So the news the last couple of days has surrounded Derrick Rose's comments in an interview with USA Today that he may sit out the entire season. That's disappointing. I had sort of thought he'd be back shortly after the All Star Break (now) in a limited role to begin preparing him for the playoffs. But maybe we're just out of luck for this year.
I'm of two minds. I'm not sure the Bulls have enough to take the Heat in the playoffs, let alone the Pacers, this year. Rose coming off a serious injury probably won't be at 100% by the playoffs, and even though Rose at 80% probably makes the Bulls a better team just by changing the rotations, I'm thinking that it won't make them good enough. And then there's the injury factor...no one wants him coming back too soon and screwing something else up. When you favor or protect one joint or limb, you tend to put more stress on something else. Will that something else give him problems that he might not get if he waits it out and just comes back next year at full strength?
Then there's the matter of the Bulls' finish in the division. Can they finish low enough to get a draft pick that can contribute? Or be valuable enough to deal for the right piece? I'm not suggesting that they throw the season away, but maybe they end up with only the 8th or 10th best record instead of the 3rd or 4th by virtue of Rose's absence? One of these years that Bobcats' pick will actually become the Bulls' pick without strings, and if it was this year, could the Bulls perhaps package a couple picks for another really useful player?
On the other hand, Deng is having a good year. Noah has up until now been pretty healthy. They picked up Hinrich specifically as a backup to Rose, and they still have Hamilton and Butler's emerging. Boozer's been good, and Gibson is solid as usual. (They have a dropoff on their bench at center.) Could they give the Heat a run for their money? Another part of me wants to see just what this Bulls team can do in the playoffs at full strength.
So what will it be? Stay tuned to find out...