With another regular season quickly coming to an end, the Chicago Bulls have managed to come together despite the loss of Derrick Rose and the trade of Luol Deng. Although they have impressed many with their tenacity, the Bulls still desperately miss Rose’s on-court presence this year.
During his first four years in the NBA, Rose has electrified not only the city of Chicago, but the entire league as well. During his first season, he won the Rookie of the Year award. In his second year, he made his first All-Star appearance in Dallas. Finally, in Rose’s third season, he was elected the Most Valuable Player of the league. Because of his speed and quickness, he became one of the toughest players to guard in the game of basketball.
Rose’s potential was through the roof going into the 2012 playoffs. The only thing missing on his resume was an NBA championship, and the Bulls looked poised to do so at the time. But it would never come. Rose tore his left ACL in the first playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He eventually missed the rest of the playoffs and all of the following season as well. When Rose came back this season, he was quickly out again after tearing his right meniscus.
Since then, the Bulls have managed to hold down the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. But they still sorely miss Rose’s tenacity, leadership on the court and ability to draw double-teams and create his own shot late in games. D.J. Augustin is a solid replacement for the time being, but cannot score in bunches like Rose.
The Bulls still wouldn’t be a top team in the east with Rose, however, it is safe to say they would have a strangle hold on the third seed over the Toronto Raptors. The trade of Deng might have never occurred as well, and would create more depth and move Mike Dunleavy back to the bench.
Only time will tell how far this current Bulls team can go, but with a recent loss to the Indiana Pacers, Chicago is once again reminded how much they miss Rose.