By A.Sherrod Blakely
CHICAGO Every time Derrick Rose went to the free throw line, the 'M-V-P' chants would begin.
Bulls fans aren't the only ones singing the praises of Rose, who delivered a dominating performance in leading Chicago to a 97-81 win over Boston.
Rose led all scorers with 30 points to go with eight assists and five rebounds.
"They're not chanting 'M-V-P' for nothing," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "He's well deserving, how he's carried himself, how he's played. His play is doing all the talking."
And that play is screaming, ''You can't guard me'' to the Celtics and any other team that the Bulls have faced lately.
Delonte West was one of the Celtics defenders who spent some time Thursday trying to guard Rose.
West told CSNNE.com that he has noticed how Rose has become a more complete, all-around player.
"Before, he would just put his head down and just go to the basket," West told CSNNE.com. "But now . . . I remember one play on Thursday when he just pulled up for a long 3-pointer and made it. He didn't used to take that shot. If he starts taking that and making it, he becomes a really unstoppable player out there."
What has separated Rose from some of the other talented guards in the NBA, has been the combination of speed, strength, court vision and athleticism.
When you look at the NBA's top point guards, such as Rondo, Chris Paul in New Orleans, Deron Williams in New Jersey and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, they all have those qualities -- but few are as strong in all those areas like Rose.
And as good as he has been this season, he strikes you as a player who isn't completely satisfied with where he or his team is right now.
When asked if he thought the Bulls (58-20), in need of one win to clinch the top spot in the East, are playoff ready, Rose responded, "No. We still have a lot more games to go. We're just going to take advantage of it. Take advantage of every shootaround, every game we have left and try to keep this going."
To keep it going in the playoffs, there's a very good chance that these two teams might meet at some point in the postseason.
Rose has shown the Celtics that he does respect what they have done in recent years.
But there's no fear -- none at all.
"We know we can beat them," Rose said. "If anything, they just know that we're going to play hard. We're a team that's going to keep fighting."