Bulls vs. Hawks — 3pm on ESPN
He missed two nationally televised games but he won’t make it a third. Derrick Rose is starting today against the Atlanta Hawks after missing five straight games with lower back spasms.
The isle will be split on Rose’s return as the MVP is the key piece to the championship puzzle in Chicago. On the one hand it’s extraordinarily great to have the best point guard in the NBA back in your lineup. Rose brings swagger when he starts and the Bulls looked like they needed a booster shot after their debacle against the Nets.
But on the other hand if Rose isn’t 100 percent and he’s trying to get back into the lineup, that’s not something that should be celebrated. If Rose re-injures himself and misses more time, the closer we get to April and May the more important wins become.
Chicago has bought themselves slack jumping out to the best record in basketball and maintaing it even without Rose, but if the going gets tough and Chicago starts to slide due to Rose missing more time, cite this game as the reason.
But no one knows Rose better then Derrick does so if he feels he can start he will. After all he took a seat twice in meetings against the Celtics and sat idly by for three other games.
The trashing the Bulls received after the Nets game may also be motivation for Rose to get back in the lineup and having him back against the Hawks, a playoff contender and possibly a future playoff opponent, is not a bad place to return.
The Hawks along with the Sixers and Heat will be hot on the Bulls trail as the season begins to hit crunch time. It would have been nice to see Rose sit int he garage until after the All-Star Break, but if all else fails, the MVP is back.
Hopefully it’s a well thought out decision by the Bulls. They haven’t made too many mistakes to justify questioning their judgement, but let’s hope this isn’t the start of that.