This season was supposed to be the best season the Bulls have had since the Jordan era. After the amazing season had last year, one that ended with awards being plastered all over Chicago, the quest this year was to obtain the one that eluded them last year: a title. But injuries have now jeopardized that goal and the biggest injury is to the MVP Derrick Rose.
Rose has missed 13 games so far this year and it looks like he’s going to miss his 14th tonight in Orlando.
Derrick made the trip with the team but has be restrained from running due to what we now know is a groin injury. It marks the third different ailment to keep Rose out of games this year. Earlier he sprained a toe against the Timberwolves and he threw out his back against the Bucks. Now Rose has a groin injury that is being blamed for him missing the last three games.
“I really don’t know,” Rose said when asked when he might return. “They haven’t gave me a time. They say with an injury like this you really don’t know how long it’s going to take.”
The woes for the Bulls couldn’t have happened to a more important player. Rose is the foundation of the franchise and the unofficial face of the city. But he has now missed nearly 30 percent of the Bulls season which if they weren’t the NBA’s best team, would be a significant number.
“It’s definitely been frustrating,” Rose said. “It’s the most I’ve ever been injured, ever, in my life.”
But it’s not because as much as most pundits are unwilling to admit, this is a solid Bulls team without Rose. There is speculation that the Bulls will be looking to add either Andres Nocioni or ex-Laker, short time Rocket Derek Fischer, but in all honesty this team can win without them.
Not to say they wouldn’t alleviate many headaches surrounding the Bulls, but adding one or the other isn’t the difference between a championship and not.
What is that big of a game changer is Derrick Rose. The Bulls are wisely resting him as they should have done more so before the All-Star Break, and are planning for the playoffs. At this point, that’s a safe bet as with an NBA’s best 37-10, it’d be asinine to believe the Bulls will miss the playoffs.
Rose is a game changer, but the Bulls aren’t that reliant on him to lead.
But Rose is a warrior and doesn’t want to sit longer then he has to, whether that’s a good thing or counter intuitive is left to the individual. Rose however, is right now all about getting better and winning a championship.
“I’m feeling good where my groin is getting better,” he said. “Just trying to stay positive, man, keep a clear head mentally thinking that God does everything for a reason. Otherwise, I’m feeling good, my health is OK. I’m not sick or anything, it’s just my groin.”
However, the warrior in Rose is not without a conscience that is reminding him a win now and a loss in May doesn’t compute.
“Where I thought I was going to be back sooner, missing big games that I would hate to miss like the one tonight, but I got to worry about my health.”
You can follow Josh Hill on Twitter @jdavhill