Sure, it’s a terrible thing that happened to Derrick Rose on Saturday against the 76ers. A torn ACL is one of the worst sports injuries you could suffer. But Derrick is a tough guy, and his team isn’t any less tough than him.
The Bulls went 17-8 without Rose on the season, and most of those victories were against teams that are now in the playoffs (including the Heat). Without their leader though, everybody is going to have to step up and play 110% basketball every single playoff game.
Here’s how they can do that :
CARLOS BOOZER – No one got criticized more last year during the playoffs on the Bulls than Boozer. He is more than able to get 20-10 during a game, but during the playoffs last year he was simply abysmal. In game one, he only went 9 and 7. He will need to do much better than that.
JOAKIM NOAH – A double double, 12 and 13 game, is not bad. Especially considering that most of his points were either tip ins or dunks. You can’t really complain about his game too much when he’s giving you a double double and so many offensive rebounds. A few more points couldn’t hurt, but a double double almost every game during the playoffs would be a big help.
RICHARD HAMILTON – Very capable of giving you twenty points per game and can tire his defender out. Having him out on the court, and in his all-star condition, provides a huge boost to the offense. Not to mention his court vision is outstanding. He needs to provide the Bulls with good, all around, well balanced games where he scores a lot.
LUOL DENG – In game one, he had 17 points. This is what Deng does for the Bulls. He gives them a big scoring boost. Not to mention his great defense. As long as he keeps playing basketball as hard as he always does, he will be helping out the Bulls greatly.
CJ WATSON – CJ is used to filling in for Derrick Rose by now. He averaged 11 points and 5 assists in games where he started. Hopefully he ups the assists a little bit for the playoffs and keeps his turnovers down and plays it smart at the point.
JOHN LUCAS III – Chicago’s very own taste of Linsanity. When he comes off the bench, he is going to put it in the bucket for you. Shouldn’t be too worried about Lucas being out there. He’s easily capable for giving you 15 points off the bench, and can hit big shots. Let’s just hope Lebron doesn’t jump over him again if the Bulls and Heat meet in the playoffs.
TAJ GIBSON – Gibson doesn’t have to change a thing. His defense is smothering, offense is adequate, and his rebounding is fantastic.
KYLE KORVER – As seen in his article, Kyle Korver looks like he wants to take the leadership role over for the Bulls. We’ll see if this translates onto the court as well. Korver was a complete non-factor in last year’s playoffs, and in game one, he scored 11. Only 3 of those points came from the long ball though. Hopefully, when the time comes, his three ball is on the mark.
RONNIE BREWER – Brewer just needs to keep playing great defense and getting those easy garbage points under the basket. Brewer is good for 6 or so points per game off the bench while smothering players with his great defense. We’ll take it.
OMER ASIK – Again. Great defense, great rebounding, and any points he can contribute would be great. The big thing here though is … he needs to make his free throws. He finished at 48% free throw percentage on the season.
JIMMY BUTLER, MIKE JAMES and BRIAN SCALABRINE – Probably not going to see a whole lot of playing time unless someone gets hurt. Jimmy Butler might come in for his defense at times, but I don’t expect to see much White Mamba or Mike James.
There’s absolutely no reason to not have faith in the Chicago Bulls roster as it is right now. We saw so much through the year how deep this team is. and there’s no reason to think they’re going to stop being the best team in the league just because Derrick Rose got hurt. They played great basketball with him and great basketball without him. That’s not going to change now.