Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Chicago Bulls: Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Finals Preview?

The LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls face off tonight in a match-up between two of the NBA's premier teams.

Kobe Bryant made the game even more interesting when he heaped praise on Derrick Rose, the Bulls' young point guard, during an interview with ESPN's Michael Wilbon.

"I can tell when a player truly wants to be better and does what it takes to improve," Bryant said. "It was a quality I had when I was growing up.… I admire that about him."

And what's not to admire?

Rose is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA in just his third year in the league. He's averaging 25.1 ppg, 8.2 apg and 1.1 spg, while shooting nearly 46 percent from the field. He's achieving career highs in almost every statistical category. And even more importantly, his Bulls are atop the Central Division with a 12-8 record.

He's not doing it alone, of course. Free agent acquisition Carlos Boozer has been terrific since returning from injury, and is already averaging 15 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Joakim Noah has emerged as one of the league's best centers, averaging a double-double with 14.8 ppg and 12.3 rpg. Even swingman Luol Deng is playing better, contributing a remarkable 18 ppg and 6.6 rpg.

Every championship team needs to have size, scorers and at least one franchise player. 

Do the Bulls have size?

Joakim Noah (6'11"), Kurt Thomas (6'9") and Carlos Boozer (6'9") are all good to great players capable of throwing their weight around. Check.

Do the Bulls have scoring?

Luol Deng (42.4 percent), Derrick Rose (45.6 percent) and Kyle Korver (45.1 percent) are all lethal shooters from all over the floor, while Noah (51.9 percent), Boozer (52.6 percent) and Taj Gibson (50.0 percent) do an excellent job cleaning up around the basket. Check.

Do the Bulls have a franchise player?

Derrick Rose is not just one of the best point guards in the NBA, he's one ...

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