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News » Rose shows all the right signs in loss

Rose shows all the right signs in loss

Rose shows all the right signs in loss Two questions are worth asking about Derrick Rose on the heels of the Bulls getting overpowered by Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

First of all, how often does he usually cut his hair?

Just a day after vowing to forgo all haircuts until he was back to playing aggressive offensively, Rose looked like a different person on the floor of the Staples Center.

It wasn?t exactly a thick layer of hair but certainly more than Rose?s usual stubble.

Also, should we stop fretting about Rose?s sophomore slump after his 20-point performance against the Lakers?

Well, it might be too soon to tell on that one, but there were positive signs in Los Angeles.

Rose pushed the ball relentlessly from the opening tip and challenged the Lakers? tall front line several times.

It didn?t always work.

Rose missed 13 of his first 15 shots, though several were point-blank bank shots after the second-year guard rocketed to the rim.

His outside jumpers usually fell short.

Eventually, Rose found his rhythm and knocked down his final 7 shots of the night ? jumpers, drives and fastbreaks included. Rose didn?t play during garbage time, so most of his damage came against the Lakers regulars.

Maybe we can say with certainty that Rose still has all the skills that made him a runaway rookie of the year winner.

He?s been slow to bounce back from the preseason ankle injury that kept him inactive for three weeks. But Thursday?s game should provide evidence that he can still be as explosive as any guard in the NBA.

"He?s not physically 100 percent, not in the condition he was (last season) just because of the injury," coach Vinny Del Negro said after the game. "You just have to take a step back, give him some time. I think he?s improved in a few areas, especially defensively. It takes time. He?ll get into it and be productive."

No arguments here about Rose?s defense.

It has improved tremendously this season. The Lakers

were just the second team in 11 games to score 100 against the Bulls .

Rose?s turnover problems have been overblown. Sure, he had a couple of surprising 7-turnover games against Charlotte and Philadelphia. But in between, he turned it over once in 73 minutes against Denver and Toronto. In the first two games of the circus trip, Rose has 4 turnovers.

Maybe playing Denver today will help keep Rose on a roll. He scored a season-high 22 points ? with no turnovers ? when the Bulls lost to the Nuggets last week at the United Center.

Of course, this is a replay of the "replay" game. The Bulls celebrated a victory over Denver that night but didn?t bring home the win. First, Chauncey Billups hit 1 of 2 free throws with 0.6 seconds on the clock to break an 89-89 tie.

Then Brad Miller threw in a last-gasp 22-footer that appeared to give the Bulls a miracle victory, but the referees waved it off after watching the replays for about 10 minutes.

This is stop three of six on the circus road trip. Collecting one more win on their trek would be a boost for the Bulls , because it would guarantee them no worse than a 7-8 record at the end of November ? a month in which they?ve played a brutal schedule and were missing Tyrus Thomas with a broken arm.

The Bulls didn?t have the interior strength to stay with the Lakers and lost handily 108-93. Pau Gasol made his season debut after recovering from a hamstring injury and showed no rust, delivering 24 points and 13 rebounds. The Bulls trailed by 11 at halftime and never brought the deficit into single digits during the second half.

"It definitely wasn?t the right time (to face the Lakers)," Rose said after the game. "You?ve got two 7-footers out there tipping balls to each other. It?s tough. Doesn?t matter if it?s (Gasol?s) first game or last. He?s a great player."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 22, 2009


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