The Chicago Bulls have won again (Saturday night victory over the Brooklyn Nets) and they seem to be on the verge of getting Derrick Rose back. While it is hardily ideal to get your stud back after 60+ games have been played, this situation is different because Rose is a guy who has had a history of raising his already strong game to another level this time of the season.
The Bulls have been decent at home, and they have been strong on the road (best road team in the Eastern Conference) so getting a top four seed to secure home court is not the be all and end all for the Bulls, but I have to think it helps. Especially when you look at the log jam going on currently in the East where no.3 seed through the no.6 seed are very tight in the standings. The worst case scenario for the Bulls would be finishing either no.5 or no.6 and drawing the Indiana Pacers in the first round who are monsters at home
As wonderful as Rose is in the regular season, he is even better in the playoffs as he takes on the lion’s share of the offensive load. Rose’s points per game, and assists per game climb in the playoffs, as do his minutes and shot attempts. When playoff games get reduced to knock ’em down drag ’em out half-court brawls Rose steps up and tries to force the issue to get his team where they need to be. We know a Tom Thibodeau team is going to be wonderfully coached on the defensive end, but the Bulls need the spark and skill on the offensive end that Rose brings
I like the Miami Heat as the East’s best team, but I like the Pacers too. If Rose shows he is back to the player we know and love (at the very least know and respect) then I put the Bulls right there in contention (especially considering how good they are on the road). I applaud his approach to returning from injury as he is being cautious so as to try and lessen the chances for a relapse. His return is going to give an already confident team a great boost, and if his history is any indication we are in for a treat come playoff time. I wish Rose well, and I look forward to seeing him elevate the Bulls to legit contender status. They are currently the no.6 seed in the East, but things are looking up in ChiTown.