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Article posted: 2/7/2014 1:36 PM

TNT's Barkley: Rose will never be MVP again

By Mike McGraw

Late Thursday night, after Golden State's Stephen Curry blistered the Bulls for 34 points and handed them a 102-85 loss, the TNT studio crew discussed the future of the Bulls.

For starters, Charles Barkley doesn't think Derrick Rose will ever get back to his old self -- specifically, the 2010-11 version.

"Injuries have changed Derrick Rose's career," Barkley said. "I don't think he can be the same player. I think you can come back from one knee injury, but I'm not sure you can come back from two and get to an MVP level. He'll be a good player, maybe an all-star, but not an MVP."

Rose is traveling with the team on its current road trip and shooting around before games. It's too soon to tell if there's any chance he'll return late in the season, but the Bulls have said he won't.

Then the topic shifted to whether the Bulls should make a run at New York's Carmelo Anthony this summer.

"I don't think that would be a good fit," Shaquille O'Neal said. "You have to say to yourself, 'Would Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony be a good fit together?' They both like to dominate the ball and dribble a lot. Upstairs, you have to make the smart decision and build around Derrick Rose or do something without Rose to build for the future."

Anthony can opt out of his contract with the Knicks this summer. But in order to add the high-scoring forward, the Bulls would have to either make a trade or clear more cap space by dumping Taj Gibson.

"The Chicago Bulls are only one player away. Is Derrick Rose that player? Is Carmelo Anthony? Because of the way and the style Tom Thibodeau has them play, they are only one guy away," Kenny Smith said. "They need somebody who can create double teams and create easy shots for other guys on the team."

No stopping Curry:

The Bulls got off to a fast start against the Warriors, building a 34-18 advantage early in the second quarter. But once Stephen Curry got going, there was no stopping him.

The Western Conference all-star starter hit 13 of 19 field goals. He and Klay Thompson (22 points) combined to drain 7 of 12 attempts from 3-point range.

Most of the time, Bulls defenders had a hand in Curry's face, but it did no good.

"I don't think our defense was bad," Kirk Hinrich said after the game, according to a bulls.com report by Sam Smith. "It wasn't like we were making a bunch of mistakes out there.

"You can't give that guy any cushion. One time I was kind of in no man's land as he was bringing it up and he nailed it from about 30 feet. He's got every shot in the book. I don't know what you do. Guard him as tough as you can and let the chips fall where they may."

The Warriors took a 50-46 lead by halftime and stayed in control throughout the second half. When the Bulls closed within 4 points early in the fourth quarter, 3-pointers by Harrison Barnes and Curry sparked a 10-0 Golden State run.

The Bulls answered with 3-pointers by Tony Snell and Jimmy Butler, then a pair of free throws by Butler brought the Bulls within 91-85. On the other end, Gibson blocked a driving attempt by Andre Iguodala, only to have Jermaine O'Neal grab the loose ball and fire it out to Jordan Crawford for a 3-pointer that made it 94-85 with 2:11 left.

Gibson steps up as starter:

One bright spot for the Bulls on Thursday was Taj Gibson delivering 26 points and 13 rebounds. Gibson started in place of Carlos Boozer, who aggravated a calf strain before the contest.

It was Gibson's sixth game of more than 20 points this season.

"Taj Gibson is probably the best low post scorer on this Chicago Bulls team," TNT analyst Reggie Miller said during the broadcast. "He's really been that glue guy for Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls with all of the injuries."

Thibodeau said Boozer was jumping around in the locker room, warming up for the game, when the injury occurred. It's not certain if he'll be ready for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which will wrap up the ice show road trip.

"I'm a pro," Gibson said. "I appreciate being in the NBA. I appreciate wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey. I just go out there and do my job; however many minutes I'm going to get. "

Joakim Noah had a unique double-double against Golden State, finishing with 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

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