Chicago Bulls Whip the Atlanta Hawks as Derrick Rose Shuts Up His Detractors

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIMay 6, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 06:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls waits during free throws against the Atlanta Hawks in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

For any Derrick Rose haters still crying that he was an undeserving MVP, just pop in a video of Game 3 against Atlanta, as he almost single-handedly dismantled the Hawks and took away any illusions they had of somehow upsetting the Chicago Bulls in this series.

Crow anyone? Would you like a chaser with that?

It has become very popular to rip Rose as an unproductive player, with his critics basing it on the metrics they use to break down his performance in a game.

So how did he do Friday night?

Was 44 points on 16-of-27 shooting, including 4-of-7 from the three-point line, good enough for you?

How about scoring 17 points in the first quarter to give the Bulls a 29-23 lead after one?

He forced Atlanta coach Larry Drew to call a timeout just 49 seconds into the game.

Rose let it be known that he wasn't going to be passive this time, going up, over, under and around his defenders and not just settling for outside shots, but he hit those too.

That's despite playing with what was diagnosed as a Grade 2 sprain of his ankle, and what has seemingly grounded him the first two games of this series.

A Grade 2 sprain means the ligament is partially torn with some resulting instability. A Grade 2 tear can take from 3-6 weeks to heal. A commenter on WSCR radio in Chicago before the game said a broken ankle would be better because it's easier to heal from a break.

Friday night in Atlanta, Rose reincarnated Michael Jordan in Utah in Game 5 of the finals in 1997, when he overcame food poisoning to destroy the Jazz with a 38-point performance. .

That's what MVPs do, and that's exactly what Rose is.

The Bulls were in complete control right from the start on the way to a 99-82 stomping of Atlanta. 

Rose let it be known that home court advantage meant nothing for the Hawks, as more than once, the crowd roared "MVP, MVP" as Rose made one spectacular shot after another.

Analyst Hubie Brown could barely control himself as he gushed after Rose threw up a sky-high floater that swished through the net. He marveled at another shot that Rose threw high off the backboard on another dash to the basket.

I won't go into what he said when Rose did his killer cross-over and drove through the lane and dunked the ball as four Hawk players stood watching with their mouths agape.

I even thought I saw the referee smile after one of his highlight plays, and that's part of the problem. That's why his detractors berate his game as they do, saying he's all flash, and no substance.

They say he's really not that good, and people think he is because they watch his highlights on SportsCenter on ESPN

Should he be judged so harshly just because he happens to be a spectacular athlete who makes plays that nobody else in the league can make?

Isn't it obvious he's the heart and soul of the Bulls, and as he goes, so go the Bulls?

Coach Tom Thibodeau seemed to think so.

Rose sat down after the third quarter like he usually does, but Atlanta cut the Bulls' 17-point lead to 11 early in the fourth as the Bulls had some sloppy play with C.J. Watson at the helm.

Rose came back into the game after less than a two-minute rest to put the clamps on the Hawk rally and let them know they wouldn't be stealing this one tonight.

Even in his two 'bad' games against the Hawks, he had 24 and 25 points with 10 assists in both games.

Doesn't every player in the league wish they could be that bad?

And isn't everybody that's saying Rose didn't deserve the MVP really jealous and wishing he played for their team?