A fairly ugly first half from the Bulls, with only 43 first half points and a double-digit deficit against the Pistons, who stink (and if you enjoy seeing Ben Gordon play poorly, tonight was your night...).
The Bulls were still in the game thanks to Carlos Boozer, who predictability was able to score against the Pistons front line (though overall the frontcourt struggled to match the exploits of Chris Wilcox and Greg Monroe...seriously), finishing 12-17. But the rest of the Bulls struggled from the field, and the defense wasn't there, from lazily getting back on defense to not rotating fast enough against Austin Daye, who didn't miss in the first half.
And then in the middle of the 3rd quarter, Derrick Rose took over. He showed signs of a special game in his opening stint, as he was always looking towards the rim and getting to the line early. But his second half tonight was amazing, only stopped by his own willingness to at least attempt to get others involved. Honestly, on a night like this, and with his teammates playing the way they did (everyone not named Boozer or Brewer was 9-31) , he didn't even need to humor them by trying. Rose could've scored every possession either from the field or at the line, and wound up going 9-9 from the stripe and surging in that half to 29 points.
Rose did get some help from not only Boozer but also Ronnie Brewer, who was a defensive catalyst yet again (the Pistons were absolutely shut down in the 2nd half) and one of the few Bulls who can run a fast break alongside the most athletic point guard in the league. Interesting to see Kyle Korver play under 5 minutes, as he continues to struggle from the field. As a defensive guy (in many ways, ha!), Thibs clearly favors Ronnie Brewer as his first wing off the bench.
And it's working, the only evidence you need. Or at least the most spectacular.