Key Players Returning for Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose Not One Of Them
The Chicago Bulls reportedly will be getting starters Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli back Sunday against the Detroit Pistons, but former MVP Derrick Rose still remains sidelined as he recovers from an ACL injury.
Chicago is playoff bound with six games remaining on their regular season schedule, so getting back two key starters will be huge for them this week is huge. The Bulls have managed to hold on to the fifth seed in the East to this point despite so many injuries, thanks to their defense and all-out hustle.
Noah has been the Bulls’ heart and soul with Rose missing the entire season to date, and made his first All-Star game while averaging career highs in points (12.1), rebounds (11.4) and assists (4.1) while also contributing 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals a game. Belinelli himself had become a key rotation player for the Bulls and was averaging over 11 points per game as a starter before going down with a abdominal injury a couple weeks ago.
Rose is still unsure of when he will return if at all this season, despite being medically cleared to play. When asked about the possibility of returning and playing limited minutes, Rose responded, “I wouldn’t mind at all,” he said. “Of course I want to play more. But it’s not that big. I’m going to play whenever I’m ready. I don’t care if it’s 15 or 40 (minutes). I just love the game too much. Like I said, I’m just waiting and praying about it. And hopefully I’ll be out there soon.”
The Bulls can’t afford to wait around for Rose to ride in and save them this season, so they need as many of their main players back this season healthy and in rhythm before the playoffs begin in 13 days. The Bulls still have enough talent to win a series, and given what they have been missing with Rose out the entire season, advancing in the postseason if only for one series would be a great accomplishment.