Day 1. Today will mark the beginning of a new era in Chicago Bulls basketball. An era that most Chicagoans wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemy. Derrick Rose is done for the 2012 NBA playoffs. Oh, and the 2012 summer Olympics. If you haven’t heard the news, you must have moved to the moon and don’t get satellite reception out there. With 1:22 left in the 4th quarter of game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Derrick made a bunny hop, and awkwardly tore his ACL. I can’t even describe how this changes the landscape for the playoffs this year. The Miami Heat basically have a cakewalk into the Eastern Conference finals, already up 2 games to none, on the New York Knicks. All that stands in the way in the Eastern Conference are the Indiana Pacers, or the Bulls without Rose. Boston Celtics could also benefit from this scenario. However, they find themselves down in the series and minus their star point guard, Rajon Rondo. He is suspended for Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks after making contact with referee Marc Davis, in Game 1.
As an avid NBA fan, and an even more passionate Bulls fan. This one really hit home. I was in serious deep depression for 2 days, following Game 1. The whole city seemed quiet and gloomy after Saturday afternoon. It was if one of Chicago’s greats had passed away, and we were all in mourning.
Chicago sports and their fans have endured maybe the worst luck in sports, in the past 6 months, due to injuries. First, it was Jay Cutler breaking a thumb, then Marian Hossa almost got decapitated, on live television by Raffi Torres, and now Derrick Rose. Misery loves company, I guess.
Most experts and analysts have already sworn off the Bulls for the rest of the playoffs, as they find it impossible to win it all now without their MVP. I can’t say I don’t agree with them, but my heart says to keep on fighting. And that’s what I expect the Bulls, and the city of Chicago to do. Just like when the whole city burned down in 1871, we didn’t pack up and leave. We stayed, and we rebuilt. We stayed and continued to build the great city that I call home. I will not my point my finger at Coach Tom Thibodeau, like some pointed the finger at Mrs. O’Leary and her cow on that dreadful day. This wasn’t his fault, in no way, shape, or form did he know that was going to happen. If Bulls lead was cut to six, everyone would have been screaming to get Rose in there. You know, I know it, we all know it. Any true Bulls fan will not point the finger. This is sports, and unfortunately, injuries happen.
On Monday, Derrick visited his team while they held practice. It was a very spirited and fierce practice according to Bulls’ insiders, as Coach was screaming and barking orders like nothing has changed. That’s the attitude and determination that can will teams to victory and the Bulls are that type of team. Today will be the 28th time the Bulls have played without Derrick, this season. They are 18-9 without #1 on the court this season, so it’s not like this is unchartered terriorty. They have been here before, they have won without him, and they can do it again. Chicago and their fans can’t think about a Heat match up in the ECF at this point, which most thought was the most likely scenario. Maybe it still will be, but for now, the mission is to win Game 2 at home, and eventually eliminate the Sixers.
One game at a time, one man down, one whole city united. Win it for Derrick.
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