At this point of the season, you have to wonder whether or not Chicago Bulls centerpiece, Derrick Rose, will even return to action this year. Right now, the Bulls find themselves in the 5th spot in the East, sporting a record of 35-28. If they’re not careful though, they could potentially see the Boston Celtics pass them and if the Milwaukee Bucks went on a decent sized run, they might be able to jump over the Bulls as well. The Celtics are only a half game behind them and the Bucks are trailing Chicago by three games. Most likely, the men in green will be able to sprint past the Bulls. As for the Bucks, I can’t really say for sure because it would take a good sized streak and a good number of losses for the Bucks and Bulls respectively. It doesn’t appear as though the Bulls are about to lay down and die, but the Bucks have been sporadic all season long so they may have another winning streak in them.
I had been reading a lot about how great Rose has looked in 5-on-5 drills in practice. In addition, I had been hearing about him dunking with no problem. This was a few weeks ago and when I originally became aware of these stories I thought that he would be back relatively soon. Well, I guess I was wrong to believe such a thing because Rose has still yet to suit up for the Bulls in 2012-13.
As recently as today, ESPN reported that doctors had cleared Rose to play in games. Despite the news, it was also reported that the point guard would not play until he could confidently dunk off his left foot. The problem with that news is that it’s hard to speculate when Rose will return to Chicago’s lineup. Only Rose knows where he’s at with his development. In turn, that leaves us as members of the media or fans of the sport in a helpless situation. All we can do is sit around, keep our eyes and ears open, and wait for the announcement that Rose is making his return.
In all honesty, I’m getting a little bit frustrated with Derrick Rose and I’m sure I’m not the only one. He’s been playing great in practice and he’s dunking again. Not to mention that even before today, doctors had told Rose he could play without any consequences. Physically, Rose is there but it’s the mental aspect that is lagging behind. I understand that’s to be expected because there’s always the thought in the back of your mind that it could happen again. Besides, Rose isn’t know to be the most mentally tough player in the league. If you recall in recent years, Rose almost had a breakdown because he admitted that he wasn’t sure if he could handle the pressure of being a top tier talent on basketball’s biggest stage. I’m not sure if he’s dealing with any private issues but one thing is certain, Derrick Rose is mentally fragile.
Last year, Rose missed a significant amount of time and only appeared in 39 games. The Bulls were still able to play their way to the top seed in the East Conference going into the post season. In 2012-13 Chicago is already 61 games deep and currently sits in 6th in Eastern Conference. While they have been playing good basketball this season, it doesn’t matter whether they get the first or eighth seed in the East because they aren’t going to win a title without Derrick Rose. If he does in fact return this season, he’ll only be able to play in less than 20 regular season games and then the first round of the post season will be here before he knows it. That’s a big “if” though seeing as Rose has stated that he wouldn’t mind missing this whole season. That’s bad news for the fans in Chicago because that means this is just another year of the Bulls being an above average team but not good enough to win a championship.
Like I said before, only Derrick Rose knows where he’s at on his road to recovery. Anything we hear is just “he said, she said,” until we see him in a Bulls uniform. It will definitely be disappointing if Rose decides to call it a year and he makes us wait to see him play until the 2013-14 season. Plus, Adidas might be knocking on his front door asking for the money they gave him for “The Return” commercial.