Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose put up 29 points in the 104-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday to temporarily silence his critics.
Rose had gone through the worst three-game slump of his career over the past week or so, but bounced back in a big way against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder to lead his team to a win with some key plays particularly down the stretch.
Jimmy Butler added 26 for the Bulls, while Westbrook scored 20 and had 10 assists as OKC dropped their third straight game having played four times in five nights.
While that may have been a factor in the encounter, it couldn’t deny Rose an impressive bounce-back performance as he produced the kind of plays that he did during his MVP season.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether or not he can sustain that level in the coming weeks and months, as while he may have silenced his doubters on Thursday night, it doesn’t take much of a struggle for them to jump straight on his back again.
The 27-year-old is still seen as a crucial part of Chicago’s chances of winning a championship, despite speculation over his future as well as off-the-court distractions, as noted by Bleacher Report.
To remove the doubts and criticism entirely, Rose will have to prove that this isn’t just a ‘once every week’ affair, and that he can continue to come up big when his team needs him late in games.