Derrick Rose tore his meniscus during the loss to Portland Friday night. Now the Bulls have lost four in a row after having won their previous six. This whole thing wreaks of Jabari Parker and another team turning its attention to the apparent lottery of superstars. The Bulls are resplendently mediocre at 6-7. While they’ve showed flashes of winningness before the most recent Rose injury, it is more realistic to acknowledge that the Bulls were never more than third-man-out to Indiana and Miami in the East. And that was with D-Rose. So, what does his loss mean?
Derrick Rose played ten games this season and missed all of last year including the playoffs. This year the Bulls were just treading water with him, waiting for him to stand up, take charge, and start intimidating opponents. The loss to the Utah Jazz last night is just another loss, but reminds us of how awful the Bulls have been this year. They only managed to score 83 points against a team that’s given up nearly 100 points a night on average. We might want to wish that the remaining Bulls are still in shock over the loss of Rose, but I might say that stripped of Rose what we see explains why even a Derrick Rose at 100% can’t pull these Bulls up by their bootstraps.
The Bulls are probably destined for some very tough times ahead. The issue now is how they plan for a Rose-less future. Chicago fans aren’t going to wait with bated breath again. No, the Bulls need to take a hard look at their current roster and do what needs to be done to win without a glimmer of hope for Rose.
With injuries piling up for Rose, his best days may well be behind him. He may be a Jay Williams-type figure who never recovers. Only time will tell, but time is something the Chicago Bulls do not really have left in the tank. It will at least be another 11 months before any of us know whether Rose has what it takes to play superlative basketball, but we’d be fools to bet it all on the strategy of hope.