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Bulls finish road trip 3-2 behind Rose's PG dominance, and what of Asik with Noah's impending return?

If you're a fan of storylines determining the MVP race (and if you're a MVP voter with a main gig as a storyteller, you probably do) than you can't get much better than what Derrick Rose has done the past two games. After his team started this firm-but-fair road trip 1-2, Rose outperformed both Deron Williams and Chris Paul in head-to-head matchups to secure victories. Saturday night's victory provided some of the usual highlight fare from Rose, keeping in mind that usual for him is spectacular for nearly everyone else: not only this gorgeous spin move, but check out this coast-to-coast drive and dunk where his acceleration makes Chris Paul (and his knee) look downright slow.

While I won't go so far as to say this alone means he's better than either of the top-top tier of PGs (head-to-heads are just one game, too), as Bulls Confidential points out, such a performance will help to earn him MVP votes.

There were also some unlikelier heroes from Saturday night's second half, as Keith Bogans had a downright scoring binge in his stint with 8 points, and continues his of-late performance in hitting the three-pointer enough to keep my anger at seeing him start slightly subsided.  CJ Watson led a bench unit that brought the game under the Bulls control, and Omer Asik followed up his excellent performance in Utah with another impressive effort.

With Joakim Noah coming back after this coming weekend's All-Star break, hopefully Asik can continue to see a spot in the rotation even though there will be fewer minutes to go around. It's possible that conditioning may be as much of a culprit as whatever warm comforting feeling that Kurt Thomas gives Thibodeau, but he needs to play. It's usually said that a veteran like Thomas (and there are few more veteran-y) will show his true worth in the playoffs, but I'd say a further-developed Asik is more likely to really add something to a playoff team. So it'd be nice that over these dog days of the season that Asik gains enough trust from the coaching staff to be deployed in the playoffs, and isn't just shifted to the back of the frontline. Seeing him be used lately, I don't think I'd trade him unless it's a long-term solution at the 2-guard position. Trade a first-rounder instead.