Can The Chicago Bulls Really Beat The Philadelphia 76ers Without Derrick Rose?
As a Chicago Bulls fan, I’m slightly worried about my team right now. A couple of days ago—before the Bulls played Game 2 of their best-of-7 series against the Sixers—I wasn’t so worried. Even though Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 and was ruled out for the rest of the season, I still thought the Bulls had the firepower and the will to win that it would take to advance to the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Now? Yeah, like I said, I’m a little worried.
I say that because the Bulls played uncharacteristically bad in Game 2. It wasn’t because they were missing shots that they normally make. It wasn’t because the balls that usually bounce their way were going to Philly, either. I don’t even think that Rose’s absence made that much of a difference in the game. Even if he was playing, I still think they would have lost. And, it’s all because they simply got outhustled, outworked, and outclassed in every single aspect of the game in the second half. After a pretty strong showing in the first half by the Bulls, the Sixers came out and took it to them. The Bulls played bad offense—and even worse defense. They didn’t get back on D at all at times and it really hurt their chances of winning this series.
Tonight, they’ll get a chance to get back on the right track when they head to the City of Brotherly Love for Game 3. But, I have to admit: I’m worried. Not because I don’t think that they can win. Not because I don’t think they’re fully capable of doing it. And not because Rose won’t be in the lineup. I’m worried because the Bulls that I watched all season—the team that dove after loose balls, jostled for position in the paint to grab rebounds, and played stellar defense—never came out of the locker room after halftime of Game 2. And, I’m a little worried that they’re still there. So, while I do think the Bulls can beat the 76ers without Derrick Rose, they’re going to need a much better effort all around to do it. Hopefully, I’m just doing a whole lot of worrying for nothing.