The Chicago Bulls improved their home record to 11-1 with a win over the Boston Celtics last night. Although this Celtics team is much older than prior years, a win without last year’s MVP Derrick Rose is still impressive. Carlos Boozer had the kind of game he should have every night with 23 points and 15 rebounds, while first-time All-Star Luol Deng also dropped 23 points and 10 assists.
As an owner of Derrick Rose in fantasy for the past two years, I can tell you first-hand how vital he is to the Bulls’ success. His will to win and his tendency to take over games late in the fourth only lend themselves to his incredible quickness and ability to finish at the rim over taller defenders. However, I can also tell you that this season, Rose has been banged up a bit. In addition to the turf toe injury, Rose has been having back spasms and has missed the last four games.
Normally I wouldn’t be too concerned; Rose is tough, he wants nothing more than to be on the court, and with this shortened season, almost everyone is banged up at this point. But Rose seems fragile and hasn’t missed this many games before, If these back problems continue to plague him, the Bulls won’t go very far in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Although Deng does a decent job leading the team and both Boozer and Noah stepped up in Rose’s absence, the Bulls still go as Derrick Rose goes. CJ Watson and John Lucas are great backups and Chicago is capable of beating lesser teams with their solid defense and team passing, but the only Bulls team that stands a chance against Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals is one led by D-Rose.
Personally, I would love nothing more than to see a Bulls-Thunder NBA Finals, but there’s no shot for Chicago if Rose doesn’t stay healthy. For the sake of someone giving the Heat competition in the East, for the sake of good basketball and for the sake of my fantasy team, here’s to D-Rose making a swift recovery.