Derrick Rose is sitting at a cross roads right now. With the Bulls sitting in the middle of the NBA playoff picture, wondering about the status of Rose’s return has to be hanging on to the back of their brains. While Chicago has had success this season without Rose, it’s no mystery that having Rose turns a Bulls team from a regular team into a true threat. With that, I pose questions about Chicago’s future; assuming Rose doesn’t return this season, how well can Chicago thrive without Rose on the floor. While this may be a question that most of us know the answer to, before you give an answer, analyze the question. The Bulls have went the whole season without Rose, and honestly, they haven’t done that bad. As I write this, the Bulls are sitting at 36-29, good for a sixth seed in the east. Likewise, looking at the squad, Chicago still has players that are relevant. Guys such as Joakim Noah, Luol deng, and Nate Robinson have stepped up to produce offensively in an area where Rose would likely be truly missed on any other team. Let’s not also forget about Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson, both of whom are still threats for the Bulls. We also must take into consideration that Chicago isn’t sitting in the strongest of divisions. With Cleveland and Detroit both having horrible seasons, and Milwaukee still fighting to hold their eighth spot, the Bulls only true divisional threat is Indiana. For right now, Chicago doesn’t have it that bad.
Looking into the playoffs, Chicago is sitting in the best possible seed that one can get assuming that team doesn’t earn the first or second seed. Some people may read this and look at me like I’m stupid. However, I’ll hold my ground when I say that the sixth seed in the NBA playoffs is the third best seed to earn. Here’s the reason why, particularly in the east, the best teams will play at in the first two spot. In this season’s case, those first two spots will go to the Miami Heat (obviously) and Likely Indiana. That leaves, the third team, which begins the trend of good teams in the playoffs that aren’t really great, to face off against the other middle teams. In this case that would be the streaky Knicks against the Bulls. Knowing how we as NBA fans tend to think, the Knicks will probably be a favorite in this matchup. However, we are forgetting the aspect of the word streaky. In the NBA, streaky is defined as teams that can have a run of great games, and then suddenly either match that number of wins with losses, or exceed those wins with losses. With the number of injuries that have plagued the Knicks this season, no one truly knows what kind of Knicks team will appear in the playoffs. So what that Carmelo goes off in couple of games. To a team that has remained steady for the majority of the season that means nothing. With or without Derrick Rose, Chicago has a great chance to beat New York, a task that I personally think they will overcome.
The good thing that Bulls’ fans can hope for is the fact that Derrick Rose is coming back. The due date of his return is still in the air. According to most sports enthusiast, Derrick Rose decision to not return is all mental. Rose doesn’t feel confident playing right now. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Rose is just like any other superstar that has made a name for himself in the league; if you’re on the court, you want to be as dominant as possible. Think about all the guys that have tried to rush back injuries over the history of the NBA. Guys like Penny Hardaway, Steve Francis, and Allen Iverson have put too much pressure on themselves to excel on the court, only to have it backfire by them never being the player that they once was before they got injured. This is especially if you the face of a team, as well as the youngest ever NBA MVP winner. Believe it or not, Derrick Rose still has things to prove. With the fact that he’s only played four seasons in the NBA, technically speaking, Rose isn’t even fully in his prime yet. That’s crazy considering the thing that we’ve already seen him do. As I’ve said many times, knowing that a man with Rose’s talent refuses to return until he’s fully mentally ready is scary for any opposing team. Quote this next sentence, not only because this it will be the last sentence of this piece, but also because I stand by my word; Derrick Rose will be as dangerous as he was, if not more dangerous, when he returns. The only thing that we opposing point guards can do right now is pray.
Facebook- Jay Spearman