After Chicago’s disappointing loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday, pundits and fans are questioning Derrick Rose’s ability to get it done for the team. Adding fuel to the fire is the team’s Jan. 25 loss against the Indiana Pacers when Rose gave the last shot to Brian Scalabrine instead of taking it.
With this year’s abbreviated NBA season, there’s still a lot of basketball left for the Bulls and this means plenty of time for them to come back. Here’s a few things to keep in mind.
Lots of Injuries
Rose has been battling turf toe for the last few weeks but continues to perform at a high level. With his 34 points against the Heat, it was the first time this season anyone had scored more than 30 points against the team. Rose has been honest that he’s not 100 percent so just imagine if he were.
How many points could we see from him and would it improve his much-needed defense?
Next up on the injury list is Luol Deng. He is suffering from a torn ligament in his left wrist. Behind Rose, he is the team’s top scorer and now that he’s missing, you can see he adds glue to this team. His quiet leadership is taken for granted.
Deng is reportedly day-to-day and on Sunday, coach Tom Thibodeau said that he is “very close” to returning. At issue is whether Deng should get surgery (he’s opted not to) and is he planning to return too soon. I have been an advocate that he should wait and not further delay healing but Deng wants to return as soon as possible.
Joining the injured ranks is Rip Hamilton. He first suffered a groin injury and last week it was a bruised thigh. He aggravated it on Sunday and is now “iffy” for Monday night’s game.
Hamilton joined the team to help out Rose at guard but he hasn’t done so on a consistent basis.
Add in C.J. Watson’s wrist injury (he may return on Monday) as well as John Lucas III and Yoakim Noah’s problems and you have a depleted team not playing at their full potential.
Carlos Boozer Needs to Step Up
On Sunday, Boozer spent most of the game in foul trouble (six) and only added 10 points. This wasn’t enough from him for a veteran player. Without Deng, Boozer needs to step up. He hasn’t done so and why is the question when he has the ability to do it (see the Phoenix Suns game).
Only Boozer can answer this but are expectations too high for him?
Rose is His Own Worst Enemy
Sometimes athletes lose competitions from their own play and head games. With Rose, he is his own worst critic and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders for this team. The reigning MVP knows this and only he can change it. Not getting help from his teammates is a problem but Rose needs to embrace that basketball is a team sport; losses don’t come from just one person.