Tonight was a game where you could feel the Madhouse on Madison beyond the walls of the United Center. We felt it through our radios, our television sets, and through twitter. A performance worthy of the standing ovation it received, the Bulls were victorious over Eastern conference rivals, the Boston Celtics, 94-78. The defense and physicality of this game was evident from the very beginning and continued. Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and Derrick Rose all scored in the double-digits scoring in combined 67 points. With tonight’s win, the Heat have officially been eliminated from obtaining the number one seed in the East, and put the Bulls just one win away from clinching it.
Derrick Rose is a humble man. Stating over and over again that he does not want to win the MVP Award for being good at one particular skill, he wants to earn it for winning. Well, tonight, he sparkled in nearly every single one of his traits: unpredictability, speed, defense, accuracy, and body control. Rose scored a whopping 30 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds in his 40 minutes played while scoring 9 of 16. With incredible drive and MVP chants scattered throughout the night, Derrick Rose really did prove that no one, not even Rondo, can keep up with him. All debate was thrown out the window as the numbers surpassed the margin allowed for argument. He was too good, too fast, too strong, and just too good.
Of course, the win couldn’t have been pulled off without his teammates, and they delivered as well. Deng coming in as the second part of the Bull’s “big three” was 9 of 18 and scored 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 very memorable blocks. Carlos Boozer suffered through a few bouts of butter finger-itis, but managed to put in a very energetic 36 minutes. Boozer scored 14 points and 12, yes count them 12, rebounds. Six out of seven starters scored giving the Bulls Bench Mob a combined 22 points.
The game could have gone either way until the Bulls were faced with a Celtic team that had cut the score difference to three. Prior to this, the referees were making some questionable calls throughout the game keeping Boston at a safe distance. The Bulls responded explosively, scoring seven points in 53 seconds and taking full control of the game. They never looked back. Although this game was a pure formality, the Bulls still made a statement to everyone. This game proved that there is no room for argument and that opinion doesn’t really matter because the numbers say it all, the Bulls have tied Boston in the regular season, 2-2.Â Now, no one can dispute the merit which has put Chicago in the number one seed in the East.
There were more than a few reasons why this game was personal. It was personal for Coach Thibodeau who used to be the Celtics defensive coordinator. It was also personal for a Bulls team that hasn’t been given due credit by the media all season. In addition, the halftime show was dedicated to Scottie Pippen and the unveiling of a statue in his honor. Arguably one of the best defensive forwards in NBA history, the Pip’s honor was upheld by the defensive prowess of the current Chicago Bulls. Simply amazing.
Coming Up On Kissing The Rim: The Bulls face the Cavaliers tomorrow night. Too many mistakes and the Bulls could lose the momentum needed to clinch the number one seed permanently. However, Joakim Noah says it should be fun. What will happen? Stay tuned!