No Derrick Rose, No Bulls?
During the regular NBA season this year the Chicago Bulls were unstoppable, being led by League MVP Derrick Rose. The Bulls finished the season with a 50-16 record and topped the hotly contested Eastern Conference by 4 over the superstars from Miami.
Heading into the play offs only the San Antonio Spurs had a similar record in the Western Conference.
The Bulls pulled the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs with the bookies taking the Bulls to wipe the 76ers 4-0 and then it happened, Rose damaged his AC ligament and the Bulls have crashed ever since.
The bookies now have the 76ers as hot favourites to win the series and are now 3-1 over the Bulls to win!
Last night after the Bulls lost Game 4 to the Philadelphia 76ers 89-82 Sunday to fall behind 3-1 in the opening-round playoff series, the motto now should be "next game up."
The 76ers took advantage of the injury absences of Bulls All-Star point guard Derrick Rose (season-ending knee ligament tear) and center Joakim Noah (sprained ankle) to win three consecutive playoff games for the first time since 2001.
Now, you would never expect the Bulls to be a one player team. You don’t get their record with just one player, but a team that is working together.
This team has depth and size on their side. Take Joakim Noah who was profiled in the June edition of Slam Magazine, he is all arms and legs but a keen contributor to the team. He is part of a team that plays a team game with all parts contributing. His injury has also left a huge hole in the team. It is now up to Tom Thibodeau to be the next man up to try and salvage the Bulls season.
So, with Derrick Rose out the balance of the team has changed and the 8th ranked team now has them on the ropes and out of balance.
What does this mean for the Championship? With the Bulls struggling to get out of the first round it appears that the door has been left open for Miami to take it all and win a Championship for this highly rated team.
For the Bulls the review of 2012 will be to understand why the team didn’t perform as a team when the MVP went down and to work out how to still survive the post season with a deeper bench.
It’s not all over yet and miracles can happen, but the 2012 version of the Bulls seems to suggest – no Rose, no Bulls.