CHICAGO — The Bulls got some much needed good news on Monday: Derrick Rose’s MRI came back with no new news. Now you can really take that two ways as yes it’s good news nothing else is wrong, but his ankle is still sprained nonetheless. This comes after Rose sprained it driving to the basket in the first quarter of Saturday’s loss in Indianapolis.
He is expecting to play Tuesday despite some soreness in his ankle. Rose has had two full days to rest it and will have the majority of the day Tuesday to monitor the ankle as Chicago doesn’t tip off until the evening.
The Bulls will be looking to close out the Pacers, something they failed to do this weekend, but the more interesting note to come out of the loss is a glaring weakness the Bulls have exposed un themselves: an extreme over reliance on Derrick Rose.
When he was on the court, the Bulls were starting out hot as Rose began the game scoring seven points.
As soon as he left with the injury, the Bulls productivity dropped off severely. However Rose is expected to play in today’s pivotal Game 5 matchup.
”You’ve got Carlos Boozer out there who’s spending fouls and a lot of his fouls are not needed at the time that he’s giving them. – Scottie Pippen on Carlos Boozer
But even with Rose back, the issue is still that over reliance on the young star. Blame for this is starting to pour in on Carlos Boozer, whom fans are beginning to become testy with. The $75 Million man is shooting just above 37 percent this series which has drawn harsh words from Scottie Pippen.
”They’ve all got two legs and two arms,” the six-time NBA champion said. ”You’ve got Carlos Boozer out there who’s spending fouls and a lot of his fouls are not needed at the time that he’s giving them. Those could be hard fouls. Those could be fouls that you knock a [Darren] Collison to the floor, you knock a [Jeff] Foster to the floor. You’ve got to utilize your fouls.”
Head Coach Tom Thibodeau is standing behind his man on the court.
“Carlos is going to be fine,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said after Monday’s practice. “What we got to do with Carlos is we got to eliminate the fouls that put him on the bench. So when he’s out there, he’s rebounding at a very high level. And he gives us a post presence.”
Even if everyone is in unison about the fouls, Boozer’s offensively bad offense is still something to watch. His Houdini-esque disappearing acts are starting to show more prevalently in the postseason. But like the true leader he is, Derrick Rose feels his partner will have a breakout game soon.
“Booz will stay confident,” Rose said. “He never changes that. He’s been in the league a long time … a veteran, knows his game, and his game is going to come along where a couple of shots gets him going, rebounding, whatever. We’re definitely going to look for him to score the ball more.”
So despite Rose being the game-changer variable he always is, it’s Boozer that will be the player to watch Tuesday. He had a chance to shine Saturday when Rose was off the court and he didn’t catch fire until well into Rose’s return stint.
But Rose is far more concerned with the play of the team as a whole rather than as individuals.
“We were definitely mad we didn’t win the last game,” Rose said. “We could of had these days to rest and really prepare for the next team. But in the playoffs, anything can happen. They came out and played a great game. Guys were knocking down shots, played good, and we just got to try to finish it here.”
The Bulls battle the Pacers in Game 5 Tuesday at 7pm on TNT and right here in Pippen Ain’t Easy