It has become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that Derrick Rose(notes) is going to win this year's MVP award. He's the top scorer on the East's best team, and he carries with him a nice story of a young, extremely talented player working to become a better player. Advanced stats haven't always been Rose's friend, but his classic numbers and narrative win out. He may not be your preferred choice for the role, but it's time to get used to the image of him holding the trophy aloft before a home playoff game in Chicago.
If you're having trouble with that idea, watch this play from Thursday night's 97-81 Bulls win over the Celtics, in which you'll see Rose drive to his left towards the baseline, go up with his right hand insted of his left, and kiss the ball gently very high off the glass. The degree of difficulty on this shot is crazy, and it proves that Rose has become a more creative scorer as he becomes increasingly important to the Chicago offense. Even if you don't think Rose is the best MVP candidate around, you can't argue with this shot.
Also, Thursday night's performance proved somewhat clearly that the Bulls are the favorites in the East. This issue has been in some question for much of the season, in part because this Bulls squad has never won a playoff series. But experience only counts for so much when a team's execution at both ends of the floor has given them the best record in the conference. Performance is paramount, and Rose proves that every game.