DRose makes “The Shot”

I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve watched DRose’s game-winning buzzer beater over and over and over today. That’s partially because I was so nervous at the end of the game last night that I had to turn it off and just get alerts on my phone.

Don’t worry, I’ve got it on DVR and will re-watch over and over and over. ICYMI (In Case You Missed It), the Bulls defeated the Cavs 99 to 96 to take a 2-1 lead in the best of seven series.

With “the shot,” can we all finally agree that DRose is vindicated? Will “the shot,” combined with is 30-point performance finally quiet the the doubters, naysayers and negative nellies? Maybe not. Or maybe just until the next game (which by the way, for anyone who is counting, will tip off with just one day’s rest).

Why so stoic, Derrick? Why no fist-pumping, skipping, court side celebrating, or even a smile?

Some say it’s because Derrick is so confident in himself and his game that “the shot,” and a performance like that are both expected.

Others, like me, tend to believe that he doesn’t want to give into any kind of emotions for fear that once he turns them on, they can’t be turned off. Tears of joy? That’s what I was thinking, but then I’m just an old sap anyway.

The game-winning buzzer-beater was so much more than just a “shot.” It was a defining moment, and once and for all re-established DRose as a superstar, and one of the greatest players in the NBA.

“That’s his greatness,” said Thibodeau. “There are not many like him. As a matter of fact there are not any that combine the speed, the quickness, the power and he is shaking the rust off.”

After both Jo and Derrick survived the massive post-shot hugging and leaping (which is probably not highly recommended given an undisclosed injury to Jo which is preventing him from getting lift to the basket, but far be it for me to judge), this is what Jo had to say:

“Derrick’s gone through so much over the last couple of years. So much adversity, so much pain not being able to play basketball games. He’s somebody who has a lot of confidence in himself, more than anybody I’ve ever been around. I know he’s special. I just feel great right now he hit a huge shot for us. But we are not satisfied. We just need to stay hungry, stay humble and be ready for a huge Game 4.”

It was a one-in-a-lifetime moment that will go down in history. In my estimation, the combination of Derrick’s stellar performance, capped off with “the shot” is a turning point.

Derrick really is Derrick. Yes, indeed – “He’s Back.”

The Bulls, after a three-year struggle, are finally in a position to do something special. To have the character, fortitude and confidence to persevere through two and a half or three (I lost count) years of lonely, tedious and painful rehab like Derrick did. Well, you’ve got to respect that.

He deserves this moment, and many more. I want to go to the Eastern Conference Finals as much as the Bulls, and from this vantage point, the odds seem to be in their favor.

But if last night’s game, with that shot was the end to the season, I could live with it. In fact, I would count this season as a success.

I realize I’m out-numbered when it comes to that sentiment, so I’m also going to be more than happy when the Bulls face their other arch-nemesis Wizards in the next round (unless Hotlanta finds a way to turn the heat back up).

And facing the Clips or Warriors in THE Finals wouldn’t be too bad either.

Footnotes:

1.) Congratulations to Jimmy Butler for winning the NBA Most Improved Player award, which seemed to have gotten lost given the game 3 storyline.

2.) Taj Gibson was a beast, and some say, the best player in the game last night. Stealing a page out of JB’s playbook, he did it all, even the laundry. With Pau potentially being out with the hamstring injury, we may see Taj in the starting lineup. And yes, he’s from Brooklyn.

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Cavs.

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