In the eyes of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the Chicago Bulls' second half schedule is shaping up just perfectly. The reason? Well, it just so happens that the team's second and third games after the All-Star break offer the Bulls back-to-back opportunities at sweet revenge.
Last night, the Bulls avenged the 98-82 shellacking suffered at the hands of the upstart Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 1st with a 96-91 win in the Cream Cheese State. Rose was called upon early and often, delivering 35 points on 12-23 from the field, including 4-7 from three and a high degree of difficulty fourth quarter shot in the lane to seal it.
"I was just excited to play them again," the reigning MVP explained.
On Sunday, the Bulls' Rose was asked about the comments he made in January after the Indiana Pacers post game celebration left him fired up.
"I haven't forgotten about anything," Rose responded. "I remember that. They're a good team. I know they're definitely going to be ready. I know we're going to be ready. And it should be an exciting game."
Pacers coach Frank Vogel responded a few days after Rose's original comments with an obvious intended slight towards the Bulls' Noah.
"I don't know if we really celebrated any more than a lot of teams celebrated when they get a road win," Vogel said on "The Scott Van Pelt Show" on ESPN Radio. "I know they've got a couple guys on their team who celebrate on every play."
Not to be outdone, the alway quotable Noah embraced his high-energy role and outward personality after the win in Philadelphia.
"Derrick gets hype off people celebrating," Noah said. "When people talk about celebration I just feel like, 'You're not going to out-celebrate me.' Roy Hibbert cannot out-celebrate me. So if they want to see some celebration when we win, I can show them some celebration ... I know how to celebrate."
The Bulls and Pacers will return to the scene of the crime Monday night for a 7:00 PM tip at the United Center.
Don't be surprised if the game's intensity elicits a few flashbacks to the classic battles between Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan.
Rose photo via Wikimedia.