NBA Playoffs: Chicago Bulls Entering First Round With Too Many Injuries

The Chicago Bulls recently clinched the Eastern Conference’s no. 3 seed in a win against the Atlanta Hawks, but there is a lot to be concerned about. Wednesday night’s 91-85 victory showcased the Bulls’ depth; however, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson both went out with injuries.

Rose believes he will be ready for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, but the soreness in his left knee felt during the second quarter should be greatly troubling to fans in the Windy City. That soreness was the reason he didn’t play in the second half.

Rose had a meniscectomy on his right knee on Feb. 27, and he ended up playing just 10 minutes on Wednesday night and scoring only two points. He is still not lacking in confidence though.

“I believe I’m one of the best players in the NBA,” Rose said to ESPN. About the upcoming series, he believes it will be a good litmus test for his team. “It’s going to be fun. It should be a fun series. They’re a young, great team, a great coach, and they’re really going to push us to play hard.”

The postseason has some grim memories for the PG because of an ACL tear he endured against the Philadelphia 76ers, but this go around could not possibly go worse, right?

“It’s going to take some work to get my mental game ready because the playoffs is a totally different game,” Rose said. “I think I’m ready for it but we will see. We got a couple of days to get our bodies together, get our mind clear, clean up our house, and get started Saturday.”

The Bucks will be an interesting test for the Bulls, but I fully anticipate Chicago winning that series. Whether Rose and company will be healthy enough to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round is another matter though, because the bad injury luck for the Bulls does not only include Rose. Gibson left Wednesday’s game with a left shoulder strain, and Joakim Noah did not play at all in anticipation of Game 1. He was out due to hamstring soreness.

At some point, these injuries must be viewed as a pattern, and it is hard to like where this pattern could lead Chicago.