You could say coach Tom Thibodeau is being smart and giving them a rest against the worst team in the league. It's not like they need them to beat the Bobcats.
That would be great if he was just giving them a rest, but he's not. They're beat up. Deng has been playing most of the season with a wrist that needs surgery, and got a rib injury in the game against Detroit Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Rose has had every injury your mind can conjure up. Even he doesn't sound real confident about his health.
In Nick Friedell's column on ESPN.com, he said, "Hopefully I'll be healthy in the playoffs, where I rested almost the whole year with injuries, (it's) definitely hurting me not being able to play right now, but my health is the concern right now."
If the face of the franchise sounds worried, Bulls fans have to be ready to jump off the ledge.
Rose has tried to compensate all season for one injured area, only to have another spring up.
There are people out there who want to see no evil, hear no evil and read no evil about their team, but pretending there aren't issues doesn't mean they're not there.
Maybe the sky's not falling, but you can't just put your head in the sand and not understand a less-than-his-best Rose is a serious threat to the Bulls title hopes.
After Wednesday's game, there are only four regular-season games left for the Bulls. That's only four games to get comfortable with each other on the court. It may not seem important, but knowing where the other guy will be on the floor is everything.
That's why this season has been so tough. With all the injuries the Bulls have suffered, and with a lack of practice because of the quirky schedule due to the strike, the Bulls are not as in sync as they would like to be. It's been showing lately on the court.
They were lucky to beat Detroit Sunday, and lost to the lowly Washington Wizards Monday in a game they blew in the fourth quarter. A team in rhythm, even without Rose and Deng, would have won that game.
And don't go beating your chest because they beat Charlotte Wednesday. With just seven wins and a 17-game losing streak going into the game, I and four of my most ardent fans here could probably take them.
Fortunately for the Bulls, it looks like there's a good chance Philadelphia will be their first-round opponent in the playoffs. They don't need a 100 percent Rose to beat them. Hell, they probably don't even need Rose in that series, but they will moving forward.
If the Bulls are going to win anything this year, it's going to take Rose sucking it up and pulling a Michael Jordan out of his bag of tricks.
If this were reality TV, the Bulls would be on Survivor, because they're trying to survive the regular season. And there's a lot scarier things out there than bugs, critters and your fellow castaways looming for the Chicago Bulls.
If they're going to be the final survivor, they're going to need Derrick Rose to pull them through.
It's time to start praying.
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