The reigning NBA MVP, Derrick Rose, will finally return to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. What better way to re-enter the fold than against the Bulls hated rival New York Knicks? Alongside the greatest stage in the world to showcase this moment at Madison Square Garden, this will be an interesting day.
The Chicago Bulls have remained the best team in the league even with Rose being out the last 12 games due to a groin injury. Now, Chicago has the ability to get stronger as their leader and most impactful player returns to the floor.
New York has their work cut out for them in the next two weeks of the regular season. Of course, this Bulls-Knicks match-up doesn’t have the same luster with Jeremy Lin sidelined by injury. In a perfect world, I want to see both teams at full strength. New York and Chicago are playing the first game of a home-and-home against one another on Sunday. Tuesday night, the two teams will shift to Chicago where they will play at the United Center.
Rose will unquestionably be a little rusty coming off such an extended break. Tom Thibedeau will also be hesitant to give Rose full-run at the point guard position. Therefore, don’t expect Rose’s 30-35 minutes right off the bat. The most important aspect of the Bulls season is gaining home court advantage throughout the playoffs, not showcasing Derrick Rose.
As of now, the Bulls and Knicks rivalry is out to be reignited if the playoff picture remains the same. The No. 1 seed Bulls would play the No. 8 seed Knicks if the playoffs started today. I wrote an article featuring the NBA Playoff preview earlier this week, click the link above to check that out.
With Lin, New York has the ability to beat anybody, including the pesky Chicago Bulls. The Knicks are a team that will win if they play defense and work together unselfishly, that includes Carmelo Anthony. Click the link to read NBA columnist Paul Troupe‘s article titled, “Carmelo Anthony Disgusts Me.”
Either way, I have not been this excited to watch NBA Playoff basketball as I am to watch the 2012 playoffs. I am a diehard Bulls fan, but the NBA just isn’t right unless the Knicks are good and causing problems for teams in the NBA Playoffs. Chicago and New York has one of the most unheralded rivalries in basketball.
Follow Tony Piraro on Twitter @TonyPiraro