Rose shoves thorn in Wizards' side

Rose shoves thorn in Wizards' side
January 31, 2012, 5:07 am
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John Wall and Derrick Rose share a lot of things in common. In addition to both playing point guard, they're nearly the same build, with Wall at 6 feet 4, 200 pounds and Rose 6-3, 205. They were both taken No. 1 in the NBA draft after benefiting from a year of college under the tutelage of current Kentucky coach John Calipari.

But in the Wizards' 98-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls, these two were light years apart.

He made tough shots. There was just nothing you could do, said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman after Roses season-high 35 points. When he made shots over our big men with his runner, he leaves you no choice but to try different things. He also creates a lot of plays for his teammates.

Less than 24 hours after missing two crucial free throws in a loss to the Miami Heat, Rose was determined to make amends. Tonight I'm going to try and go crazy, Rose said during Chicagos shoot-around.

The reigning MVP put his stamp on the game from the outset, scoring 13 in the opening quarter.

A few times I caught myself just watching the shots he was taking because they are really unbelievable, said Wizards forward Trevor Booker, who was one rebound short of a double-double after scoring 14 points off the bench. He is definitely at the top of the league. He is a tough player and to be able to watch him in person was great. I watch him on TV, but actually playing against him and watching some of the things he does is crazy.

Not one to back down from a challenge, Wall went right back at Rose, scoring a team-high 20 for the Wizards. After getting off to a slow start this season, Wall is averaging 18.4 points, 7.2 assists, 6.6 rebounds in his last 10 games. His recent success has caught the eye of Rose.

Hes a young player with a young, up-and-coming team, Rose said. You can tell hes really been working on his game, and I wish him nothing but the best.