After all the misery and despair the Chicago Bulls have been put through over the last three seasons, you would think that Tom Thibodeau would have had a heart attack by now. As if the reoccurring loss of Derrick Rose wasn’t enough to make Thibodeau pull his hair out, maybe a triple overtime thriller would.
Riding on the heels of a positive possibility, the Bulls held on through 15 minutes of extra basketball to beat the Orlando Magic 126-125. The big win moves Chicago to 18-19 on the season, comfortably in the sixth spot in the NBA Eastern Conference. More importantly, Rose is off of crutches and traveled with the team. That is great news for a Bulls squad that just traded one of their best players in Luol Deng.
The talk around the league is that Rose is hoping for a postseason return and you better believe he will play if he can. The All-Star point guard missed all of last season, including the playoffs, due to a torn ACL and he will likely miss the remainder of this year with a torn meniscus in the opposite knee. Both were huge blows for Rose physically and mentally. Not only was it personally rough for Rose, but it essentially crushed incredibly high hopes for a Chicago franchise that was expected to compete with the Miami Heat for East supremacy.
With the Bulls in the the thick of the playoff race in a demeaning Eastern Conference, Rose would be throwing a monkey wrench into the postseason picture. Everyone and their mother have all but guaranteed the conference to either the Heat or Indiana Pacers. Rose’s return could add a third party to the race.
I am willing to bet that if Rose is healthy come April, he will play. There will be no playing it cautious for a player that took every precaution and is missing his second straight season. Once believed to be the savior of the organization, Rose has only held Chicago back the last few seasons and has been a waste of money. If his knee is ready to go, Rose will play because he has too much to prove and regain at this point.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com with any questions, comments, concerns or thoughts.