Let me know if you’ve heard this one. Derrick Rose is trying to return from injury. Tired of hearing it. We are too. It seems like forever since Derrick Rose had the NBA in the palm of his hand.
On May 3rd, 2011 Derrick Rose was named the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). Rose was just the second Bulls player in history to capture the award, joining Michael Jordan. Derrick Rose was not only the MVP of that season he was quickly rising into debates about him possibly replacing LeBron James as the greatest player in the league. On top of all that, the expectations quickly rose for Derrick, as he was the youngest player ever to capture the award. Unfortunately, everything over the following two seasons, has put doubt in the mind of incoming free agents and a halt to his career. Seeing how awful “the Return: Part 1” went last season, what can we realistically expect for “the Return: Part 2”?
I could not be more excited for the comeback of Derrick Rose this season; however every Bulls fan I talk to has it all wrong. One fan I talked to claimed that the Bulls will “coast through the eastern conference and are guaranteed to win the conference’”. Another fan I talked to claimed “Rose wouldn’t miss a beat and would be back to MVP form.” As a Bulls fan, I really can only dream that these things will happen but are they realistic? Absolutely not, look at what happened to Derrick Rose last season. Derrick Rose only managed to play in 10 games last season and only managed to average 15.9 points per game on 35.4% from the field. In 10 games, I didn’t see much that lead me to believe that he would return to MVP form any time soon.
Coming into the 2014 season, we have to realize that Derrick Rose only played in 49 games of the possible 148 total games, that is only playing in 33% of the games. This really means that Rose hasn’t really played basketball the last two seasons. In 2014, I expect very minimal from Derrick Rose. I want him to play this entire season healthy, regardless of how he looks. I know that Bulls fans believe that this process is a total waste, but it’s the first step in getting our former MVP back. It really isn’t until next season that I expect anything out of Derrick Rose. This season I believe that 18.0 points per game on 38%-39% shooting from the field are completely realistic numbers for Derrick Rose. Which would be around 6% less from the field and 7 points per game less than his MVP season.
Let’s gain some patience Bulls fans; this whole thing is a process. Just making the Eastern Conference Finals would be a huge accomplishment for the Chicago Bulls this season and a huge step forward in getting Derrick Rose back. Our time is coming Chicago, but it’s likely not going to happen this season.