When Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, many people assumed that the Chicago Bulls’ 2012-2013 season wouldn’t hold the same success that they have enjoyed in recent years.
But in making that assessment, those who thought that forgot how great of a coach Tom Thibodeau is. He has schemed for this team to play superb defense and play gritty hard-nosed offense. That’s why they’re 26th in the NBA in scoring at 93.6 points per game, but third in scoring defense in the league, allowing only 91.9 points per game. They’ve been able to render their opponents’ offenses ineffective, allowing them to shoot only 43.4 percent.
Their stellar defense has been the primary reason that the Bulls are 30-21 and currently have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
However, the problem that is starting to occur is that the core of the Bulls without Rose is beginning to get banged up. Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich have all been missing games this season due to nagging injuries that are most likely linked to the workload that they’ve had to endure in Rose’s absence. There’s no denying that these guys are talented and have done an amazing job stepping up without their superstar point guard being on the floor, but the toll it’s taking on them is starting to become evident.
Now, with Rose’s return looming in the nearing future, the Bulls probably need him back more than ever. It’s not that they’re slumping or are ineffective right now, but the burden of not having Rose is obviously starting to affect this team.
The worry with that is Rose came out and said today that he was “far away” from returning to action and that he isn’t going to come back until he is “110 percent.” That’s bad news for the Bulls. Because looking at their core of guys now, they need their star back so that they can make it through this season.
If Rose is right and his return is far away, it’s possible that nagging injuries and ailments are about to slow the Bulls down and Chicago will start to drop a little in the standings. And considering all the hard work that they’ve put in while waiting for Rose to come back, that would be a shame.