Last year’s MVP of the NBA, Derrick Rose, has torn his ACL. The entire city of Chicago, let’s out a sigh of disappointment. It’s the final basketball injury Rose will suffer in a season plagued with them. All concerns about the ankle, foot, toe, back, and groin are now secondary to the knee. Will he be the same player? What happens to the explosiveness we all know and love? Will he have to play the game differently? They are all legitimate, un-answerable questions at the moment.
The Chicago Bulls must now assume the mentality of “us against the world.” They have been counted out by many even with Rose in the lineup. Now with him gone, no one thinks they have a chance of advancing. Sure maybe past a 76ers team that has been playing poorly for some time now and is considered lucky to have stayed in the postseason tournament, but past that, not so much.
One thing is for sure though. This team has to have a short memory. One plus, if there is any to playing without your best player, is that for much of the season, you’ve been doing just that. In fact, your entire backcourt has missed a combined 58 regular season games in a strike shortened season that saw only 66 to begin with.
Now, I’d be lying if I said my prediction after Rose going down for the entirety of the postseason, (and for sometime after that as well) was seeing this team advance past the conference finals, that is true. To be honest, if they draw the Celtics in the second round, I’m not so sure they beat them in a seven games series, but they have to beat the 76ers first anyways, topic for another blog. However, this is still a team that will not lie down. This team will be coached up. They will believe in themselves. They will play hard.
There is something to be said about a team that can go out and play without any pressure. Literally no one now after the Rose injury has them picked to win squat. They have nothing to lose. Feels funny saying this Bulls team that was tied for the best record in league with the San Antonio Spurs, and has the tie breaker for home court throughout the postseason, has nothing to lose. But this is the case. Many share the feeling that for the second year in a row, it will mean nothing. It’s another year gone by without knowing if this group works. Without knowing if we have enough to get to the finals. Another season that leaves us all with plenty of concerns, and of course, questions.
Written by Chris Loughlin
Chris can be found on twitter: @CLou85