*Photo via USA Today
It seems to be a recurring sad and unfortunate scene in Chicago, year after year, Derrick Rose hurt, and out again with another knee surgery. The Bulls have finally been playing the level of basketball that everyone knew was possible with a healthy D. Rose. Chicago is sitting at 37-22 in a 3-way tie for the 2nd seed in the East, the D. Rose injury makes this last month a lot more stressful. Now Rose is expected to return in 4-6 weeks, barring no setbacks, so the playoff Bulls very well may look like the current 37-22 Bulls. However, with Jimmy Butler now out 3-6 weeks it is in fact panic time. To survive the last 2 months of the season, the play of Pau Gasol and other role players get amplified. Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah are going to have to take a big part of the offensive workload. At the point guard position, they have issues one being Kirk Hinrich has been playing very poor this season offensively, he just looks old. On the other hand you have Aaron Brooks who is having a good year, but you are playing four versus five on defense. We all know Tom Thibodeau is defense first so in order for Brooks to see more time he needs to contribute on the defensive side of the ball, they could desperately use his shooting on the floor. Be ready to see more of Doug McBuckets and Tony Snell filling in for Butler, this playing time could help both of these two find more minutes in the playoffs. So I know Bull fans, its heart throbbing to see Rose go down and now Butler. The Bulls are still a playoff team as well as a top 4 seed and home court is almost completely safe, mainly due to the unexplainable struggles in Washington. If Rose does return healthy in 4-6 weeks, along with Butler, there is no need to worry it’s a waiting game at this point. Time for the role players to step up.
-By Kory Waldron