Bulls Playoff Preview

by Zakaria Malik

Will Roses blossom in Chicago this postseason? Derrick Rose’s return ultimately lies up to Derrick himself, but there is still hope he comes back this season.

Rose has been participating in 5-on-5 scrimmages after the All-Star break and an unnamed player on the Bulls stated “Anyone who saw him in the [five-on-five] scrimmages [last week] knows he’s ready. But it’s his body, so he’s gotta believe it.’’

Rose looks in shape as he’s starting his own pre-game dunk routines; there’s even videos of him jumping off his surgically repaired left leg. However, there is still a chance that Derrick Rose, the youngest MVP ever, might not come back this year.

Reggie Rose, Derrick’s brother, stated, “If Derrick comes back, they’re going to sell more tickets. Is the reason for Derrick to come back to win a championship or make money?”

Reggie Rose believes that the Bulls are simply motivated by money instead of winning championships as evidenced by the lack of moves made by the Bulls front office.

With that being said, if Derrick Rose sees no potential in winning a championship this year, then why would he want to come back?

However, Iman Shumpert and Ricky Rubio both tore their ACLs last season and are starting to get back to their niches as Rubio is setting up his teammates with beautiful dimes, and Shumpert is starting to get his explosiveness back.

However, unlike the previous two, Rose is the face of the franchise and the Bulls have invested over  $100 million in him. Therefore, they want him to come back at his discretion where Rose is physically and mentally confident.

Meanwhile, the Bulls can still make some noise in the 2013 NBA playoffs even without Derrick Rose.

The Bulls are ultimately fighting for the 4th,5th and 6th spots in the playoffs. The 3rd seed seems out of reach as Indiana has control of the division because they are up 5 games on the Bulls.

However, if the Bulls can get home-court advantage with the 4thseed and play either Atlanta or Brooklyn they can surely make the second round.

Atlanta lacks their go-to guy in Joe Johnson, and Josh Smith is an inconsistent player who would rather jack up 20-foot jumpshots instead of using his strengths and driving to the basket.

Brooklyn has Deron Williams but he’s been dealing with ankle and wrist problems all year; they still have Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez though. This is a tougher matchup, but the Bulls are a defensive-minded team first and Luol Deng would be able to contain Joe Johnson, while Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich would matchup with Lopez and D-Will.

If the Bulls face Miami in the second round, it’ll be tough to win 4 games against the defending champs, but the Bulls can certainly push the Heat to 6 games without Rose.  Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, and Jimmy Butler have done a remarkable job in replacing the “Bench Mob” from 2012. Not to mention, veterans Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich have playoff experience at the guard spot and they won’t fold under the pressure. All in all, with or without Derrick this year it’ll be exciting to watch the Bulls in this year’s playoffs as they hope to contend for a championship.