Coming into this season, the Chicago Bulls were the talk of the NBA. Many people inside and outside the league were giving them a legitimate shot at the championship. The Bulls were getting their former MVP, Derrick Rose back in the lineup after sitting out the entire 2012-13 season from knee surgery. It’s only been three games into this season, but D. Rose has struggled mightily.
I had the luxury of watching the Bulls play against the Philadelphia 76ers this weekend live. The Bulls, coming off a dramatic win over the New York Knicks, came into Philly with a lot of confidence. Rose made an unbelievable runner to beat the Knicks and that shot was supposed to get him going. Well, against the Sixers, Rose was supremely outplayed by rookie, Michael Carter-Williams. The Bulls blew a 20 point lead in the third quarter and never could gain control when the Sixers went on their run. The 76ers went on to win, 107-104.
Rose blames himself for the loss. Carter-Williams used his size, 6-foot-5, to frustrate Rose. Rose couldn’t keep Carter-Williams in front of him and on the offensive end, he couldn’t dominate. Rose’s shot was off once again and in the fourth quarter, when he is usually money, he turned the ball over multiple times.
There’s just something not right with the way Rose is playing. The explosion and quickness is still there. He’s just having a hard time finishing at the rim and his jumper has been flat. His numbers are okay, 14.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. But it’s these numbers that lets people know he is struggling, 28 percent from the field and 5.7 turnovers per game.
In all fairness, there is a lot of pressure on Rose. Fans are expecting Rose to be the player he was pre ACL injury and deliver right away. He will get there in due time. We need not to panic because it’s only been three games into the season. Rose is playing badly and he acknowledges this. The bad turnovers, missed shots, miscommunication, whatever it is, he is in the forefront of all of it. The Bulls are just not jelling at the moment. Rose and everybody on that Bulls’ roster has to step up and become the force we know they can be.