Surrounded by the gossip of Joakim Noah and Carmelo Anthony, the Chicago Bulls looked to keep pace with the Toronto Raptors Friday night for the third spot in the NBA‘s Eastern Conference. However, the Memphis Grizzlies had other plans and stifled the Bulls 85-77. It was an ugly offensive showing for both teams, but it was even worse for Chicago.
The Bulls are a defensive monster and thrive on their ability to stop teams, but without their star player, Derrick Rose, their offensive game is just terrible. It has gotten so bad that Joakim Noah has begun leading the team in scoring on some nights. I can’t rip on them too much because they are winning. It’s just that 77 points is not going to get it done against the big boys like the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.
There might be good news, though, because there is a small belief that Rose may return sometime this season. It could be the playoffs, but either way, it would be a huge boost for Chicago, especially considering they are in a decent position in the East. If Rose does make a late season or playoff return, both the Pacers and Heat better be ready to man their battle stations because that throws a monkey wrench into their best-laid plans.
If Rose does return, it is great for the Bulls and the league. It will attract more viewers to a subpar Eastern Conference and it adds intrigue to the playoff scenario. If he doesn’t return, I still think the Bulls can be dangerous. Their hard-nosed, angry style of play is the type of plan that causes upsets. Accept for Friday night’s performance, Chicago has gotten better as the season progresses. Let’s see what the next 20 games bring.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.