Starting 5: Pressure on Rose to return, Clips are back, & Carlisle wanted Foye knocked down


Every morning, we’ll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  Bulls on their first losing streak of the season

The Chicago Bulls may finally be feeling the effects of being without Derrick Rose.  

The Bulls franchise record of 86 straight regular season games without consecutive losses ended last night when the Rockets handed them their first losing streak of the season.  The Bulls couldn’t hold on to leads of 15 and 13 points in the first and third quaters respectively, uncharacteristically giving up a a 17-2 that bridged the third and fourth quarters.  

It’s never as simple as saying “if Rose played, they could have won.”  We don’t know how the game would actually go.  But you’d think Rose would have been able to muster a few baskets in that run to help stem the tide.  With the Bulls have now lost a couple straight, the calls for Rose’s return will likely start to get louder.  The Bulls have been overly cautious with him, knowing that without him, a legitimate title run is very unlikely.  

Rose will return at some point.  But the question now is whether he’ll return a little sooner so the Bulls can get their act together more quickly.

2:  The Clippers are back

A couple of weeks ago, the Clippers were an imploding mess that seemed a beat away from firing their head coach and trying to salvage something out of a promising season.  Today, they own the league’s second longest current winning streak (six games) and have climbed to a game behind the LA Lakers for the Pacific division lead.  If the New Jersey Nets can do the Clippers a giant favor tonight and beat the Lakers, then tomorrow night’s game against the Lakers will be a fight for the division lead.

Celtics fans will find themselves in a jam in that one.  The Celtics own the Clippers first round pick this year, so C’s fans are rooting for the Clippers to lose just enough so the pick falls out of the top 10 (it’s a top 10 protected pick).  But the Clippers are playing the Lakers, a Celtics fan’s mortal enemy.  Mayby they’ll just root for an eight-overtime game that wrecks both teams for a week.  

We’ll see if the Clippers can maintain this momentum, or if facing their roommates will trigger a return to mediocrity.  With the Clippers, it seems outside forces affect them more than most, so a bad enough loss will have a more lingering effect.


Where did Nick Collison pull this out of??


How do you just leave Blake Griffin with that long of a run way to take off?


Kevin Durant ducks, crosses over, and finishes

4:  Line of the night: Paul Millsap – 31 points, 11 rebounds

Millsap out-gunned LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points, 7 rebounds) in a five point win over Portland.  The Jazz are still a game out of the playoffs, thanks to Houston’s upset of the Bulls.  

Millsap’s dunk with just over a minute left gave the Jazz their final lead of the night in a back-and-forth affair at the Rose Garden.  The Jazz had lost three straight games prior to this win. 

5:  You can quote me on that

“It’s the first I’ve heard of it. Obviously, I’d love to have Boris on the team but I never talked to anybody in New York.”
     –Steve Nash, refuting NY Post reports that he was furious the Suns didn’t pursue Boris Diaw

“I was waiting for somebody to knock (Foye) down, do something. We just didn’t do it, and really that’s on me.  If we’re not aware and if we’re not going to be physical with a guy that gets it going like that then it’s on the head coach.”
     -Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, after Foye dropped 28 points for the Clippers