Things haven’t looked well for the Chicago Bulls this week.
In the midst of a tough road trip through the Western Conference that started with consecutive losses against the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers, the Bulls already suffered the loss of Jimmy Butler with a turf toe that will keep him sidelined for at least 2-3 weeks.
Things got even worse yesterday with Derrick Rose’s injury, as the star point guard was unable to return to the game against the Blazers and had to leave the game on crutches. While most people expected another serious injury like the ACL tear he suffered during the 2011-12 playoffs, Rose only has a meniscus tear in his right knee with various paths of recovery.
Regardless, the Bulls are now facing some serious lack of backcourt depth after losing their two starters. With Rose and Butler out, coach Tom Thibodeau will be forced to start veteran Kirk Hinrich and journeyman Mike Dunleavy, and they also have second-year guard Marquis Teague who is capable of running the offense.
It’s clearly a downgrade in comparison to what the team had at the beginning of the year with a healthy Rose that should’ve been the difference-maker, and a Butler that was poised to have a breakout campaign.
The Bulls should do fine in the meantime as Butler will return before the end of the year, and Rose can potentially return before the end of the regular season. The team should make the playoffs in a depleted Eastern Conference, but that doesn’t hide the fact that the Bulls need to solve their backcourt issues sooner rather than later.