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NBA Playoff 2012 Predictions: Miami Heat Won't Drop East with Derrick Rose Done

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls is guarded by LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIApril 29, 2012

The Miami Heat got an early gift in the NBA playoffs, as Chicago Bulls star and reigning MVP guard Derrick Rose will no longer be a factor this postseason.

Rose came down funny during the last minute of the Bulls victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs and, according to NBC Sports, that will be the last that Chicago will see of their star in this year's playoffs, as he tore his ACL.

Bad news for Bulls: Derrick Rose suffers torn ACL, will miss of rest of playoffs. bit.ly/JPYNGl

— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 28, 2012

The Heat did make last year's finals, but that never was a guarantee for them this season, especially with the Bulls having just as strong a season this year as last year.

The only difference was that this year the team missed Rose for a good amount of time, but still came out on top with the best record in the Eastern Conference for the second year in a row.

According to Mike McGraw of the Dailyherald.com, Rose missed 27 games this past season. During his absence, the Bulls went 18-9.

Rose's injury will obviously hurt Chicago's chances, but they will still be a strong team. Without Rose, though, there should be no reason the Heat can't reach the finals this season.

They are without a doubt the most dangerous team in the conference, and after their 100-67 victory over the New York Knicks, it is pretty clear they will walk out of this round untouched.

If the Bulls do get past the 76ers, they'd have to still defeat the Boston Celtics or Atlanta Hawks. Even without Rose, that is still actually possible for this Bulls team that has learned to win without their star player.

Guys like Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah will need to step up, but given the strength of this Heat team, they shouldn't lose to a Bulls team without their star—especially if they continue to dominate like they did in their first game.

The Heat knocked the Bulls out of last season's playoffs in five games, and it was a very good series.

No matter who the Heat get from here on out, there is no excuse for them to not reach the Eastern Conference title game.

With Rose out, there is no reason for them to not finish the job and take the conference.

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