When Derrick Rose went down in Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the hearts of Chicago Bulls fans sank with him. The 2010-11 NBA MVP put together an incredible season that year averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game and leading the Bulls to the best record in the NBA, only to lose to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Their next playoff run was quickly cut short by the injury to Rose, which led to the No. 1 seeded Bulls being knocked out by the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers.
Over a year has passed since the injury to Rose, and although there was a lot of excitement in the hope that he might return for the 2013 Playoffs, he did not. This may have been a smart decision on Rose’s behalf because he consistently told reporters that he did not yet feel 100 percent. Now some fans may scold him or call him soft for not returning to try and help his Bulls overcome their rival Heat. But we all know it takes more than seven games for anyone to feel completely comfortable back on the court, especially with an injury of his magnitude. It was incredibly intelligent of him not to push his luck.
With the dawn of a new season on the horizon, Rose has given his knee an ample amount of rest and should be more than ready for the 2013-14 season. The question remains as to if he can return to the same sort of form that we have become so accustomed to from this superstar athlete. We are so used to seeing him cut and shift in the blink of an eye, which made him one of the most exciting players in the NBA. But with his recent ACL tear, will he still be able to do the things he used to?
I remember another incredible athlete of this past NFL season by the name of Adrian Peterson who tore his ACL in the previous year and then went on to win regular season MVP that very next year in a sport and position (running back) that wears and tears on your knee much more than it does on the basketball court. Having said that, Rose has also had his share of injuries in the past and his numbers did drop a little in 2012 from his previous MVP season. However, he also only played in 39 of the Bulls’ 66-game season (shortened because of lockout) due to multiple injuries.
We can only hope that D-Rose returns to full health so he can shock and awe us with his groundbreaking slams and memorizing lay-ups.