x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Derrick Rose's injury turns Bulls' play-off dream to nightmare

Regardless of the public face Tom Thibodeau, coach of the Chicago Bulls, puts on, he knows his team's chances to win the NBA title just became astronomical with Derrick Rose's injury.

Though they won their play-off opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, the mood in the Chicago Bulls locker room after the game was somber because of the injury to Derrick Rose.
Though they won their play-off opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, the mood in the Chicago Bulls locker room after the game was somber because of the injury to Derrick Rose.

 

Want to complain about the unfairness of it all? Go talk to grandma. Fair in sports is happenstance.

A kick hits the bar and goes in. Or out. Match point is an inch wide.

The winning putt lips out.

Or, with 82 seconds left in a play-offs opener the Chicago Bulls had already won, Derrick Rose's knee shreds without being touched.

Nothing fair about it. Rose missed 27 games during the season with a series of odd injuries, but he was back to the lead the Bulls to victory. In a second he was done, and the Bulls with him.

"It's not a death sentence for him, it's not a death sentence for our team," said the Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau.

"He's going to come back. He'll come back better than ever. It's just the way it is and we've got to deal with."

Sorry, Tommy - it is a death sentence for the Bulls in these play-offs. Yes, they may get past the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. And the Bulls are still a nice team; they were 18-9 in games in which Rose did not play.

But playing the same team in a best-of-seven series is another matter. Teams will not be caught by surprise after a game or two. They will notice that the Bulls have no crunch-time scorer, without Rose. And the Bulls will go down, if not now, then in the next round to Boston or Atlanta. Or, assuredly to the Miami Heat in the East finals.

With Rose, the Bulls were at least co-favourites to reach the NBA finals. Without him, they are just another good team. And there is nothing fair about it.

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