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News » Williams, Rose celebrate by playing

Williams, Rose celebrate by playing

Williams, Rose celebrate by playing A lot of people got a kick out of playing and watching football on Thursday... Millions thoroughly enjoyed doing laps around the table with Tom Turkey and the holiday spread trimmings. Then there were those who delighted in mapping out a shopping strategy for today's mad rush. And Deron Williams and Derrick Rose? Their form of "fun" ?

a word they both used before their Turkey Night tussle ? was getting to play against each other. "It's fun to play against Derrick," Williams said. "He's one of the top point guards in this league, a young guy who's making a name for himself." Though Williams had much more fun this time if you judge the scoreboard ? a 105-86 blowout win for the Jazz over the Bulls at EnergySolutions Arena ? Rose gets up for occasions like these. The 25-year-old Williams, who's now in his fifth season, is one of the established NBA players the second-year player respects most. The young Chicago guard, who just turned a legal 21 last month, even claims Williams is worthy of being called a star while the 2008 No. 1 overall pick says he isn't. They both looked the part on Thursday. Williams had the Jazz's offense clicking and finished with 21 points on a sizzling 9-of-11 shooting to go with six assists and three steals. Rose turned in a 19-point effort, though he struggled a bit (four turnovers and just two assists) and his road-weary team struggled more against the Jazz and their leader. "He's one of the guys I look up to," said Chicago-bred Rose, who entered the NBA after one season at Memphis. "I'm happy I have the opportunity of playing against him." Make that a rare opportunity. Though they're widely considered to be two of the NBA's elite point guards of the future, the rising stars don't have much of a playing history and especially not when healthy. This Thanksgiving Day showdown, in fact, was the first time they've played when both players were close to being at full strength. The second-year Rose has nearly regained his form after suffering a preseason ankle injury, but he's closer to 100 percent than Williams was last December when he played against the Bulls' standout playmaker for the first time. Williams, at the time, was recovering from the severe ankle sprain he suffered when stepping on Rose's foot in the preseason. That injury forced Williams to miss Rose's first game against the Jazz , when the then-rookie poured in 25 points and nine assists in the Bulls' buzzer-beating 101-100 victory here a year ago. After missing 13 of the Jazz's first 17 games, Williams was back for Utah's game in Chicago. Though still a bit hobbled, the Jazz point guard totaled 19 points and six assists in the 106-98 loss, while Rose scored 24 points with five rebounds and three assists. As one who loves playing with Williams and who has admitted he'd like playing with Rose, Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer is excited to check out the point guard pairing for years to come. "Over the next 10 years, that's going to be one of the best match-ups to watch ? a young Derrick Rose coming into his own with Chicago and D-Will being arguably the best point guard," Boozer said. "That match-up's going to be good for a long time." That's how Jerry Sloan sees it, too. "Derrick Rose is a wonderful young player ? so is Deron," the Jazz coach said. "That's the future of Basketball." e-mail:

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Added: November 28, 2009


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