The Chicago Bulls are just about used to playing without Derrick Rose, who seemingly hasn’t played since he became the youngest player in NBA history to win its coveted NBA award. The Bulls are carrying on in fairly decent manner without him this season as they’re 24-16 at the midway point and currently on a nice streak having won seven of their last 10 games. However, some members of the basketball world are now saying their believe Rose’s return from an ACL tear will actually hurt the Bulls instead of help them. That’s complete and total horse radish and not just because Rose is a former MVP.
The Bulls’ rotation has become fairly consistent this season without Rose as Nate Robinson has taken on a larger role in the offense while Kirk Hinrich has picked up the slack on defense. Carlos Boozer is more involved in Chicago’s offense without Rose, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the day. However, to suggest these players won’t be as effective when Rose returns in March it’s insane.
When Rose returns, Robinson’s minutes will be diminished significantly, which will be a good thing for the Bulls. That’s not to say Robinson isn’t effective because he is, but he’s much more effective in spurts and he’ll be able to return to his normal role once Rose returns. At that time, Robinson can fill in for Rose or even come onto the floor at the same time to provide energy to the offense when it becomes stagnant.
Hinrich is a much better defender than Robinson, so he’ll be relied on to pair with Rose in critical defensive scenarios because a defensive backcourt of Robinson and Rose would be extremely scary for Chicago and not in a good way.
Boozer’s role being diminished is the absolute best thing for the Bulls and that can only happen with Rose on the floor. Boozer is most effective (we know, that phrase rolls off the tongue oddly) when Rose drives, draws defensive attention and dishes to Boozer for a short-corner jumper. He can do that more often with Rose on the floor.
Again, to suggest Rose’s return will hurt the Bulls’ rotation is unintelligent to put it politely, but that’s exactly what’s happening a month before the former MVP will begin playing again. If you’re one of those folks, just wait and see the Bulls play in March, April and beyond.