Bulls Win Game One; Team, City and NBA Lose the MVP to ACL Tear

Wow… Bulls fans, it seems almost cruel, but somehow inevitable that Derrick Rose’s body would betray him once again. This time, the injury will not get the “game time decision” treatment or the dreaded “day-to-day” and/or “week-to-week” status. No, this injury will take Derrick Rose out of the Chicago Bulls lineup for a long, long time. We will have a long time to discuss his ACL tear, his rehabilitation, and whether or not Derrick will come back as the explosive, exciting player that we all became instant fans of.

I’m sure there will also be a faction of fans who will blame the Bulls medical staff as well as Coach Tom Thibodeau for not managing Rose’s recovery from prior injuries and minutes properly. I’m not one of those people. I’m honestly just consumed with concern for Derrick and his family. I can’t even muster up anger for anyone. I’ve slowly accepted it as just something that happened that we have to move past… Chicago is still in the playoffs and are STILL poised to make a deep run. I don’t think they win the championship, but they for sure have the motivation to do it.

Game Notes:

The Bulls came out with energy and competed at a high level with Philadelphia. Very impressive. It will be interesting to see how Collins overcomes the size deficiency which I predicted would be exploited by the Bulls bigs.

  • Rip started out 4-4 and was benched rather early in my opinion. He didn’t cool off when he was re-inserted and did more than just score the basketball. He was 5-6 by halftime with 13 pts.
  • Derrick struggled early going 1-6, but kept his composure and hit three buckets in a row late in the 2nd. He had 10 pts. 4 assists a steal and a block by halftime so he was feeling it.
  • Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams were real sparks in the 2nd quarter
  • Elton Brand turned back the clock and just hit the midrange shot with regularity.
  • Noah was so active. Predictably, he dominated the glass for put backs, tip ins, tap outs, etc. He also had a sick dunk in the 1st quarter that really set the tone when it appeared we were going to simply trade buckets with Philly:

  • Derrick’s last game that we will see for a while featured a near triple-double and the closest thing we’ve seen to a vintage Derrick performance. I was absolutely thrilled to see him have such a great playoff debut after so much time away. Bittersweet for sure.
  • There was a little chippiness that occurred in the 3Q with 4:35 left… Boozer got tangled up with Evan Turner and Rip immediately came over talking… Derrick finds HIS way over to the little skirmish clapping his hands and instigating! (I remember being so happy he got this little moment after the things Evan Turner said) Hamilton and Rose would get T’s for their trouble.
  • Bulls started to pull away, but Philly did a great job of stopping the clock in the last 5 minutes and seemed to take at least a dozen FT’s in order to close the gap.
  • The ACL tear occurred with 1:38 left with the Bulls holding a 12 pt. lead.

Tweets acknowledging Derrick Rose’s season ending injury:

Sideline Skinny:

  • Derrick had to be led off of the court by two trainers.
  • Boozer touched Derrick’s head as he went past the bench.
  • The players were in shock and the locker room was like a funeral afterwards… Even before the diagnosis, everyone kind of knew it would be bad. The only hope that was held was because Derrick didn’t have to be carried off the court.
  • Ironically, the rookie Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks suffered the same injury on his left knee in their playoff opener vs. Miami.

What’s Next?

Next game vs. Philly is on Tuesday at the United Center. 8:00 P.M. EST on TNT

Bulls certainly have more than enough to beat Philadelphia. Let’s bounceback emotionally from the loss of Derrick, get ready for the 76ers adjustments (although they can do nothing about the size deficiencies on their interior) and dominate once again on our homecourt. The world will be watching, let’s give them something to see guys!

I’ll be in-game tweeting for this playoff game from @ChiTwnBullsBlog Follow me for all things BULLS!!!

–ct

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