Rose's injury in 2012 has made the Bulls' season a lot tougher.
The Chicago Bulls' season has had its share of ups and downs. They've had tons of injuries that have slowed them down throughout, but they've also been able to come up big on several occasions.
Being short-handed for a large portion of the season, Chicago has had to fight through the injuries and struggled to win a lot of games.
From the abundance of injuries they've had to the incredible individual performances, the Bulls have turned a season full of obstacles into a challenge and done a pretty solid job of stepping up to complete it.
The stage was set during the 2012 playoffs when Derrick Rose went down with an ACL injury. With no set date for his return, the Bulls knew the 2012-13 season would be a tough one.
And it has proven to be.
Joakim Noah's opening-day performance was not a fluke.
With no Rose, someone on the Bulls had to step up and take their game to the next level.
Joakim Noah took that challenge.
He had a huge opening night, stuffing the stat sheet in every way possible: a double-double, three assists and blocks and five steals.
Noah didn't stop there. As the Bulls' leader, he was out to set the tone for how everyone should be playing. In the following months, Noah averaged double-digit points and rebounds in every month except November.
He improved offensively as a scorer and, most importantly, as a passer. Noah had a knack for finding players cutting to the basket from the high post.
His high-low game with Carlos Boozer was also a dangerous weapon—teams would end up having to play Noah tighter, giving him a chance to drive by the defender.
He is averaging a career-high 4.1 assists per game.
Noah's performance this season earned him his first All-Star selection. More importantly, though, it carried the Bulls for a majority of the season.
Rip's injury history with the Bulls hasn't been great, and this year was no different.
Rip Hamilton's injury early in December was a blessing in disguise for the Bulls.
It allowed Marco Belinelli to fill in as the starter and showcase the fact that he wasn't just a spot-up shooter.
Belinelli showed that he could create offense not only for himself, but for his teammates as well. He ran the offense well, controlling the pace of the game when the Bulls needed it.
He finished December with an average of 14.1 points per game while shooting 40 percent from downtown.
After having gone 6-7 the previous month, Chicago finished December with a 9-6 record, a month that included two big wins against the New York Knicks.
Things would continue to look up for the Bulls in January.
Carlos Boozer's performance during January got the Bulls back on the map.
Carlos Boozer has been heavily criticized since joining the team in 2010, as he wasn't exactly living up to his contract.
As we welcomed the new year, Boozer decided to make a New Year's resolution and take his game to a new level.
Two nights later, Boozer led the charge during their first meeting with the Miami Heat. Posting 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 96-89 victory, Boozer and the Bulls were once again being considered a threat in the Eastern Conference.
Without Hinrich, the Bulls struggled offensively, leading to their worst month of the season.
Kirk Hinrich missed all but three games the month of February due to an elbow injury. This is when the Bulls' season started to take a turn for the worse.
With no one to control the pace and get the offense into its sets, the Bulls struggled offensively for a large portion of the month. They averaged just 89.3 points per game during February.
With no true point guard, the Bulls had their worst month, posting a 5-8 record.
The point-guard woes didn't end there, though. Rose was expected to return at some point after the All-Star break, but he never did.
As much as the team and management say that Rose's status was not affecting the team, it's hard to believe that the idea of their best player returning soon didn't affect them, especially when it didn't happen.
February marked the beginning of an inconsistent team, as well as the start of the Bulls' injury troubles.
Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson are just a few of the players who have stepped up in the absence of the Bulls' starters.
Taj Gibson, Noah, Belinelli, Hinrich and Hamilton all missed games in March. Rose still hasn't made his return, either.
Chicago caught the injury bug at a bad time, as it was already coming off a bad month. Injuries would cause the Bulls' inconsistent play to continue, posting a 7-7 record for the month of March.
This was yet another turning point for the Bulls.
Chicago beat Indiana in their last meeting of the season. Four nights, later they played the Heat without Belinelli, Hamilton or their All-Star center Noah. Behind big games from Deng and Boozer, the Bulls pulled off a 101-97 victory.
Chicago has turned it around since winning the Pacers game. Since then, the Bulls have won six of nine games and are currently on the easiest part of their schedule.
It's been an up-and-down season, but the Bulls have stayed strong and, as a result, are playoff-bound.