Chicago Bulls: Why These Playoffs Are of Great Importance for Derrick Rose

Chad RandleContributor IApril 17, 2011

In all likelihood, Derrick Rose will walk away from the 2010-11 NBA season as the league's youngest ever MVP.

He would also like to walk away with his first NBA championship.

Many people around the league, especially fans of the Chicago Bulls, want to put Derrick Rose into a category in which some feel he doesn't belong.

After three incredibly successful years in the NBA, Rose is already among the best guards the Association has to offer. If he will join the ranks of guys like LeBron, Kobe, Dwight and Wade is still under debate.

That debate should be silenced this postseason.

The last two seasons, the Chicago Bulls were the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but put up a good fight both years. Prior to this season, many picked the Bulls to be a middle-of-the-pack Eastern Conference team.

While guys like Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, Rose's main sources of help, were in and out of the lineup with injuries throughout the season, Rose turned his tremendous individual season into an incredible one for his whole organization.

The Bulls were 9-8 going into a December 4 meeting with the Houston Rockets. Derrick Rose led all scorers with 30 points and led Chicago to a 119-116 win in overtime. That night, it became clear that Rose was the go-to-guy on the team, as he drilled the game-tying three-pointer as time expired in regulation.

He sent the crowd into a frenzy, then led an OT charge that kept the Bulls from falling to .500. The Bulls would go on to win seven consecutive ball games and nine of the following 10.

The world got a better look at the new contenders on Christmas Day when the upstart Bulls went into Madison Square Garden for a battle with the New York Knicks.

Although they were not able to pull that one out, Chicago hung around in a tough road environment and proved they belonged with the elite. From that point on, the Bulls would go 44-10 and clinch the best record in the NBA.

In case you didn't watch Saturday's Game 1 matchup with the Indiana Pacers, it was a doozy. Rose led a sleepy Bulls team back from what looked to be a Game 1 loss and turned it into a thrilling victory.

Rose dropped 39 on the Pacers and the Bulls didn't lead until Kyle Korver drained a three-pointer that was assisted by Rose with :49 left to play. Rose all but cemented his MVP chances, and elevated his superstar status a touch too.

However, he is not done yet. If Rose is able to lead the Bulls to their first title since the Jordan days, he could potentially become, in a city yearning for a second basketball coming, a god-like figure.

Being originally from Chicago, he is already a fan favorite. He is as popular as ever. All a championship would do is make him even more so.

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