Derrick Rose Sets New Career High on Post-Gilbert Wizards

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By Paul M. Banks

As the Washington Wizards adjust to life without their superstar point/scoring guard Gilbert Arenas, they encountered another superstar point/scoring guard, on a career night. It took two overtimes, but the Chicago Bulls defeated the Washington Wizards 121-119 as Derrick Rose scored a career high 37 points (including a career high 16 field goals made and 33 field goals attempted). Rose also had a season high 9 rebounds. Derrick missed a potential game winning shot (mid range jumper on the wing) as time expired in regulation, but he drained another jumper in cold-blooded fashion with 5 seconds left in the second OT. It was an isolation play that was worthy of a Bill Raftery “ONIONS!!!” call.

“My whole life and even at Memphis, it’s been isolation plays so I feel very comfortable in that type of offense,” Derrick said after the game. “It was impressive to get this win. Somehow we pulled it out. We’ve been the type of team that has let games get away at the end but I think this shows how much we’ve been improving,” he continued.

Derrick Rose did a fantastic job getting to the rim and finishing tonight. “ATTACKING THE TIN!!!” as Bill Raftery would say. Bulls Coach Vinny Del Negro expounded on that: “I always want him to attack the basket. I don’t want us to walk the ball up the court. That opens up the court a little bit. When he comes off the high screens, I need him to get more than 2 dribbles, sometimes 3 or 4 to get that penetration. That puts pressure on the defense and opens it up for the other guys to make the plays.”

DeShawn Stevenson was assigned the very tough task of guarding Rose tonight (but on the plus side, he does possess a beard that would make Vladimir Lenin jealous). I asked Stevenson what makes D. Rose such a tough guard. “He’s a heck of a player, can handle the ball, get to the basket, post up a little bit. He’s a big guard and he has the freedom out there, as the ball goes through him. And if you give anybody in this league, with that much talent, the freedom- it’s going to be hard to guard,” he replied.

Wizards guard Randy Foye described Rose as “top 5 point guard in the league” and Washington center Brendan Haywood elaborated on Derrick being in the zone tonight.

“Big time players make big time plays. Derrick Rose is young, but he’s a big time player in this league. Down the stretch, there’s nothing you can do when the point guard gets to his spot, raises up and is basically shooting jump hooks. That’s tough because he’s so big, he’s so strong, he’s so powerful, that when he gets to his spot it’s one of those things- is he going to hit it or is he going to miss it. Down the stretch he’s going to hit it.”

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  1. ONIONS!!!!!

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