On Halloween night at the United Center it wasn’t the ghost and ghouls in the crowd that were scary; it was the play of the Chicago Bulls versus the New York Knicks. But in the end it was Rose who out-clutched Melo to send the sell-out crowd into a frenzy and to give the Bulls that vital W on opening night in Chicago.
After another horrible shooting performance going 7 for 23 from the field, Rose drove the lane and went up over Raymond Felton and 7-footer Tyson Chandler to sink the potential game winning floater with just over 5 seconds left. He then calmly jogged back to the excitement of his teammates on the bench and a 82-81 lead over the Knicks. Modesty at its best.
“That’s what builds your resume. That leaves a mark on your legacy and I want to be known as one of those players,” Rose said. “I just love being in that position. Being in the fourth quarter, having the ball in my hands, making all the decisions, I think is just going to groom me into a better player, so that in the playoffs, we’re used to it and later on, we just get used to being in those type of games.
Then with 5.7 seconds left, Carmelo Anthony had the chance to win the game at the buzzer. He waved off a screen, took one dribble and lifted a tough contested shot over Deng. Chandler tried for a tip but was bodied by Butler, a play that will go unnoticed.
But Deng and Butler’s defense on the wing did not go unnoticed. They were relentless and played with a chip on their shoulder. Simply put, they made it tough on Melo and the crew.
Despite a great outcome, the bad news is that the Bulls continued to struggle offensively. With the exception of Boozer, who for the second night in a row was impressive from the field, only Deng showed the ability to hit a shot.
As I look forward to the Sixers and Pacers I can’t help but wonder: Do the Bulls have enough shooters? And when will Derrick Rose shake off this rust?
P.S. Hey, Knicks, those uniforms last night were horrible!
Will is co-host of BullsZone, follow him on Twitter @BullsZoneWill