How are the Chicago Bulls doing? Could be better, could be worse, but they’re in the playoffs, even without Derrick Rose. Soon, it looks like the former MVP may be finally joining his team in an NBA game.
So far, it’s been a long road which Adidas have transformed into a series of clips and a chance to make money off a player who hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 28. But from keeping in shape to having no-contact practices and then contact practices and travelling with the team, Rose is now dunking and shooting jumpers again.
He’s currently in the “predictable touch” portion of his comeback regiment, which means there’s still some way to go. He’s hardly being contested in training when shooting jumpers, and if he drives to the basket, it means players will get out of the way to let him dunk.
The Chicago Bulls suddenly emereged as NBA title contenders in the 2010-2011 NBA Season. It had a lot to do with head coach Tom Thibodeau becoming the head coach and turning the Bulls into the best defensive unit in the NBA, but it was mostly about Rose turning into the best point guard in the NBA during his third season. Not just the best point guard, but as far as voters were concerned, he was the best player, winning the MVP after averaging 25 points and 7.7 assists during the regular season.
The playoff run stopped in the Conference finals, losing to the Miami Heat 1-4, despite Rose averaging 27.7 points per game during the playoffs. The Bulls were still too young and simply not good enough to conquer the East and the NBA.
The next season, despite Rose missing almost half of it with various leg and back injuries, the Bulls finished with the best record in the East at 50-16. Rose was healthy for the playoffs, and had a great game in Game 1 of the first round series against the Sixers, only to fall down as the entire arena gasped near the end of the game, tearing his ACL.
This offseason was a weird one for Chicago. Knowing that with Rose they’re good enough for an NBA title, but without him, nothing more than just another team that can make the playoffs without much hope of getting too far. They did a complete overhaul of possibly the best bench in the NBA, and decided that they’ll just swing for mediocrity, hoping Rose bounces back as soon as possible.
At 19-14, they’re not doing too bad. Pretty much as expected. Ugly offense, excellent defense most of the time. Good enough for the 4-5 seed in the East. Rose surprised many by showing he already has enough explosiveness in his left knee to preform dunks. The next stage is full-contact in practice. At the moment, no one, not even the Miami Heat, is running away with the Heat. Maybe with a healthy Rose by the end of February the Bulls will still have a shot at home court advantage for more than just the first round.