by Yusuf Gadlin
I tossed. I turned. I huffed and puffed in my bed as my brain refused to let me sleep after another inexplicable Chicago Bulls loss. The Chicago Bulls lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 118-123 in a double overtime game.This type of nonchalant, lackluster, uninspired basketball against weak teams has me thinking twice about my beloved Bulls team. Guys like Lakers guard Wayne Ellington, who on the season average 8.6 points per game, should not be scoring 23 points against the Bulls. Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson who average 6.3 points a game, should not be scoring 18 points against a Chicago team that prides itself on so-called defense. But what hurts the most is the fact Derrick Rose still does not recognize the greatness of of his now all-star teammate Jimmy Butler.
Come ‘on DRose!
There is no excuse for this loss–anyway you slice it, anyway you look at it–Derrick Rose has to shoulder this loss and he probably will with his thinking mentality. While Rose was doing his usual “watch me get to the lane and finish like its 2011,” routine, he shot 7-26 for yet another poor shooting night from a player trying to regain his MVP form. We all know about the game winning shot he hit in Golden State but Mr.Rose went 13 for 33 with 11 turnovers after which Derrick said “its all about wins.” That is a true statement: It’s like a teacher saying the lowest you can get on this exam and pass is a 68 percent and after you take the exam you score 69% and say “its all about passing.” But in Derrick’s defense Jimmy Butler was out of that game due to sickness so maybe that shooting spree by the former MVP was warranted.
Not the case Thursday night.
Jimmy Butler made his return to action and before the game in Los Angeles. He found out he would be heading to New York as a All Star Reserve. It’s a first time honor that the hardworking guard deserves for his stellar play so far this season.
How did he respond after hearing the fantastic news? Butler went 9-17 from the field scoring 35 points and looking like he could win this game single-handed. But DRose failed to realize this as he dribbled and shot floaters trying to prove to us he is closer to being back to elite status. Bulls all-star starting center Pau Gasol made his emotional return to L.A. where he won two championships and had a great game shooting 8-14 from the field and netting 20 points—which was not nearly enough attempts for the big Spaniard who should of had a dominant return game if Derrick Rose didn’t fail to realize all these factors also.
Aside from the Bulls as a whole struggling to put inferior teams away as they should. I think there’s another development unfolding right before our very eyes. In order for the Bulls to win the ultimate prize which is the NBA championship, Derrick Rose must face the stone cold truth.
That truth is he must realize he is the third option on this team, Jimmy Butler first, Paul Gasol second, and himself third. To me its the only way this team will succeed come playoffs. And if this is truly about “winning” as Rose claims, he must make this critical sacrifice to his game–not when the ball is in his hands with the game on the line but when Jimmy Butler has it going in a game come late march or when Gasol has hit three jump hooks in a row.
Rose must not come down on the ensuing possession and hoist one of those pull up threes that he often does disrupting the flow of the game Gasol and Butler have already established. Derrick has to be more of facilitator, and with his blazing speed there is no excuse why Mr. Chicago himself should not be averaging double digit assist.
I understand Drose wants to remind the world every chance he gets that he’s the best player in the league, but its starting to become at the expense of his own team needs and you can’t have that.If you don’t want animosity to build within this team Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau better sit down with Rose and have this important conversation on how to run this team.
Last night’s loss to the Lakers wasn’t just about the lack of effort and intensity which has plagued the Bulls this season, it was more about Rose not understanding the weapons he has around him and the stubbornness he continues to display night after night on the offensive end.There is no chance in hell Chicago wins a championship without Derrick Rose but there is a great chance this team flames out in the post season if he doesn’t let his teammates thrive and lead the way to June.
Its time to adjust DRose and let Jimmy Butler be great. Its time focus on setting up teammates and perfecting the pick-and-roll with Gasol even if it means your lights becomes a little bit dimmer. And who knows? You might get that chance to deliver that dagger step back jumper in the closing seconds of game 7 of the finals to bring home that trophy you so desperately want.
But you have to let your teammates get you there Derrick. You have to let your teammates get you there.