The bang came in game number two.
In that contest, the Bulls‘ home opener, the Bulls overcame a massive second-half deficit to topple the Pistons 101-91 and get their eventual 62-win regular season on track. Rose posted a then-career-high 39 points, slung seven assists and got to the charity stripe 13 times. No other Bull scored more than 15 (Joakim Noah).
That game airs tonight at 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago as part of Derrick Rose Week. Here’s what to watch for:
The enormity of the Bulls’ comeback in this one can’t be overstated. They trailed by 19 at the half and 15 entering the fourth quarter. But in that final period, they flipped an 82-67 deficit into a 101-91 victory, outsourcing the Pistons by a whopping margin of 34-9 in the frame (and 57-28 in the second half).
Ridiculous. And better yet, it happened at the United Center. As Rose and Noah combined to outscore the Pistons’ entire team in the fourth (12-9), the UC rumbled, shook and bounced. That’ll be fun to see again.
In fact, with 22 points in the second half, Rose nearly matches the Pistons’ point total combined from Quarter 3 and 4. From the beginning, the 22-year-old wunderkin’s standout third year felt destined.
Joakim freaking Noah
As alluded to, this wasn’t the finest night for the Bulls’ supporting cast. Rose and Noah combined for 54 points on 19-for-39 (48.7%) from the field. The rest of the team had 47 on 18-for-47 (38.3%).
But, man, has Noah’s perfect sidekick status been pronounced rewatching these old games so far. Against the Pistons he stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 17 rebounds (eight offensive) and three blocks. In Rose Week games thus far, he’s averaging 15 points, 14 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, and shooting 48.5% from the floor.
Expect some hot-mic-screaming goodness from Jo in this one. And his trademark brand of heart, hustle and muscle.
Blasts from the past
If you’re someone (like me) who is enamored with NBA legends’ random late-career stops, Tracy McGrady suits up for the Pistons in this one. He scored all of two points in 17 minutes of run off the bench.
Ben Gordon returns home, but adorned in the visitor’s thread. Though Gordon’s post-Bulls career became quickly fraught by injury and underperformance, he poured in 21 points off the pine and got to the free throw line 10 times (making all 10). The Pistons’ leading scorer and second in the game to Rose.
Keith Bogans starts the game at shooting guard for the Bulls and scores two points on 1-for-5 shooting. It’s OK to still be mad.
NBC Sports Chicago will honor the Bulls great with «Derrick Rose Week presented by Saint Xavier University» starting up Monday, June 8 at 7:00 PM CT with the first of five-straight nights of «Classic» game performances. See full schedule here.
What to watch: Derrick Rose leads Bulls to massive comeback early in MVP year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago