Thorns in the Rose?

 by Zakaria Malik


On April 28th, 2012 one play sent shockwaves into the city of Chicago and the rest of the NBA. As we all know, Derrick Rose tore his ACL against the 76ers in game 1 of the 2012 NBA playoffs.

Rose is a player who relies on his quick burst of speed to get ahead of his defenders, and using his legs and knee (ACL) is a crucial part of his game.

Tim Hardaway, who tore his ACL playing in the NBA said Rose should sit the season out.

On the other hand, Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson,  tore his ACL and after reconstructive surgery he is one of the top rushing leaders in the NFL. The same can be said for Kansas City Chiefs running back, Jamaal Charles, even though their record isn’t relevant. Furthermore, Peterson said he planned to talk to Rose and states, “The one piece of advice I can give him is have your mind set on what you want to accomplish and know, after four months that ligament is stable and strong, so don’t back down from anything.”

It seems as if Rose has taken this advice to enhance his motivation as Derrick Rose and Adidas have partnered in a mini-series called “TheReturn.” Even though, we all expect Rose to come back either late this season or next season, he won’t be the same.

We can expect Derrick to come back stronger as he has time to develop his upper and lower body strength. He will also have a better shot and a better basketball IQfor the game. But, we can’t expect Rose to regain the same speed and make the same freakish athletic plays that he did before.  Maybe, these adjustments will lead to a better postseason finish for the Bulls and the Bulls will be able to compete for a championship.

The chance of the Bulls winning a championship in 2012 is like the chance of winning the Powerball jackpot.  The Bulls have completely retooled their roster by dumping their infamous “Bench Mob.” Kyle Korver, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, John Lucas III have  been replaced with  the likes of: Marco Belinelli, Nazr Mohammed, Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich.  Kirk Hinrich’s return has been more of a PR signing and his play isn’t as great as it was in 2006 as he has gotten eye surgery and has constant nagging injury.

As for the players who are returning to the Bulls Carlos Boozer and Rip Hamilton are a year older, which means they are a year slower.  Even though it seems the Bulls have a lack of talent they still manage to win by grinding it out each night. Guys like Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson are the heart and soul of the team outside of Rose. They bring their intensity and defensive prowess that Tom Thibodeau loves.  Thibodeau, who is a defensive guru can do a lot more with less talent than other coaches., hence, the Bulls go in and compete every night giving them a chance to win. The problem? The Bulls don’t have a closer who can close games when needed. Games against the top teams like Oklahoma City, Miami, Los Angeles, etc. That’s where Rose is missed the most. And, until then the Bulls can compete to make the playoffs and maybe even win the division by winning 45-50 wins. But, winning a championship is out of reach until the Bulls get a fully healthy Derrick Rose back because the talent pool in the NBA is at an all-time high.