Three Things We Learned in the NBA Thursday: Derrick Rose is looking like himself again

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If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while laughing at as bad a failed dunk as you’ll see….

Derrick Rose is looking like vintage Derrick Rose, and the Bulls are following along. One win alone does not mean the Bulls’ slump is over — even if they did beat the Spurs Thursday, the Mavericks are up on Friday — but there are some promising signs. One is that Thursday was by far the best the Bulls defense has looked in a long while, holding the Spurs regular starters to 81 points on 37 percent shooting. But bigger than that is Derrick Rose looks to be back to being Derrick Rose. He had 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting in the win, but the key is he is doing it attacking — 11 of his 16 shots were inside 8 feet of the rim. This has been the trend of late, he’s got a feel for the game and attacks again. Also, his three pointers are falling — he was 2-of-4 against the Spurs and is shooting 42 percent from three over his last 10 games. If Rose is back and the Bulls start to find their defense… well, let’s see them do it for a few games in a row before we say the slump is fully over.

No LaMarcus Aldridge, no Robin Lopez, no win for Trail Blazers. Portland is currently the three seed in the West at 31-13, but in the unforgiving Western Conference that means they are just four games ahead of being the seven seed. That is what losing LaMarcus Aldridge for 6-8 weeks really means — especially with Robin Lopez also still out with a hand injury. The Blazers also lost Nicolas Batum to a wrist injury in the third quarter (no word yet on how serious that may be). That’s three starters and a key bench player out for Portland right now, which means some off nights where they fall to teams like the Celtics. A few more of those and suddenly the Blazers are sliding down the standings a little. Blazers fans should be a little concerned.

Only one thing of interest happened in the Clippers/Nets game. And it didn’t have anything to do with the game — that was as bad a rout as you will see. The Nets are a bad team and the Clippers specialize in crushing bad teams. No, the only interesting thing was this Vine, which ended up all over social media. Blake Griffin having fun with one of the Clippers’ staff.