Derrick Rose has a torn meniscus in his right knee, which means that the Chicago Bulls are no longer a contender to go deep in the playoffs and challenge Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Rose tore his meniscus against the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night while trying to change directions. Without a healthy rose the Heat lose one of their most helpful allies, competition.
What Rose’s next move will be is uncertain, he has a variety of procedures open to chose from, but a full recovery will likely mean six months on the sidelines. What the Chicago Bull’s next move will be was already witnessed last year, when Rose was sidelined because of his left knee. They will slowly drop out of the race in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls could still make the playoffs due to the total lack of sustained talent in the East. However, their chances of beating either the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers has completely dried up with the loss of Rose.
The loss of Rose could also lead to more problems than previously foreseen. Rose has always been one of Tom Thibodeau’s biggest supporters in front of a front office that has never warmed to the coach. Rose too, along with Luol Deng, has had his own problems with front office relations in Chicago. So could we have already seen the last of the Rose/ Thibodeau Chicago Bulls? It is not a question that is absurd to consider.
Rose’s injury creates a far reaching reverberation across the rest of the East as well. In the East, for those fans thinking about the Finals, there are currently only two teams that matter. The Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. The Heat have lost any other important competition when the Bulls lost Rose.
Both New York teams, the Nets and the Knicks, have been disappointing to say the least so far and do not appear to be turning it around anytime soon. The Hawks are a respectable 8-6, but the Heat have handled them easily in the past and no one seriously considers them at the top of the East. The 76ers, Celtics, Cavaliers and Pistons round out the list of the more respectable teams, but they even seem to be looking forward to next year’s draft.
Without Rose the Heat lose their secret weapon. Competition. There are not many holes you can find in the Miami Heat but if there is one that sportswriters love to return to it is that they seem to get complacent when they aren’t challenged. It takes a hit to the body before the Heat ramp up their engines and begin to fire on all cylinders again.
Coach Erik Spoelstra admitted that, “with this group, sometimes we have to go through the process of catching ourselves and getting back our identity.”
Even if the Heat were not playing Chicago every other night they still had the threat of the talented Derrick Rose to keep them sharp against whoever they were playing. Now, that Rose is lost, the Heat have lost an important competitor. With Rose out the burden of beating the Heat for a trip to the NBA Finals now rests solely on the shoulders of the Indiana Pacers.
By Nick Manai