A future without Derrick Rose is a serious reality for the Chicago Bulls at the moment, and they got a good hard look at what that future is going to look like tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls lead in the first quarter and when the Cav’s took a 16-15 lead at the end of that quarter, the Bulls didn’t lead again.
Trailing in games isn’t something that the Bulls are unfamiliar with, but tonight something critical was missing from the business as usual way the Bulls win these kinds of games.
Chicago mounted a valiant comeback but they ultimately came up short when Jimmy Butler missed a three pointer that would have tied the game as time expired. It’s not a press the panic button type of moment in the least bit, but the starters did get a pretty regular amount of minutes and the Bulls still came up short.
A positive game was had by Rip Hamilton, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich who all went into double digits in terms of scoring, and Marco Belinelli added 8 solid points off the bench. Jimmy Butler also looked solid on offense adding 9 points and falling 3 rebounds and a point shy of a double-double.
Nazr Mohammed continued to be a solid replacement for Omer Asik when it comes to rebounding as he grabbed 11 rebounds after grabbing 12 in the preseason opener. However, Mohammed did see 26 minutes which is likely not what he’ll be seeing in the regular season. With Mohammed’s help though, the Bulls out-rebounded the Cav’s 53-34.
But despite all this positivity, the Bulls didn’t have enough to beat an upstart Cav’s team lead by Kyrie Irving and rookie Dion Waiters. There weren’t massive point totals put up by any one Cleveland player but somehow they still beat the Bulls.
Missing Derrick Rose and his cold-blooded ability to close out games was beyond noticeable.
Again, this isn’t a panic button moment, but rather a reality check. The Bulls will not lose every single close game they are involved in but they won’t be as easily won as they were in the past. Until Rose gets back this is the kind of reality we are dealing with.
The phrase you win some, you lose some is painfully going to be the Bulls motto this year.