On Saturday in Game 1 of the opening round of 2012 NBA playoffs the Chicago Bulls began what they hoped would eventually culminate into a championship run. Those aspirations quickly went out the window when the reining league MVP, Derrick Rose, suffered a torn ACL that will cost him the rest of the NBA season; or did they? Can the Bulls still win an NBA title without Derrick Rose?
Rose was injured while trying to jump off his left foot as time was running out in the Bulls 103-91 Game 1 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. The injury puts a serious damper on the Bulls title hopes but don’t count them out just yet.
Rose only played in 39 of the Bulls 66 games this season. Despite his injury plagued season, the Bulls managed to secure the best record in the NBA without their best player. Chicago plays exceptional team basketball; a lost art in the NBA. Even in Rose’s absence the Bulls are the second best team in the East which puts them in the conference finals at worst.
The Bulls probable opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals would be the Miami Heat. The Heat are a Jekyll and Hyde NBA persona. You never know which one will show up. If the Bulls are fortunate enough to catch the Heat off their game then they could very well advance to the Finals and as everyone knows, once there anything can happen.
The bottom line here is that the loss of Derrick Rose is a tremendous blow to the Bulls championship aspirations. Despite Chicago having the best record in the NBA during the regular season with Rose missing almost half of the games, the NBA playoffs are a different beast. I don’t know whether or not the Bulls have enough without Rose to beat the Heat four out of seven games with so much on the line. But know this, if any team can, it is without a doubt the Chicago Bulls. We’ll just have to watch this one play out.
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