Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose will miss the remainder of the postseason after tearing his ACL late in the fourth quarter of Game 1 on Saturday, according to the team. Rose, who was driving to the hoop with 1:10 remaining in the game, went down after trying to leap off his left foot.
Before being injured, Rose had 23 points, nine boards, and nine assists. The Bulls went on to win 103-91, but the mood was somber in the locker room.
Rose should not have been in the game at all in the fourth quarter. At the start of the fourth, the Bulls were enjoying a 79-66 lead. The Bulls had already proved that they could win without the superstar, and had already proved that their bench is perhaps the deepest in the NBA. At most, Rose should have played the first five minutes, but I personally wanted him out at the end of the third.
Even more confusing was why Rose was playing at all at the end of the regular season. Rose played in only 39 of 66 games in the NBA's shortened season, yet the Bulls still managed to clinch the number one overall seed, giving them home court advantage for the entire playoffs.
In the 27 games without Derrick Rose, the Bulls still outscored opponents by 7.5 PPG. With a .667 win percentage, the team averaged 93.9 PPG, compared to 98.1 PPG without. I truly believe that the four points per game are far less important than Derrick's health, but all is moot now.
Rose has been plagued by multiple injuries, including turf toe, back spasms, ankle, and groin injuries. Because of this, Rose should not have returned at all at the end of the regular season. Although home court advantage certainly has its benefits, last year's series versus the Miami Heat proved that it doesn't always guarantee anything. I believe that the Bulls should have focused on keeping Rose healthy instead of risking his health.
Again, I am not saying the home court advantage is unimportant. But I do believe that the health of Derrick Rose is important, and we found that out today. The 6'3 point guard is an easy target, at only 200 pounds. Teams were certain to foul Rose hard, and that they did. Rose even complained about the abuse that he received from hard fouls, especially after a flagrant foul by Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva.
Thibodeau and the Bulls mismanaged Derrick Rose. Regardless of Rose's presence throughout the playoffs, the Bulls have proven that they can win without Rose. Now comes the real test for the team and the bench, with Game 2 on Tuesday in Chicago.