How can two neighbors disappoint Chicago sports fans in two hours?
Blackhawks star Patrick Kane got shoved into the boards Feb. 24, fracturing his left clavicle. His neighbor, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, reported knee pain that night and had an exam and MRI to confirm a medial meniscus tear.
As a Bulls fan and particularly a D. Rose fan, it was an “Are you kidding me?” moment when I got a text alerting me of the knee injury. I didn’t believe it, so I looked into it myself. I wasn’t about to be fooled. This inconvenient truth hit me like a bus swerving on the ice-covered Chicago streets.
But then I realized that this team was built to withstand a fall if it happened again. The Bulls have three other point guards on the team, so they do not need to find a replacement.
Rose is expected to return in four to six weeks after having his meniscus repaired Feb. 27. Having it repaired rather than removed means he might tear it (again) when he comes back (again), but he should focus on overcoming the injury mentally, not physically. Based on the current estimated return time, there will still be a few regular season games left before the playoffs begin.
Bulls rookie and backup forward Doug McDermott, more commonly known as Dougie McBuckets, had knee surgery in December and came back this season. A knee injury isn’t the end of the world or even the end of a player’s season.
Still, if the Bulls are worried about having three point guards rather than four, then they might consider signing one of their former point guards—Nate Robinson. Nate the Great led the Bulls to a triple-overtime victory in the playoffs a couple seasons ago and showed that he is the sparkplug the Bulls need to overcome a deficit.
However, sticking with the point guards they have means more playing time for the remaining three. Aaron Brooks, Kirk Hinrich and E’Twaun Moore are all capable of running the floor, and all three have proved this season that they produce promising numbers given the minutes.
On a different note, the Bulls may be forced to play better defense now that they are without the at-will scoring that comes with having Rose on the court—they simply cannot outscore opponents without him. Reverting to coach Tom Thibodeau’s defense-oriented style of play can keep the Bulls in the playoff picture.
In the long run, the Bulls need to continue to build their roster the way they did this season—making sure they have enough depth to be able to play through any injury plague the team may suffer. Keeping a surplus of point guards means they do not have to rely on Rose.
This Bulls team prepared to win with or without Derrick Rose, and although he is a great addition, basketball is ultimately a team sport. The team has a deep roster with blooming young stars and will prove to fans that no single injury will stop the stampede of success that is the Bulls.