One of the most anticipated returns of the 2013-14 season is of Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose.
Rose, as most of us know, didn’t participate last season to allowing himself to fully heal from the effects of an ACL injury he suffered in his first game in the playoffs in 2011-12. While many are touting the Bulls as legitimate threats to unseat the Heat upon Rose’s return, chemistry issues have arisen since the last time Rose took the court.
The Bulls formed an identity last spring without Rose. They were the team with the indomitable will. No matter if Joakim Noah suffered plantar fasciitis in both his feet or if Kirk Hinrich could barely move, they were determined to fight on.
Yet they remained together and fought alongside each other, forming strong bonds. Meanwhile Rose, who was cleared to play, looked on as his team fought without him.
I am sure Derrick Rose won’t be far from the MVP form that he was in over the years prior. The point guard is one of the quickest and most athletic guards in the league when healthy. But what happens the first time he goes down?
Do his teammates, who have been in the trenches with each other while their so-called leader watched, pick him up and continue to be the one-for-all Bulls we’ve come to love? Or are they tired of playing their roles while the media portrays Rose as a superstar, and Luol Deng and Noah as just amateur backup dancers?
We are all waiting to see. The Indiana Pacers has made themselves worthy challengers for the Eastern Conference crown. The Brooklyn Nets’ moves have astounded even though they have gotten older. The Bulls remain the team that is the unknown due to the health and chemistry issues surrounding Rose.
That should make people take a step back before determining that the Bulls are the same team, because they are not.