Rose ready to make another big jump in year 3


Rose ready to make another big jump in year 3

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010
4:42 PM

By Mark Schanowski

Remember when Derrick Rose posed the question Why cant I be the best player in the league? when I asked him about his individual goals for the season at Bulls Media Day? Well, winning MVP honors might not be within the 3rd year guards reach THIS season, but theres no reason why he couldnt make the jump to join the ranks of the top 10-12 players in the NBA.

Where would you rank Rose among the NBAs top players? Please post your comments in the section below.

Certainly hes in the top 25 after making his first All-Star team last season. And, coming off his gold medal winning performance as the starting point guard for Team USA at the World Championship in Turkey, hes getting more national recognition than ever before. Dont be surprised if Rose is voted in as a starting guard for the Eastern Conference at this seasons All-Star game in L.A. Hes becoming more comfortable in front of the television cameras during interviews, and hes added a number of national endorsements to his resume.

But when you get right down to it, what matters most is what Rose and the Bulls can accomplish on the court this season. And, if you watched Rose race through the Toronto defense Tuesday night, you got a small sampling of what he intends to do to opposing teams this season. Rose worked on improving his shooting range all summer, and he says he now has complete confidence in his ability to knock down 3-pointers. His mid-range jumper looks better than ever, and we know there isnt a defender in the league who can stay in front of him when hes got the ball in an open court situation.

You can figure Derrick will get off to a fast start this season while Carlos Boozer continues his rehab from a broken hand. Rose will be counted on to provide 18 to 24 points a night, and take the shots in clutch situations. New coach Tom Thibodeau wants his team to push the ball whenever possible, and theres not a faster guard in the league than Rose when it comes to speed off the dribble. Thibodeau is experimenting with playing 7-footers Joakim Noah and Omer Asik together, and the idea behind that is to dominate the defensive boards and create more blocked shots, sending Rose into the open court to attack outnumbered defenders on the fast break.

Right now, my list of the top 6 players in the league would be LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. After that, theres a larger group of star players that would include Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Pau Gasol, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Steve Nash. In my opinion, Rose is already part of that second group, and going into the 2011-12 season, he just might be ready to crack the top half dozen.

Watching Rose with the ball in the open court is the biggest treat for Bulls fans since the days of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. And, dont forget, Derrick just turned 22, so his best days are still ahead. It will be a lot of fun watching Rose and the Bulls continue to grow in the years ahead.


Another player poised to make a jump this season is 4th year center Joakim Noah. He almost put up a triple double in the pre-season win over Toronto, with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Noah is more confident and determined than ever after signing that long term contract extension with the Bulls. Forget about losing the desire to play hard once you receive the big money. Joakim is player harder than ever, running down loose balls and battling for every rebound on both ends of the floor.

Noah put in a lot time this summer with Thibodeau working on his offensive skills, and the work has obviously paid off. Noah showed a nice touch last season shooting jump hooks with either hand, and he became a lot more consistent knocking down the open 15 foot jump shot. This season, look for Noah to be used even more as a facilitator in the offense, both on the block and at the high post. He has tremendous passing skills for a big man, as evidenced by his beautiful backdoor feed to a cutting Rose for a twisting reverse lay-up against Toronto.

When Thibodeau goes with his big line-up playing Noah and Asik together, Joakims ability to run the floor and crash the offensive glass will become even more valuable. Noah probably wont boost his scoring average much, especially when Boozer returns to action in late November, but his all-around game should draw attention from Eastern Conference coaches when its time to pick All-Star reserves in February.

So, what do you think? Will the Bulls have two All-Stars this season? Will Rose be voted in by the fans as an All-Star starter? And, where do you think Rose ranks among the NBAs elite players?

Please post your comments in the section below. Only two weeks until opening night in Oklahoma City, so enjoy the rest of the pre-season.

Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNite, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10.

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf cheering for Cubs in World Series: 'Cubs fans have suffered enough'

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf cheering for Cubs in World Series: 'Cubs fans have suffered enough'

The White Sox took to Twitter on Saturday night to congratulate their crosstown rivals on earning their first World Series berth since 1945.

Two days later Jerry Reinsdorf took it a step farther.

The White Sox owner told Chicago Sun-Times' Michael Sneed that he'll be rooting for the Cubs when they begin their series against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

"I think it would be great for Chicago if the Cubs won!

"Cubs fans have suffered enough. They deserve to have a winner. It would be great for the city.

"My White Sox fans won't be happy with me saying this. They'll think I'm a traitor. But that's how I feel."

Reinsdorf may have felt different had his White Sox not hoisted the World Series trophy in 2005. But he understands how Cubs fans feel; when the South Siders won the 2005 World Series it ended an 87-year drought. That was the second longest drought in MLB history, behind only the Cubs and their current 107-year streak.

Perhaps the fact that the Cubs are playing a White Sox AL Central rival in the Indians helps matters.

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Either way, Reinsdorf is hoping to see the Cubbies bring home the title for the first time since 1908.

"I have never been a Cubs fan," Reinsdorf said. "But I really do wish them well."


Bulls: Fred Hoiberg, Dwyane Wade soak themselves in Cubs fever

Bulls: Fred Hoiberg, Dwyane Wade soak themselves in Cubs fever

The party that started Saturday night on the north side of town had vibes that stretched all the way west of downtown, as the Chicago Bulls players and coaches soaked themselves in Cubs fever.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has been a lifelong Cubs fan due to growing up in Iowa and of course, Dwyane Wade came back home at the right time to witness the Cubs winning the pennant for the first time since 1945.

“It’s been fun, it’s been fun to watch. I’ve talked about how together that team is, how much of confidence, how much of a swagger they play with,” Hoiberg said. “It’s just a fun team that looks like it has unbelievable chemistry.”

Playfully, Hoiberg admitted he went streaking in Wrigleyville after the Cubs finished off the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field—although if he actually had been streaking, Hoiberg probably would’ve blended in with the deliriousness that took place well into Saturday night.

Seriously, though, Hoiberg admires the unity and joy the Cubs have played with all season—embracing the expectations without letting themselves get engulfed in them.

“It’s a team that I think you can learn from with what they’re doing and the backing that they have from the city,” Hoiberg said. “Cubs fans, from the time they’re born like myself, they’re just, it’s been awesome to watch and see the celebration after the game.”

Wade agrees, and having been part of three championship teams, knows chemistry when he sees it.

“That team has figured out a way, even during this series when it looked like their back was against the wall they came out swinging. They stuck together,” Wade said. “You have to support each other. No matter who’s on the basketball court for us, who’s on the bench, it’s all about supporting each other and really caring about the other guy. When you start caring about the other person, you don’t want to let that other person down on the court. You become a better team because of that.”

With the World Series starting Tuesday in Cleveland, Wade and good friend LeBron James will likely make a friendly wager, with the two exchanging playful tweets after the Cubs’ clincher.

“It’s been a long, long, long time, and just obviously I felt the buzz when I got back to the city, and everyone thinking that this was the Cubs’ year,” Wade said. “And they’ve been obviously playing amazing, so it’s great. It’s great to be in Chicago at this time with the Cubs being as successful as they are so far, and so it’s good to be here and it’s good to be a sports fan at this time in Chicago, so it’s good.”

Cleveland has gone from a national sports joke to one with an embarrassment of riches in the past six months, while the Cubs are trying to end the longest championship drought in the four major sports.

“Just pride in your city. Cleveland has obviously had droughts in sports and then he went back there to change that drought from the standpoint of basketball, and they accomplished that,” Wade said. “And now Cleveland is trying to do the same, and they got to a World Series, which has been a drought for them.”

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Luckily for the Bulls—or any Chicago sports fan for that matter—Thursday’s season opener doesn’t conflict with a game, but fans won’t be so lucky next Saturday night. The Bulls will play the Indiana Pacers while the Cubs will host Cleveland for Game 4. Wade doesn’t think he’ll have trouble getting into Wrigley Field, but after Scottie Pippen’s unfortunate rendition of “Take me out to the ballgame” Saturday night, Wade wants an opportunity for a reprieve.

“I know Scottie butchered the 7th-inning stretch. I think me and Jimmy (Butler) and (Rajon) Rondo could do a good job together if they ask us to do it,” Wade said. “It’s just cool to be a part of it.”

Hoiberg summed it up succinctly, likely echoing the beliefs of many long-suffering Cubs fans.

“Four more to go,” Hoiberg said. “I like their chances just because of how confident they’re playing.”