10:05 3rd :15
Sky King: “Here he is again…”
The Funk: “Derrick just turned him around and scored Again! He is ABUSING Kyrie Irving!”
King: “I’ll tell you what, he undressed him, young man pull your pants up! He just blew right by him!”
Ok. Stacey King hasn’t been called Sky for so many years, and pounds ago, and I doubt The Funk’s friends have ever called him The Funk, more likely he’s simply just…Neil. Oh, and the Cavs don’t suck. Still, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in enjoying/tolerating the hot sauce while watching Derrick Rose abuse Kyrie Irving last night in what felt like a statement. Rose let it be known to anyone watching that the game would belong to him when he was on the court, as the Bulls got what they wanted, if not the dress rehearsal win. On this particular attack on the hoop and the heart of the Cavs defense, Rose managed to:
A. Spin cycle Kyrie
B. Lose Love
C. Explode at an oncoming Lebron under the rim
D. Split 2 Cavs & finish on a reverse
It reminded me of when I introduced my nephew to basketball and Derrick Rose highlights. My little nephew said the only way to watch Rose is in slow motion to actually notice all his moves because of his speed . It’s still all there. Using his ankle-breaking crossover (ESPNSportsScience), lightning quick first step, and a confident outside shot, he made a fool of each Cav on the floor. It was a welcome reassurance, if you still need one, that a determined Derrick Rose can be dominant again. Fittingly, Rose drew first blood by drives to the basket, then dropped 16 points after checking back in the game with 6:35 left in the second quarter. He had 20 by halftime and a game high 30 points on 12-18 shooting, including 4 of 5 from downtown, in 24 minutes. A lot of his damage came against Kyrie Irving in a seemingly premeditated fashion with intent to embarass. The abuse was so obvious Cleveland coach David Blatt opted to keep Kyrie 14 minutes longer in the game when Rose got a breather. Irving took advantage of the smaller Aaron Brooks collecting most of his 28 points in 38 minutes against the Bulls’ suspect bench defense, pompously posing for the crowd a few times. Hollywood as Hell. It’s contagious in Cleveland with Lebron back in a Cavs uniform.
It was the first game for Cleveland’s new trio of Lebron, Love, and Kyrie playing together versus an NBA team. So of course it had to be the Bulls. The Bulls played them well, although the absence of Jimmy Butler was felt. The game showed how valuable Jimmy can be in taking the team to another level with his overall play. He will be a competitive force for this team when he returns. Although only a preseason game, the game-recognize-game moments were there. It’s Bulls-Cavs, so there was the familiar tension, but with so many new faces it will simmer for a while. Aside from the Rose-Kyrie story, Lebron kept it low key except for the few customary tantrums toward officials and mean faces. Interestingly, there were a few moments where Kevin Love wasn’t as cool, showing frustration with Kyrie’s need to ballhog while Rose sat. No hate, check the tape. At one point, on a Kyrie dribble-dribble-dribble, fade away 18-footer while Love stood WIDE OPEN for 3 waving his “I’m Open!” arms, Love balled up both fists at his sides as a toddler would and visibly pouted. So…cute? Love seemed lost a lot. It’s early, and Love is too smart and skilled not to be heavily involved soon enough. However, he had many moments where he seemed to be asking what “All for one and one for all” really meant for the Cavs. For the Bulls, Chicago, and all real basketball lovers around the world, watching #1 dominate again was all anyone wanted. Go Bulls.