The Chicago Bulls did the impossible Monday night and won the opening game of their NBA semifinal matchup on the road against the Miami Heat. On a night LeBron James was honored for his fourth MVP award, the injury-plagued Bulls won the game in surprising fashion.
Derrick Rose keeps teasing fans about his comeback, but it seems unlikely that he will end up playing at all this postseason. It doesn’t seem to matter to his teammates, who won a series on the road against the Brooklyn Nets in a first-round game 7 without him.
The Bulls won game one against the Heat without not only Rose, but also without starters Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Nate Robinson led all scorers and the starters and reserves for the Bulls continue to play tough and cohesive.
The Bulls shocked the home crowd and NBA fans around the country by coming out and winning a pivotal game 1. James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will certainly not lie down and accept the results of a losing effort. They will undoubtedly come out and win game 2, but now they must travel to Chicago and win at least one game on the road against a tough and determined defense.
The Heat had a full week off before the start of the semis and something can be said about having too much time off. Now that they have come back to playing, they will surely get their rhythm back in order to close out a Bulls team struggling with injuries. Well, they’re not really struggling; they keep winning games and have shown us all not to write them off just yet.
Rose is out and he keeps saying things that indicate he may come back to play this postseason. However, without him, his team has shown they can beat a Heat team that is the outstanding favorite to win it all. Can they win three more games without him? Probably not, but that remains to be seen. The fact of the matter is the Bulls are a substantially better team with Rose and if they’re doing this well without him just think what they’ll be able to do with him back in the lineup.
Miami may certainly be in trouble next postseason when Rose finally returns. But in spite of losing game 1 of this series, they still have to be the favorite to win the East. The Bulls cannot win a seven-game series against the Heat without Rose. They will keep it interesting though.