Without Rose, the Bulls don't have a shot to win the NBA title or even get past the Miami Heat. Last season in the Eastern Conference finals, the Miami Heat dominated the Bulls in five games, and that was with Rose.
Just imagine how badly the Heat will steamroll past the Bulls now that they're without Rose.
Actually, it'll be difficult to imagine those two teams playing against each other because quite honestly, the Bulls may hit a major roadblock in the second round if they play the Boston Celtics.
The Bulls will get past the Sixers. Their defense is simply too strong, and Philadelphia does not have any firepower as a No. 8 seed.
However, after the first round, the Bulls playoff season could abruptly come to an end.
The Boston Celtics are a stingy defensive team that has a plethora of experience. Like the Bulls, they make their living on the defensive side of the ball. The two teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in terms of points allowed per game. The Bulls allowed 88.2 points per game while the Celtics allowed 89.3.
What separated the two teams throughout the regular season was the Bulls' offense led by Derrick Rose. During the season, the Bulls averaged 96.4 points per game while the Celtics average 91.9, which was the fifth lowest total in the league.
But let's look into some deeper stats in order to measure Derrick Rose's value to the Bulls team, especially on offense. We all know that he averages 21.8 points and 7.9 assists per game.
But check out the following table:
|Value of Derrick Rose||W% vs. Playoff Teams||Bulls PPG|
|With Derrick Rose||0.727||98.1|
|W/O Derrick Rose||0.636||93.9|
As the chart exemplifies, the Bulls have been more successful against playoff teams with Rose in the lineup, winning 16 out of 22 games.
They're also a better offensive team, averaging close to five points more per game with their elite point guard.
Rose has also been instrumental in most games where the Bulls hit 100 points. The Bulls were 22-0 when they scored 100 points or more this season. Fifteen of those 22 games were with Rose in the lineup. This just shows that with Rose in the lineup, the Bulls have a better chance to hit the century mark and in turn, win games.
There's a reason why Rose was the Most Valuable Player last season.
How far will the Bulls go?
One may argue that the team has some stalwart pieces up front like Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson and they weren't exactly terrible without Rose in the lineup. They learned how to play without him and acclimated to that situation early on in the season so they should be fine.
However, this is the playoffs. They're not playing cupcake teams anymore. Their offense is going to take a major hit, and if they're going up against a team like Boston, who is known for shutting down teams defensively, they may have a difficult time reaching 90 points.
Boston may be old, but they have experienced and battle-tested players. They're also playing better as of late, finishing the season on a 9-3 run. Guys like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will do their best to exploit the shorthanded Bulls.
Finally, Rajon Rondo will have field days against C.J. Watson. All of a sudden, the point guard matchup will be a severe mismatch in favor of Boston.
Assuming that the Bulls somehow get past the Celtics, they'll have their hands full with the Miami Heat, who have way too much star power for the Bulls to handle, even with Rose.
Unfortunately for Chicago, they're going to have to wait another year to bring back a title to the Windy City. Perhaps, they rushed Rose too often in the condensed schedule. Whatever the reason, the Bulls do need another star on their team.
Rose can't do it alone, even if he's healthy.
And in situations where he does get injured, the Bulls chances become absolutely hopeless.