Rose's strength separates him from any guard in the NBA Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The vengeance that Derrick Rose promised following Sunday's heartbreaking loss on the road in Miami was signed, sealed and delivered to the Verizon Center Monday evening.
The Bulls held the lead for the entire duration of their 98-88 victory, in front of a large chunk of Chicago fans. Rose finished with 35 points, eight assists and a gaudy 14-of-15 from the charity stripe, vindicating the MVP chants that barreled through the arena off-and-on all night.
The 23-year-old point guard catapulted the Bulls with 13 first quarter points, mainly off of floaters in the middle of the paint. John Wall looked like a young boy stuck on the train tracks as Rose kept pushing his way into the paint. To Wall's credit, Rose would've done this against anyone on Monday. He just had that look in his eye.
There is some good to report for the Wizards. Washington didn't quit when they could've, down 22 in the third quarter. Washington outscored Chicago 29-22 in the fourth quarter with a very effective pressure defense.
Individually, Nick Young caught fire in the fourth, scoring 12 of his 17 total in the period. Trevor Booker continued his positive play from the Charlotte game with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, upping his total to 83 percent in the last three games.
*Why wasn't Chris Singleton guarding Derrick Rose man-to-man? I realize Singleton's in a slump, but if one of the best players in the league is going off like Rose was, you have to throw a drastically different look at him. Rose's strength off the pick-and-roll will continue to be too much for any Wizard guard to handle. Singleton's length would've made Rose think twice about certain drives, and would've forced him to take more shots.
*The biggest turn of events in the game came in the second quarter. The Wizards trailed 40-34 and had a serious surge of momentum brewing. Off a Carlos Boozer miss, Jordan Crawford grabbed the rebound, dribbled up the court and fired up a wild three in the corner -- just terrible shot selection for the situation. Chicago hurried up the court and found Kyle Korver for three of his 17 points. The Wizards window of opportunity closed from then on out.
*Kyle Korver was a deadly sniper for the Bulls, stroking four of his five triples in the first half. Imagine if John Wall had a specialist to work with like that. The Bulls spacing in the fast break make them as balanced as any team in the NBA, and Korver is a gigantic part of that. If only Rashard Lewis was still Rashard Lewis from the Magic...
*The Wizards didn't necessarily miss Andray Blatche's presence tonight, but it may be felt soon. 13 minutes of Kevin Seraphin a night is not healthy for my basketball-watching eyes.
Randy Wittman on the loss: "I have no fault in the effort and play tonight. That's a very good basketball team."
John Wall on how tough it is guarding Derrick Rose: "They did a really great job of getting [Rose] into pick-and-rolls...he got to the foul line 15 times so it was pretty tough."
Randy Wittman on Derrick Rose: "Rose had a helluva game. He made shots...that from a man-to-man standpoint, I don't know what else you can do."
John Wall on the Bulls keying in on him in fourth quarter: "They have a good defensive team in the half court so it's tough. Basically they started trapping me and got the ball out of my hands."
Nick Young on the loss "We fought until the end. Just got to give them credit."
John Wall on if he can become a Derrick Rose in 2-3 years: "It all depends on my development and it depends on how the team gets [me] the ball...They have guys that can make shots. Big men that make the right passes."
Randy Wittman on his full-court press in the fourth: "I said let's go guy, we have one chance here to make this a ball game. And we got it down to eight and I looked at the guys on our bench and I said this is a chance to steal this game."
John Wall on how Derrick Rose makes all the right decisions: "It's not hard when you got guys like Kyle Korver who can make shots and a guy like Carlos Boozer who can pick and pop."
Nick Young on the full-court pressure in the fourth quarter: "It got the ball out of Rose's hand for a little bit. [It forced] Joakim to make plays. It worked out for us. It's something you got to learn from and build of off."