It's been officially confirmed that Derrick Rose has torn his ACL, and will miss the rest of the series, rest of the playoffs and possibly some of next season as well. Just horrible news. It really was a bad day for left knees, with both Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert of the Knicks going down.
If you watched the game, you'll remember that Rose went down at the end of the fourth quarter trying to make a jump pass. There was no contact, he seemed to hurt the left knee while planting his foot. The ball went sailing to Boozer who then passed it to Korver for a missed three point attempt. Rose was down for several minutes, and everyone who was watching the play knew it was 'bad' immediately. The grimace, the immediate reaction, it was all too familiar and obvious.
Something terrible happened, so who do we blame? We could blame Coach Tom Thibodeau for playing his superstar at the end of a game they had already won. We could blame Derrick Rose for trying to do anything acrobatic in a moment like that. We could even find a way to blame the Sixers, for just being in the vicinity, but that might be stretching it. Just a bit.
The mistake made came long before, not today. Coach Tom Thibodeau was almost puzzled when asked why Rose was still in a game the Bulls won easily. He's right. In a way. It is the playoffs and Rose should play. But what's the excuse for early in the season? The torn ACL was Rose's sixth injury of the season.
He was healthy enough to play in today's playoff game, but the issue is that he was already playing through five regular-season injuries. If the Bulls had given him more time to heal then, similar injuries might not have kept happening. Multiple injuries in the same area of the body are generally tied to each other. In Rose’s case, he had bleeding in his groin, and clearly was not at full strength. From personal experience with major sports injuries, I'm confident that Derrick Rose put unnecessary pressure on other parts of his legs to compensate for his previous injury.
We don't know if any of those previous nagging injuries had anything to do with today's severe knee injury, but I do know that this was a definite possibility, especially with Chicago not giving Rose longer to heal.
Without Rose in the regular season, the Bulls went 18-9. Guards C.J. Watson and John Lucas III have confidence in the Bulls to still win without Rose. Bulls currently lead the series against the 76ers 1-0 and Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night at 8:00 PM (ET).
For now, here's to the John Lucas era—may it, at the very least, be entertaining.