The last two first round picks carried the Bulls to their biggest victory in three years Monday night to move the Bulls up two spots to the sixth seed in the playoff derby. The Pistons tried everything including muggings and sharp shooting, but inthe end, speed and desire won the day. Derrick Rose took the rookie of the year award by acclamation from the NBA TV commentators with a performance belying his rookie status. 24 points, 8 assiststs, 5 rebounds and the biggest blocked shot of the season carried the day in this huge game, Joakim Noah contributed mightily with 13 rebounds, 11 points, 4 assists and a blocked shot. These two youngsters are now rewarding John Paxon’s faith in them and carrying the Bulls to a winning record. How many sportwriters predicted a 42 win season just a month ago? It seemed impossible. But with a win tomorrow against Toronto, the Bulls not only finish above .500, but clinch the sixth seed in the playoffs and a matchup with the Orlando Magic. Even though they are a really tough team that looks unbeatable at times, Orlando has a problem finishing. They now have injuries to Turkelou and Lewis to overcome, as well as a media and fan base that put so much pressure on them to win a championship, they seem to wilt under that pressure. I live here in Orlando and find their media even sillier than the Chicago media in building up and then dissing their local heroes. The expectation is so high they can’t match it in anyone’s eyes down here. But that goes for all teams in Florida, college or pro.
Anyway, kudos to the Bulls kids, and on we go to what some thought a month ago was impossible- a first round victory in the playoffs. If the Bulls play like they did last night that is not a foolish statement, it will be a fact.