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Bulls, Rose Sow Seeds of Title Dreams

April 22, 2012 @ No Comments

Everyone knows Derrick Rose. Well, everyone who follows the NBA does. As complete as his game may be, he lacks a certain something. Namley, a nickname. A big-time player such as the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player ought to have a distinctive nickname. How about Derrick “Game-Time-Decision” Rose?

Model Catrinel Menghia always is welcome around here -- with or without a soccer ball.

OK, not exactly what Bulls fans had in mind.

But Rose has been injured so much this season with a variety of ailments that his status — certainly recently — has been “game-time decision.” Not that it’s a term of derision but more a term of precision in describing the fragile nature of Rose and the Bulls title aspirations.

Rose returned once again to the Bulls lineup for the team’s game Saturday (April 21) vs. the visiting Dallas Mavericks. He had 11 points and eight assists on 5-of-9 shooting, including 1-of-3 from three-point range in the Bulls’ 93-83 victory. He played for 31:40. But he did not look like the player who would be leading the Bulls to an NBA title. He did not appear to have the explosiveness that has been a part of his game.

Of course, there is the possibility that Rose — who admitted to throbbing in his ankle — is holding back from going full throttle until the postseason. With the Bulls victory and the Miami Heat’s loss to the woeful Washington Wizards (who also defeated the Bulls earlier in the week), the Bulls can clinch the top seed in the East with a victory or a Miami loss.

The importance of being the No. 1 seed is unclear. The Bulls were the No. 1 seed in the East last season and did not reach the NBA Finals.

“[Rose] looked good taking everything into consideration,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I think he played a very controlled-type game. He was taking care of the ball [one turnover], running the offensve and just trying to get a feel for being out there again. I thought it was a good first step. Overall I thought he played very well.”

“I got to the lane a little bit during this game, but my confidence wasn’t that high driving the ball,” Rose said. “Hopefully in the next couple of days it’s going to get better, and you’ll see me back to my usual self driving to the hole trying to get fouled and putting a lot of pressure on the defense.”

“When the opportunity comes [to play at his usual level] and I know that I’m totally healthy, I will. But until then I’m just trying to make the game easy, doing whatever it takes to win this game. Today it was me passing the ball, getting guys open, putting them in situations where they can make a great play.”

Which is all well and good — assuming by the time the playoffs roll around in about a week — that Rose will be all well and good. Or at least well enough to be better than good.

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Some photos need no caption. This would be one of them.

Just when people start to count the Chicago Blackhawks out of the NHL’s postseason, they do something like win a game to raise their fans’ hope. Such was the case with a 2-1 overtime victory against the host Phoenix Coyotes on a Jonathan Toews goal to stay alive in the best-of-seven series that the Hawks trail 3-2.

Earlier in the day, the NHL issued its punishment of Raffi Torres, who cheap-shotted (is that a word?) Hawks star Marian Hossa. Somehow the 25-game ban would have felt better if there had been some sort of similar sanction against the officials who had failed to call a penalty on Torres for the hit in which he launched himself off the ice and into Hossa, who did not accompany the team to Phoenix — an indication that a concussion is possibly part of the injury Hossa incurred.

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How do you improve upon perfection? Well, the answer is you cannot in the real world. In the world of the Chicago White Sox, you do so by promoting the aforementioned perfection. Which, in this case, is right-hander Philip Humber’s perfect game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

You can be fairly certain the television, print and radio commercials will be coming to encourage folks to come to U.S. Cellular Field to watch him perform again. To think that of the 21 perfect games in big-league history, two have been by White Sox of recent vintage (Mark Buehrle had one in 2009) is mind-boggling.

Not that anyone is anticipating prolonged perfection from Humber. His masterpiece was the first complete game of his major league career. The cynical Sox fan isn’t wondering whether Humber will toss another perfect game but whether he ever will throw another complete game.

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Also winning Saturday were the Chicago Cubs. Meaning all four major teams prevailed after all four had lost on Thursday. The Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League and the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer also prevailed Saturday. Some fans might say it is an insult to lump the Cubs with the Rush and Fire. Well, that certainly wasn’t the intention. So if some folks do feel it was insulting, the editorial staff at elliottharris.com would like to apologize to the fans of the Rush and Fire.

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OK, let’s go to the video:

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For those desiring something other than Bulls-related video, may we offer this from model Catrinel Menghia (well, it sure looks like it just might be sports-related — as if that’s a necessity:

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