This week in the Bulls: D. Rose sprained both his ankles in one game, Chicago questioned his toughness, Jimmy came back vs. the Wolves and made the Bulls look like fools for not re-signing him, Taj continued to wreck everyone, Mirotic got some burn and pump-faked his way into success, The Craptain kept playing well, Pau stayed torching the sorry-ass teams on the schedule and Doug McDermott burned Aaron Gordon for a dunk.
It was a weird week. The Bulls will finish off their run of four games in five nights when they visit the 76ers on Friday and host the Celtics on Saturday. They're home again against the Pistons on Monday and then face the Raptors on the road in the TNT Thursday night game, which should be only their second real test of the season. I'm hoping Drake suits up for the layup line and the Bulls beat 'em down so bad, he has to hug the Raptor.
Very few things in this world are going to age as well as that picture.
In a way, the last week of Bulls basketball felt like every week of Bulls basketball, didn't it? They turned in a gritty, shorthanded performance against LeBron's team but still lost. They pumbled some lottery teams. Local media members called D. Rose a coward. Thibs freaked out over early season games against the Bucks and the Magic. You know, everything in its right place.
The Toughness Police turn on the sirens
I feel like old white men around Chicago spent the week trying to think of a politically correct term for ... (rhymes with 'wussy'). One member of my family called me on Wednesday and asked if Rose would ever play again if he wasn't feeling 100 percent perfectly healthy. "Is he going to pull this shit in the playoffs? Is he never going to play again unless he wakes up feeling like a million bucks?".
This narrative drives me insane. In the words of LeBron James quoting the words of Aaron Rodgers:
In the words of the great @AaronRodgers12 "RELAX"— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 6, 2014
When I said in my season preview that it feels like there's more bad opinions about Rose than any other athlete, this is why. This is also why I feel like it's hard to grasp all of the context that surrounds Rose this season and beyond if you aren't from here. Like, do people in New York, Los Angeles and D.C. realize how many Chicagoans think Rose is actively sabotaging the Bulls? Do they realize the number of people in this city who believe he would rather sit out and cash checks then play and degrade the memory of the superstar he once was?
Listen, idiots: D. Rose sprained both his ankles in one basketball game. I can never remember that happening to an athlete in my life. In basketball, and especially for someone who plays like Rose, that's a serious injury. He isn't making up the pain because he wants a night off. Like, how do so many people possibly believe that?
Rose does need to play to shake the rust off, but it's a loooong season. He has plenty of time. He has an eternity. Don't forget that part of the reason he tore his ACL was because he kept rushing back from minor injuries in 2012. Let the man heal up and not run out there for an early November game against the goddamn Bucks when he's limping up and down the court. Of course, that's exactly what happened:
Rose says he played at about 50 percent tonight. "Tonight's game was not my game at all."— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) November 6, 2014
Rose shouldn't have played against Milwaukee, and I can't help but think that the reason he did was because of so much local criticism. Let me tell you something about Chicago sports fans: 90 percent of them think Mike Ditka is a God. Mike Ditka is a complete dunce. Find a new false idol, Chicago, please. And let D. Rose live.
Pau rules. The difference between him and Boozer, just in terms of my pure happiness, is truly off the charts.
Re: Pau Gasol, Durant says meeting went well but cautioned, "He was more concerned about the city…He’s into, like, orchestras and plays."— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) November 3, 2014
I feel like he could convince me to start going to church or get really into opera by the end of this season. The possibilities are endless.
I also think, with the cap rising, paying $7 million a year for him as the backup center won't look so bad a couple years down the line. That's going to be his role on this team as Taj continues to make his case for being one of the best power forwards in the East and Mirotic continues his development.
In the immediate, Pau is just going to keep doing his thing. He'll post up a ton, but it'll usually work. He'll deliver weekly messages of inspiration. And he'll keep (I hope?) blocking a ton of shots. Pau has 13 blocks in five games. Boozer had 22 blocks all of last year.
Spread that out over a full season and Pau is on pace for 213 blocks this year. Boozer had 92 in four years.
Rookie hazing // Rookie bonding
Butler to McDermott speaking with media: "Give me props or I'll punch you in the face." McDermott: "Jimmy's gotta work on his free throws."— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) November 5, 2014
ROOKS. pic.twitter.com/y9LbbstV9b— Jahan (@H00PINATI) November 7, 2014
What is that on Mirotic's head? Also, I love the finger pointing thing. This guy! No, no, this guy! Pau is rubbing off on them already.
This week in Aaron Brooks
ESPN lists Aaron Brooks at 6-foot, 161 pounds. ESPN lists Magic center Nikola Vucevic at 7-foot, 260 pounds. What's that saying about the size of the fight in the dog? YEAH, THAT.
Aaron Brooks is the man. This Bulls team feels really likable, doesn't it?
The Booze News
This week in Carlos Boozer: Byron Scott thinks Carlos Boozer needs to start playing better defense!
Lakers head coach Byron Scott wants better defense from Carlos Boozer http://t.co/QsgU98T1cm— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) November 4, 2014
I love the Lakers.