Here we go again. Bulls fans have to get used to seeing Derrick Rose wearing a suit like he is above, instead of wearing a Chicago Bulls uniform like he should be this time of year. Of course, at this point, even though Rose has played for most of the season, we’re still more used to seeing him in business attire than we are seeing him handling his business on the court.
Rose, who has averaged 18.4 points and 5 assists in 46 games played this season, again requires Medial Meniscus surgery on the same knee that he had a Medial Meniscus tear on in 2013. That surgery cost Rose the rest of the season. Yet another setback for the guy that was supposed to lead the Bulls to the ‘Promised Land’.
Here’s a startling stat: Rose has missed playing in 197 of the 282 games played by the Bulls since the start of the 2011 season. Ouch! It’s unclear just how long he will be out this time. But, with his history of injuries, it’s quite conceivable that it will be a significant amount of time. So, can the Bulls survive without him? Maybe.
No team wants to lose a player the caliber of Derrick Rose. Not even with all the injuries he’s sustained. However, this version of D-Rose was not the D-Rose fans grew to love, and opponents grew to fear. This D-Rose was hurting the Bulls, and their chances of winning an NBA Title. Never have we seen Rose depend on the three-point shot as much as we have this season. Never has Rose been so passive, where in times in the past he was so aggressive. The dependency on shooting jumpers, and the disappearance at times of him driving the ball to the hoop made for a lot of bad shots. Those bad shots took quality shots away from players like Jimmy Butler and Paul Gasol who are having strong seasons. Butler, is a player that looks like he can handle an expanded role very easily, and Gasol looks the best he’s looked in years.
Then, there’s Kirk Hinrich back at the point. Hinrich, is no Derrick Rose talent wise. However, he’s a smart player that has the experience of leading a team’s offense efficiently. Something Rose really hasn’t done enough of this season. The Bulls have been mediocre on both sides of the floor, and Rose has something to do with that. Hinrich, is a better shooter. Aaron Brooks, is also a very capable backup that can light it up from three-point range. In the past, Hinrich has been the man the Bulls turned to when Rose was injured. Those Bulls teams didn’t have the offensive firepower that this team has. They still possess a lot of size and skill inside, while Butler has emerged as a possible star outside. If, Joakim Noah can remain healthy, the Bulls are still a viable threat in a still relatively weak Eastern Conference to get to the NBA Finals.
For Rose, it’s possible that he could get back this season. Whenever he gets back, things have to change with his game. With this team, Rose didn’t have to be the superstar that he had to be In the past. Who knew if he could even be close to being that superstar anyway. That’s something that Rose was understandably not comfortable with. If, he couldn’t feel totally comfortable in 46 games, how can he do it coming off another surgery? That’s a question we’ll have to ask if he comes back this season. Even If he doesn’t, don’t count the Bulls out just yet.
Photo Credit: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/25/bulls-thibodeau-forman-reiterate-derrick-rose-is-out-for-season/