Until the superstar point guard officially declares himself out for the remainder of the 2013 playoffs, supporters won’t be able to clearly see the incredible series between Chicago and Miami, which promises to be one of the best of the postseason.
After a thrilling Game 1 win in which a severely undermanned Chicago squad shocked the world and stole a win in South Beach, the postgame focus wasn’t on Nate Robinson’s heroics or the brilliance of coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes, but rather if D-Rose would be back in the lineup for Game 2.
Unfortunately, it seems the star is reluctant to rule himself out and continues to lead on fans who are hoping he will finally make his season debut.
It’s been more than a year since the 2011 MVP suffered his infamous ACL injury and approximately two months since he was cleared to return by team doctors.
He had plenty of opportunities during the regular season and first round of the postseason to make his debut but eschewed them in favor of mental preparation.
Meanwhile, Thibodeau has the rest of the team playing at a very high level.
While there is nothing wrong with making sure he is fully prepared mentally—Rose absolutely shouldn’t get on the court until he’s 100 percent ready—he also shouldn’t just try to force his way back into the lineup if he conveniently feels he is able to, especially not after the Bulls took a surprising lead in Game 1 of a seven-game series over Miami.
This is a roster that has forged its identity without him, and Chicago seems to have found the recipe for a miraculous upset. Plus, the Bulls have already beaten the Heat the same number of times in this postseason (once) as they did in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals with Rose in the lineup.
After watching his teammates scrap and fight their way to a victory in Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, the window for Rose’s return in this postseason shut.
When the dust settled from Chicago’s Game 1 upset over Miami, that window was locked and the key thrown away.
The only acceptable time for D-Rose to return will be next season, when he and the rest of the team can get a fresh start. As for now, the Bulls will continue finding success without their star point guard and hopefully get the credit they deserve for these achievements.