 in the third.
It was another one of those games where you figured it was only a matter of time until the Bulls took over the game (although, with their body of work this season, any Bulls deficit feels that way). As the third progress and gave way to the fourth, the Bulls got right back into the game, but could not quite grab the lead… until the MVP took over. The Rose smoke show was something to behold in this one. Down 83-87 in the fourth, the Bulls went on a 12-0 run -spearheaded by Rose – to end the game. Rose either played scorer or play-maker in every possession down the stretch. And after a game that was largely frustrating to watch, it was a very welcomed sight. It seemed like Rose acknowledge early that his shot was not on tonight and turned into more of a facilitator. He finished the game with a career-high 17 assists. With his shot not dropping, Rose took to the lane on his way to 30 points (12 for 12 from the line). As his confidence grew his range grew; he let go of a tear drop from the free throw line (to go up by four) and then a turn around fade away a few feet farther back (to go up by six). MVP chants rained down much of the game from the large contingent of Bulls fans, but none was sweeter than when Rose dribbled out the ball to end the game – after a display that well deserved the accolades.
With the win, the Bulls now have their largest lead in the East with 2.5 games, and are looking at an easy schedule to finish up the regular season on top. Only 10 games left!