Derrick Rose means more to Bulls than Patrick Kane does to Blackhawks

Written By BY DAN MCGRATH For Sun-Times Media Posted: 03/21/2014, 10:42pm

The man doesn’t tweet, but if he did . . .

Derrick Rose and Patrick Kane are the two top performers in town, but Rose’s injury-induced idleness will end up being felt more keenly than Kane’s. The frenetic pace and physical nature of hockey require a larger, deeper roster, and the Blackhawks augment Kane with star-quality talent: Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, etc. The Bulls augment Rose with . . . Joakim Noah?

◆ Say no more about the coaching job Tom Thibodeau has done this season.

◆ I love Noah’s energy and passion. But as I watched the Thunder slice the Bulls into ineffectual little pieces last week, I had to wonder: If Jo is the NBA’s most valuable player, then what does that make Kevin Durant?

◆ I hope D-Rose watched the same game. Post-surgery Russell Westbrook is the player Rose ought to emulate: still explosive but more judicious about when to explode, with a credible outside shot as an alternate weapon.

◆ If I’m the Big Ten Network, I hire Brent Musburger tomorrow. He’s a Big Ten guy, for starters, and he brings a big-timer’s credibility that the network doesn’t get from its earnest, young talking heads or play-by-play people.

◆ Orr High School player makes game-winning supersectional shot nine days after being shot! Incredible story. Am I the only one wondering what a high school kid is doing out at a house party at 3:30 in the morning? More accomplished night-lifers than I always maintained that nothing good ever happens after midnight.

◆ I understand the wisdom of 500 Class AAA at-bats for Javier Baez, but the Cubs should bite the bullet and put the best hitter in the organization in their Opening Day lineup. With that Gary Sheffield bat speed, Baez won’t be overmatched. And the Cubs’ restless fan base needs a reason to be excited about the season.

◆ Speaking of 500 at-bats, I wonder what kind of numbers White Sox outfielder Jordan Danks would put up if given that many in a season. I also wonder if we’ll ever find out.

◆ Is there life after Josh McCown? The coverage of his departure from the Bears was rather subdued, given that he was hailed as a Johnny Unitas clone as he mulled his future. It was five games, folks, not five seasons. Then again, the Bears’ backup quarterback is just about always the most popular athlete in town.

◆ This ‘‘Cinderella’’ cooing about Wichita State in the NCAA tournament ignores the fact that the Shockers were a Final Four team last season, with three starters and five members of an eight-man rotation returning, including an elite point guard and ample front-line muscle.

◆ Ohio State-Dayton was the ultimate trap game for OSU. ‘‘Lesser’’ Ohio schools always relish a shot at the mighty Buckeyes, who were offensively challenged and a little too cool for school this season. Dayton not only claims a proud hoops pedigree, but it also claims the headline of the year in the Dayton Daily News: ‘‘THE University of Dayton.’’

◆ My bracket, as though you cared, is a candidate for federal disaster relief, reflective of the fact that I know nothing. I was liking Louisville as a repeat champion until I saw Adreian Payne and Michigan State go to work against Delaware.

◆ Oliver Purnell has nine conference victories in four seasons at DePaul. A football coach with maybe half as many shots at conference victories gets bounced with that record, doesn’t he?

◆ Barry Bonds, working at the Giants’ spring camp as an instructor, attributed his dramatic weight loss to his enthusiastic embrace of cycling when reporters asked about his retro look. What an odd coincidence that Bonds would embrace Lance Armstrong’s sport.

◆ Herb Score once told me it was a ‘‘bum shoulder’’ and not a line drive to the face that derailed a potential Hall of Fame career when Score was a 24-year-old Indians left-hander in 1957. But I couldn’t help thinking about Score — and hoping for a better outcome — when I saw that sickening clip of Reds closer Aroldis Chapman’s frightful injury last week.

◆ Good news for Northwestern: Jordan Ash, the junior guard at St. Joseph who committed to the Wildcats last week, is as good a high school player as I saw this season, right up there with Kentucky-bound Tyler Ulis of Marian Catholic.

◆ Thursday, May 22 through Sunday, May 25. That’s your last chance to see Derek Jeter in Chicago, at U.S. Cellular Field. I plan to go. For the last 18 years, Jeter has embodied what a ballplayer is — or should be. Pride of the Yankees, indeed.

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