I've been hesitating to comment on the Jeremy Lin situation because it's been a little disappointing to see how the Knicks have returned to reality since the return of Carmelo Anthony (and since teams have been given the scouting report on Lin), but Derrick Rose gives me a reason to comment today.
Rose put on a show in Chicago, finishing with 32 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a 104-99 Bulls victory. Once again, after a close three quarters, the Knicks couldn't get the job done in the fourth, losing their sixth straight game. The Bulls outrebounded New York 56-38 and won without Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson.
Watching Rose is like watching a different kind of show than any other NBA player. Even when his shot isn't on or he appears to be struggling, he has this will, this need to prove to you that he's going to get to the basket and he does, time and time again. Even though he had six blocks against him last night (including Lin slapping his layup attempt against the glass), Rose got to the hoop again and again.
He also did this:
When he's determined to get to the rim, there's not a lot you can do because he isn't going to stop. Why did he decide to dunk the ball so viciously? Because he wasn't getting the calls he thought he deserved and he was angry. After the game, he spoke with K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune and said:
"I gotta be the only superstar in the league that's going through what I'm going through right now," Rose said. "But I can't say too much about it. I don't usually dunk it, but I was just mad I wasn't getting any calls," Rose said.
It was a big win for Chicago without three of its key players. Rose finished the game logging nearly 43 minutes of playing time.
In Los Angeles, one day after losing the the Lakers, the Boston Celtics took down the Clippers, 94-85. It wasn't an easy victory, as the Clippers continued to find ways to keep the game close down the stretch, but in the end, Paul Pierce scored 10 points in the final quarter and the Celtics walked away with the victory.
Kevin Garnett moved past Moses Malone to take over 11th place on the all-time minutes played list, Ray Allen sprained his ankle in the final minute, but was able to return and Rajon Rondo went viral before the game when a screengrab of him eating sushi, drinking Gatorade and staring into the camera with his blood-blistered red eye made the rounds.
Rondo finished with 12 points and 10 assists, but had six turnovers. Garnett scored 21 points and Pierce had 25. Blake Griffin had 24 points for the Clippers who lost despite outrebounding the Celtics 45-31.
Editor’s Note: The following is not in any way meant to diss the Milwaukee Bucks’ Ray Allen. Ray’s a fine player, who will more than likely turn into a solid NBA performer for years to come. And yet…
How long after Draft Night ’96 ended did the Milwaukee Bucks realize that they’d blown it?
16 years later, Ray's laughing at all of us. I love this. So much.
"Charlotte handed the Hornets (10-32) their 17th loss in 21 games at the Arena, despite missing 11 of its final 12 attempts from the field and all 12 attempts from 3-point range"
This is what they call limping to victory.
In San Antonio, the Wizards continued their downward spiral, dropping a 112-97 decision to the Spurs. Tony Parker put up 31 points for San Antonio while John Wall finished with 12 points on just 5-for-14 shooting. We need to do something about Wall. I'm having a hard time watching him this season. Not because of his play, because of his facial expressions. It looks like everything is weighing on him so heavily and it's tough to watch. Hate seeing a young guy in a rough situation like the one that Wall is in.
Minnesota defeated Phoenix and Kevin Love went for 30. Now that the Wolves are without Ricky Rubio, how does this impact Love's MVP case if he gets Minnesota into the playoffs and continues to put up huge, gaudy numbers?
In Utah, there was a moment bigger than basketball when Al Jefferson hit the only three-pointer of his career and looked toward the sky. What made this moment so special? Jefferson had just lost his grandmother, the woman who raised him, a day earlier. He hadn't slept at all that night. He'd lost both of his parents three years earlier, so he knows the sting of separation, the dull ache of loss that is awaiting him. On Monday night, Jefferson got to put on his uniform and forget about all of that, be with his teammates and focus only on basketball.
The Jazz outscored the Pistons 30-13 in the fourth quarter and pulled out the 105-90 victory, but this was a night where the win paled in comparison to the strength shown by Jefferson. After the game, he spoke about his grandmother with Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune.
"God don’t put you through nothing that you can’t get through, and God don’t make no mistakes, either," said Jefferson, who missed shootaround so he could catch up on his sleep. "You’ve just got to get through it. Because you go through pain and that’ll make the happiness even better."
Thoughts are with Jefferson and his family today.