Derrick Rose's Late-Game Injury Will Overshadow Bulls Star's Inspired Effort

Mick Akers@@mickakersAnalyst IApril 28, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center on April 26, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Coming into the first round NBA playoff match up with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Chicago Bulls star guard, Derrick Rose, had a cloud of doubt looming over his game as he entered the playoffs playing in just five of the final 22 regular season games.

Worries of rust and adjusting to in-game play were the biggest areas of concern following Rose, doubts he erased in Game 1 after a slow first-quarter start.

Rose ended up with a near triple-double, racking up 23 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in 37 minutes of play.

The game appeared to be coming to a routine close, until Rose came up limp after injuring his left leg with just 1:10 left in the fourth quarter.

The first thought of fans everywhere is why was Rose in the game with a little over a minute left, especially since the Bulls held a comfortable 99-87 lead. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau's decision to keep Rose in the game that late could cost Chicago a real run at an NBA title this season.

Rose appeared to be in a very inspired mood, showing emotion and even getting a technical foul in the game, something rarely seen from Rose. He clearly had his mind and body ready for a deep playoff run, but the late-game injury could put a halt to all of that before it ever really began.

The Bulls came away with a big 103-91 win in Game 1, but they may have lost their NBA title hopes in the process. It's a shame that such a breakout effort by Rose will be overshadowed by his latest in a string of injuries that has cast a black cloud over Rose's 2011-'12 season..