Derrick Rose scored a career-high 39 points on October 30, the second game of the season. Fifty-two games later, he bested his career-high by three, scoring 42 in a huge win over the team with the best record in the NBA last night. What’s it tell ya? It tells you that Rose started fast and he’s continuing on in a fast fashion. Fast don’t like (advertising!) The old ROY should add three more letters to his resume. It’s pretty clear which three letters, right? He’s got wheels. He’s usin’ them. He’s penetrating. He’s scoring. Chopping heads. Burning fools. So clearly the three letters I’m talking about are T-C-B. Taking Care of Business. Or TCoB if you’re an old Tigers fan.Let’s forget that he’s brought his Bulls into the Eastern elite despite Boozer and Noah never playing a single second of the season together and fully healthy. Let’s forget that the Bulls will head into the All-Star Break having just defeated the Spurs an focus on the fact that his PER increased from 18.6 last season to 22.8. Or focus on his steadily improving defense (he’s been wrongly maligned for not being able to guard anyone. His+0.3 spg and +0.4 bpg beg to differ with that theory). And if you didn’t want to focus on any of that, why not focus on the fact that he’s improved every facet of his game exept his FG%, especially his three-point shooting, which was the biggest knock against Rose during the preseason. He doesn’t shoot threes (0.2 3pg in each of his first two seasons, 1.6 this season). Huge. Face. Melted. He’s not just improved, he’s slaughtering his averages from last season. He’s +.069 on free throws, doling out 2.2 more assists per game and scoring 3.7 more points a game. I got blasted back in October for ranking Rose too high. I dare you to say something when I put him in the top 12 next season.
Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball:
Luol Deng – 19/7/5, with two threes, one steal and two blocks. A super fine line if ever I’ve seen one. If you’d have told me last summer that Noah and Boozer would swap healthy streaks and Ronnie Brewer wouldn’t pan out, I’d have predicted Deng would carry averages like last night’s. Instead I predicted 15.5/6.5/2 with only half a three per night, he’s shooting threes well, but I was generally in the neighborhood with my predictions (16/5.5/2.5 this season) and yet, I’m disappointed. Under the circumstances, he should be doing better. I’m not easy to please.
Manu Ginobili -16/1/3, shot .333 from the field. Also, he looks like Balki from “Perfect Strangers,” but that’s beside the point. That’s not what we’re here to discuss. We’re here to discuss the fact that he’s still healthy. Or that he might know how to do the Dance of Joy, or how he could learn it easily if he was so inclined. Mostly we’re here to discuss Mark Lynn-Baker. If you want more tidbits about basketball, feel free to visit Razzball’s fantasy basketball blog … what’s that? This is Razzball’s fantasy basketball blog? Well then what have I been writing on my Bal-keys to Success “Perfect Strangers” fanblog? Uh, I gotta go.
Tyreke Evans – Missing the All-Star festivities. May miss more than that. Stay tuned. Or not. Considering this story might end in Donte Greene and Pooh Jeter getting tons of playing time, you might be better off skipping it.
Al Thornton – Injured his finger Wednesday night and looks as if he’ll miss a week or two. It’s never good when a player dribbling the ball, screams suddenly, and let’s the ball dribble limply out of his hands while he walks off the court before a timeout is called. Nope. You never want to see that. But if you DO see that, at least it was Al Thornton and not someone any fantasy owner would possibly be rostering, right? Right!?!
Goran Dragic – Returned after missing his last seven games, but played fewer than 10 minutes and ended with a 4/2 line. Nothing to see here.
DeShawn Stevenson – The best part of Beaubois’ return? DeShawn Stevenson is no longer a starter on a winning team. That’s been bothering me for 49 games almost as much as Keith Bogans starting for the Bulls has bothered me all season.
Rodrigue Beaubois – Started, which is a good sign. And although he had flashes of the player fantasy owners will get to know soon enough, he’s got rust. You let him have his rust.
Peja Stojakovic – His name is Predrag. I’m assuming Peja is a nickname, like when someone named John is called Jack. But it unnerves me that I’m not totally clear on this. Where’d the J come from? Johns don’t throw in Qs or Ps into their name. They stick with 1-point Scrabble letters. Don’t talk to me about Scrabble Ks. I’ve always thought that letter was way overpriced. Anyway, he started.
Jason Kidd – JaKOFF’N. Jason Kidd Off Night. He shot 2-for-8 from the field. Also, my neighbor looks exactly like Kidd these days. Close-cropped hair, five-o’clock shadow. The weird thing is, when you take Kidd’s jersey off and replace it with a black hoodie and a Schlitz, he looks like his picture might be hanging up at the post office.