Derrick Rose added another magnificent clutch shot to his plethora of clutch shots for his career last night. Down by 3 in overtime with 7.3 seconds left, Rose ran towards Jimmy Butler, who was dribbling the ball on the wing. Rose went to set a screen for Butler, but erratically pulled away and called for the ball. With the ball in his hands, he blew right past Devin Harris and shot a leaning one-handed three-pointer over Brandan Wright. The ball banked in as the buzzer sounded, tying the game at 121 and sending it into a second overtime. Fans at the United Center went wild. This is what they have missed when Derrick Rose hasn't played. No one brings the United Center to a frenzy like Derrick Rose does (though Joakim Noah was close to doing so). He added to a growing list of clutch shots. For the sake of this article, I will define clutch shots as "game-tying or winning shots within the last 10 seconds of the quarter/overtime or as time expires." Where exactly did his shot rank last night against his other clutch shots, though?
In order to properly rank these beauties, I will take into account many things. The first thing is toughness of the shot. A leaning (and off-balanced) one-handed three-pointer is tougher than the same shot, but as a 14 footer from the baseline. The second thing is fan excitement. While this will be hard to test when the Bulls are on the road (unless they are in Milwaukee), fan excitement adds to the overall impact of the shot in the heat of the moment. The third thing I will take into account is other situational factors, such as who was guarding him, the angle of the shot, if he was set or not, etc.
(Note: This list is regular season-only. Does not include the game-winning lay-up Rose had against the Pacers)
7. Game-Tying Three Against Detroit
Rose made this shot look routine as he waltzed his way into a mildly-contested three-pointer. Joakim Noah got the rebound on one end and immediately made the outlet pass to Rose. Noah then ran the court and sets a hard screen for Rose, who goes around it and shoots a three over Greg Monroe. The ball hits nothing but net as Rose tied the game, ultimately forcing overtime. The shot was nothing hard, as Rose has been taking threes like that his entire career. Lackluster defending by Detroit really didn't help elevate this higher on the list. A superb effort by Rose and Noah was complimented by the play-by-play calling of Neil Funk and Stacey King on commentary.
6. Game Winner Against Washington
You have to travel all the way back to 2010 for this one. The Bulls and the Washington Wizards were in a heavyweight title belt, and Rose would provide the final knockout blow. Dribbling the clock out at the top of the key with the game tied at 119 in double overtime, Rose seemingly had the Wizards flustered. Some of the defenders were matched up in man-to-man coverage while others were doing zone defense. The Windy City Assassin, in Chicago, went to his left to seemingly go for a lay-up. In a Rose-esque manner, he pivoted with a spin-move and now was in the center of the lane wide-open for a floater. The floater touched nothing but net as the Bulls beat the Wizards in 2OT.
5. Game Winner In Los Angeles
Here is where things get interesting. The next 4 slots (including this one) could all be argued to be higher and lower on the list because they are all nearly equally phenomenal. Here on Christmas Day, Derrick Rose unwrapped a present for Bulls fans worldwide when he hit the game-winner over now-teammate Pau Gasol. The steal that lead to the Bulls possession was phenomenal, as the ball pressure really got to the Lakers. The Bulls got the ball to Rose on the left wing, looking to break down Derek Fisher. Rose was able to garner a smidgen of space from Fisher as he briskly got into the heart of the lane. Standing between him and the basket was 7'0" Pau Gasol. Derrick Rose was determined to score, and he hit a giant killer right over Gasol to get the basket and secure victory for the Bulls on Christmas Day.
4. Game-Tying Three Forces Double OT
Big time players make big time plays! This game-tying three as time expired reminded fans of why Rose is a former MVP. This was no easy shot, as he was off-balanced, leaning in and shooting with essentially one hand over the much taller Brandan Wright. This received the biggest pop of the night by far and was the loudest the United Center had been for the Bulls so far this season. His ability to get around Devin Harris and bank in the three over Wright was uncanny. You'll take them any way you can get them, right? Rose nonchalantly plays it off and runs back to the bench as the United Center goes into a frenzy.
3. Welcome Home, Derrick!
Before this shot, Rose was shooting 6-22 in his first regular season game back at the United Center since tearing his ACL. Like every great superstar, Rose wanted the ball in his hands when the game was on the line, despite his poor shooting. No matter who the Knicks could have thrown at him, Rose's determination would have trumped them in this situation. The Knicks threw Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler at Rose. Rose had to shoot the floater over Chandler while fending off Felton, who was coming towards him from his left to contest. This insane floater whipped the red-hot United Center crowd into pandemonium. Not a bad way to cap-off your first home game in over a year.
2. Game-Tying Three Against Houston
With no timeouts remaining (while down 3 points), Derrick Rose had to bring the ball up the court with just a shade over 10 seconds remaining. With 5.1 seconds on the clock, Rose almost loses his dribble out-of-bounds. With Rose's uncanny ability to make plays, however, the play was far from dead. Rose stopped on a dime and passed the ball to Noah, who held the ball out where only Rose could grab it (while setting a screen on his man). Rose grabbed the ball right back and rose up (HA) with 1.6 seconds left on the clock. With Luis Scola and Brad Miller closing in on him quickly, Rose took an off-balanced three. The ball went through the net right as time expired in the game. Once again, Derrick Rose whipped the United Center crowd into a frenzy as that amazing shot tied the game up and forced overtime. Rose was pumped up, and for good reason. This was his best three-pointer of his career, given the circumstances.
1. The Windy City Assassin Strikes In Milwaukee!
In a city that has become like a home away from home for the Bulls, Stacey King had the greatest call of his commentating career. With 18.1 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 104, everybody in the arena knew that Derrick Rose was going to have the ball and the game in his hands. The Bucks decided to not double-team Rose, instead relying on Brandon Jennings, who was unproven on the defensive end, to stop Rose. Rose started making his moves to put himself in a position to score with 5 seconds left on the clock. With 2.9 seconds left, his crossover froze Jennings, and Rose did a step back to free himself up for a clean look at the basket. Jennings recovered and was able to contest Rose's 19 foot jumpshot pretty well, but it was to no avail (let me step back and kiss myself!). Rose's jumper sank into the net as time expired and the crowd popped. Rose was off-balanced and fading away on this jumper. The video of his game-winner and Stacey King's call made the rounds around the NBA for the rest of they year and was a top-10 play of the year at the end of the season. Plays like this have defined Rose and have altered fan-perception of him to what it is today.