By John Hollinger
Derrick Rose may not make the All-Star team, especially since the votes were all in before the Bulls' win Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, but he’s finally emerging as a star. His impressive performance on the road against the Thunder -- 13-of-23 from the floor (56.5 percent), seven assists, just two turnovers -- was the latest in a series of virtuoso efforts.
It seems that the only thing that was holding him back the first month and a half of the season was the ankle injury he suffered in training camp. Check out his monthly splits:
November: 16.2 points, 5. 3 assists, 46.4 percent shooting
December: 20.4 points, 6.1 assists, 45.0 percent shooting
January: 23.5 points, 6.5 assists, 51.4 percent shooting
Thanks to Rose, the Bulls are 12-5 in their past 17 games, including 10 road games. Out of the blue, Chicago stands in complete control of the No. 8 seed in the East and in position to surge as high as No. 5 by the end of the season. In the process, Rose has not only made a case for himself as an All-Star -- he’s also almost certainly saved coach Vinny Del Negro’s job.