Those thinking Derrick Rose might make his return fell a victim to an April Fool’s joke. He isn’t injured, but he isn’t returning this season it seems, while the injury list goes longer and longer for the Chicago Bulls, as Taj Gibson joined Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli and Rip Hamliton while Kirk Hinrich, the only trustworthy guard in the lineup, found himself getting ejected from the game.
As you can say, the opposite of a perfect day, ending with a 90-86 loss to the Washington Wizards, who aren’t having the greatest of seasons (28-46), but have won 8 straight at home, while John Wall, who finished the game with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, is having the kind of season that finally propels him, probably, into a whole new level after a bad second season and a long injury to begin this one.
And the Bulls? Hinrich, their only guard in the starting lineup, couldn’t watch his tongue, and got tossed out with two quick technicals in the fourth quarter, complaining for a non-foul call and then arguing with the refs for cancelling two points by Nazr Mohammed due to offensive interference.
Taj Gibson? He spent only 10 minutes on the floor before another injury hit the team that used only 8 players, and had one of its uglier shooting night recently, falling back to the sub .400 area, making only 39.3% of their field goal attempts. It did come down to fourth quarter efficiency, but with no true guard to tame Nate Robinson, finishing with 17 points but also 1-7 from beyond the arc, it was hard keeping their cool in the final minutes.
The Bulls will make the playoffs, probably from sixth, hoping to get as many players as possible by the team the real season begins. Their opponents? Right now it looks like the Indiana Pacers, but the Bulls are probably hoping for the New York Knicks, a team they match up with a lot better, although without Derrick Rose and homecourt advantage, they’re going to be underdogs regardless of who they meet in the first round.