5 Teams Enjoying D-Rose's Absence the Most
While Chicago laments the absence of Derrick Rose, there are other teams who have reveled in it.
Certain teams have used his injury to beat the Bulls. Other times, players who have traditionally struggled against Rose are having field days while he recovers.
Point blank, not every team is looking forward to Derrick Rose's return.
5.. Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul had never beaten the Chicago Bulls before this year. That's not true anymore.
During the Thibodeau era, Paul's team was not only getting beat, he was getting outplayed by Rose as well. In fact, what might be the best game of Rose's career came against the Clippers the last time Rose and Paul faced off, as Rose scored 29 points on .571 shooting.
With Rose gone, the Clippers have abused the Bulls like a cat does a play toy. They've pummeled the Bulls like they are professional matadors, beating them by 23 at Staples first, then beating them by five in their own court.
The only way they'd face off again this year is in the NBA Finals—a venue that the Clippers are looking far more likely to attend than the Bulls at this point in time.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
Some say the Bulls don't miss Derrick Rose on defense. Nothing could be further from the truth, and one need look no further than their last game against the Charlotte Bobcats to verify it.
The Bulls were torched by the Bobcats in the pick-and-roll by Charlotte to the tune of .92 points per play according to Synergy. It's certainly an area where not only the Bobcats but other teams, including the Houston Rockets, have abused the Bulls.
When Rose was in the lineup last year, things weren't that easy. Rose yielded only .70 points per play on the pick-and-roll, one of the top Synergy numbers among all point guards in the NBA. It's not likely Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions would have abused Rose the way they did Nate Robinson.
But, he's not, and they did. And other teams will likely follow the example.
3. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have only gotten a split against the Bulls while Rose has been out, but they are on here for two reasons.
First, they got the trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, a trip which they would be unlikely to have won had they had to face off against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
After all, the last time they beat the Bulls with Rose in the lineup was Dec. 3, 2010, which was just Carlos Boozer's second game as a Bull.
Not only the Boston Celtics have prospered, but Rajon Rondo has in particular. Facing off against Rose in the Tom Thibodeau era, Rondo has been dominated by Rose. While Rose has averaged 25.8 points on .476 shooting, Rondo has answered with a mere 11.2 points on .454 shooting.
However, with Rose out, Rondo has torched the Bulls in Rose-like fashion, scoring 26 points per game in the two games against the Bulls this season.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks were witnesses to one seriously entertaining comeback on March 26, 2011. With the Bulls trailing by four points and time running out, Rose scored or assisted on all 12 points the Bulls scored on in a 12-0 run that sealed the Bucks fate in Milwaukee.
The Bucks were able to avenge that bitter taste this year with no Derrick Rose to come to the rescue on Nov. 26, 2012.
Down by 27 points, the Bucks came charging back to beat the Chicago Bulls, who sans their closer, could do nothing to stem the tide. It ended the Bulls nine-game winning streak against the Bucks. Until Rose returns, the Bucks can tell the Bulls to "fear the deer."
1. Indiana Pacers
Of all teams who enjoy the absence of Derrick Rose, there are none more so openly than the Indiana Pacers. Danny Granger declared that Indiana was now the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.
Was Karma behind his injury? Hmmmmm....
That notwithstanding though, the Pacers still came into the United Center and with no Derrick Rose to help the Bulls down the stretch, the Pacers beat the Bulls on their own court.
And while Granger's prophesy about the second-best team in the East might not be coming to pass, for once the Pacers aren't distantly chasing the Bulls in the Central Division. Indiana, not Chicago, sits atop the division standings.
It's a tenuous lead, though, and the longer it takes for Rose to return, the happier they'll be in Indianapolis.