Some thoughts about last night's game and the first 12% of the season in general:
1) Wow. Derrick Rose.
2) Larry Hughes is still a chucker. I know he settled down as the game progressed, but that doesn't excuse his bricks early on. We really are stuck with him until June 2010, aren't we? And what's with the Under Armor, Larry?
3) When Noc plays like he did last night, you see why get got the contract he did. He seems to be the only one that realizes how Rose transforms this team/game, and how that means he needs to both defer to #1 and step up his game at the same time. I really like Noc along side Derrick.
4) Glad to see Deng get to the line 10 times in the first half - a sign that he's attacking the rim rather than plodding 20 feet out. Now if those kind of free throws could come in the second half as well...
5) VDN has got to figure out Rose's minutes. Rose went over 40 again last night, and it was a weird 40+. I understand that he needed to rest to start the 4th quarter, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt like the game almost slipped away because Vinny waited one clock stoppage too many before putting Rose back out there.
6) It seems that VDN has inhereited Skiles's doghouse. I know that Tyrus wasn't playing anywhere close to Youtube quality, but 5 minutes?!? Either there is something going on we don't know about, or we're screwed worse than we know with VDN.
7) Have I mentioned Rose lately?
8) We have got to trade Gooden. Not due to his performance, but rather because his value is not going to get any higher than it is right now. Also, I used to think we could survive with him playing center, but last night changed that. When you make Murphy and Nesterovic look like a formidable front-court, then something needs to change. By trading Gooden, we remove VDN's temptation to play him as the man in the middle.
9) If he plans on playing high (no pun intended), Noah needs to learn how to set a pick. I can't count how many times he came to the top of the key and did nothing more than his happy dance in an attempt to set Rose free from his defender..
10) Would someone remind Ben that we have Derrick Rose. This means that Gordon no longer needs to drive into triple coverage and get rejected while slipping on the marbles someone put under his feet.
11) A Cedric Simmons sighting!
12) We still have too many guards; someone's got to go. I thought the three guard lineup went the way of the dodo when Skiles and "he who shall not be named" split town. Can you imagine how much it would get used if Rose, Gordon, Hughes, and Hinrich were all healthy at the same time? By sticking to just two guards on the floor at any given time, we would solve many of our ills:
A- Better managing Rose's minutes
B- Keeping Larry Hughes's minutes down
C- Keeping Noc away from the 4, which
D- Keeps Gooden away from the 5.
Any one of these is good enough reason, let alone all of them combined.
13) Like I mentioned above, I like Noc on a D. Rose team, I just don't like Noc at the 4. Against a plodding team like Indiana, we can get away with it. But against any front-court that is considered athletic, we are going to get killed playing that kind of small. Success against Indiana does not a good strategy make.
23) Derrick effin Rose