Bull Run

After drafting Derrick Rose first overall in the 2008 draft, there was no question whether or not he would be able to get to the basket in the NBA and finish. There were concerns though, that he would not be able to develop a jump shot in the NBA. Recently, those concerned fans have been silenced as the Bulls have been winning and Rose has been hitting from the outside.

The Bulls began their seven-game western road trip poorly. They lost to the Warriors and Clippers, two mediocre teams in the Western Conference. Bulls fans were worried that this could turn into an 0-7 trip, as the Bulls have to face five playoff contenders in a row to finish off the trip. Instead, the Bulls beat the Suns 115-104, and Rose led the Bulls with 32 points. More importantly, most of his points came from the outside. 17 of his 32 points came from beyond 15 feet and he made 8-12 shots from that range.

But Rose and the Bulls didn’t stop there. They traveled to Houston the next day and overcame a fourth quarter deficit to beat the Rockets. They then handed the Spurs a loss two days later on January 25th. Rose had 27 points in that game despite playing with the flu. Once again, he was hitting jump shots, making him a threat all over the court, rather than just in the paint.

Then the Bulls traveled to Oklahoma City to take on a good Thunder team on Wednesday. They continued their winning ways and Rose continued his hot streak Rose had 26 points and six assists to lead the Bulls to a ten point win and bring their record back to .500. Most impressive, though, is that the bulls have put together this nice streak away from the United Center. The Bulls started the season just 4-15 on the road, but have since improved that to 8-15.

The Bulls finish up the road trip Friday, January 29th against the New Orleans Hornets. In order to win, Rose must keep playing efficiently. During the win streak, he has shot over 50% from the field in each game. He has also turned the ball over just seven times while handing out 22 assists over the past four games. Other players have performed as well. Despite being hurt, Noah has contributed a lot including a gutsy performance against the Spurs, where he scored the final five points of the game. Rookie Taj Gibson has picked up the rebounding while Noah has been playing hurt, averaging over ten rebounds per game during that span.

Derrick Rose also did something that has not been done since Michael Jordan was on the Bulls. That is to be announced to the Eastern Conference All-Star roster. Rose was selected as an All-Star reserve Thursday, marking the first time a Bull has made the team since Jordan did it in 1998. Last year Rose competed in the Rookie challenge and the skills competition during All-Star weekend, but not the all-star game.

Right now the Bulls stand tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. They are just 1.5 games out of fifth place, and if they keep playing like they have, that is a great possibility. To continue their streak they need to stick to the formula: win on the road and a whole lot of Rose.