Despite trailing until 48.4 seconds remained in the game, the Chicago Bulls dismantled the Pacers in the final 3:38 after they fell behind by 10 points.
They outscored them 16-1 in that stretch for a 104-99 victory, with Derrick Rose contributing seven points and two assists, including the three-pointer to Kyle Korver to finally give the Bulls the lead.
It had to be frightening for Indiana fans.
What had to be even more frightening was the way Rose dismantled them despite having an off-shooting night. Pacer star Danny Granger likened it to "a crazy stalker ex-girlfriend."
He continued, "Every time you tell her you don't want to talk to her, she shows up at your door again."
With the opening of Scream 4 this weekend, I prefer to compare it to the horror genre. Whether it's "the shape" in the Scream movies, Jason in Friday the 13th, episode 100 or so, or Michael Myers in Halloween, you can't stop them.
You stab them, burn them, drown them, shoot them; it doesn't matter—they keep coming back to terrorize you, and that perfectly sums up Derrick Rose.
While the Pacers didn't quite go to those measures, they put the body on Rose and sent him to the line 21 times. They also gave him a couple of hard fouls.
Rose objected to one by Jeff Foster in the second quarter and got in his face. The usually passive Luol Deng shoved Tyler Hansbrough in the fourth quarter after he fouled Rose and revved up the crowd after getting hit with a technical foul.
It seems it doesn't matter what you do to Rose; he keeps coming and coming and coming. Looking like a taller and more muscular Allen Iverson, he takes a beating and keeps on ticking.
Pacer coach Frank Vogel likened him to Iverson amongst others with this quote after the game.
"I look at the 39 points and I'm shocked," he said.
"But what do you expect from a player who has Allen Iverson's speed, Jason Kidd's vision, (Chauncey) Billups' shooting touch and Michael Jordan's athleticism? How do you guard that?"
Still, basketball critics around the country are reluctant to give Rose his due.
Bill Simmons from ESPN in a recent column gave Rose his MVP, but said, "This is probably one of those years where there wasn't totally a most valuable player."
Part of his argument was the advanced metrics that has writers like John Hollinger, also of ESPN, constantly putting him down and having the audacity to compare him to Russell Westbrook.
I think Jeff Van Gundy came out this week with the most sensible way to evaluate Rose. He said, "Use your eyes."
What a novel concept. You would think so-called basketball experts watching him play would no longer question his game, despite what the stats say.
I caught David Thorpe of ESPN on the radio yesterday mentioning that he has questioned Rose all season, before finally giving him his MVP vote. He admitted, perhaps after watching Rose's performance yesterday, that he doesn't know what he was thinking when he was reluctant to cast his vote for him previously.
It's that simple. When you watch him, especially on a regular basis, there is no doubt who's the MVP and the best player in the NBA.
It's not LeBron James, who was deferring to Dwyane Wade late in the game against the 76er's yesterday in the Heat's first playoff game with the three amigos.
If you're not a finisher, you're not the best player in the league—case closed.
He was the same way with the Cavaliers, preferring to pass the ball late in clutch situations instead of putting the burden on his own shoulders. Maybe that's why he disappeared in some playoff series like he did against the Boston Celtics and other teams in the past.
Maybe that's why he still has eight fingers and no rings.
If it's not LeBron, and it's not, who is better than Derrick Rose right now?
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