There is no denying that, when healthy, very few players can dominate the NBA like Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose. His athleticism and tenacity are nearly unparalleled in the league. However, Rose tore his ACL last season in the first game of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, and he has not played since.
Fast-forward to last night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, and Rose has still not touched the floor. After stealing the game from defending champion Miami Heat, two members of the sports staff decide whether or not Rose should come back during the seven-game semifinal playoff.
Mark Kern, sports editor
The Chicago Bulls have been devastated by injuries. Besides Rose being out, players like Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich have been unable to play in the past few games. However, center Joakim Noah has been a beast in these games and single-handedly willed the team to a Game 7 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
With Nate Robinson taking over late in Game 1, the Bulls were able to steal a game in Miami. With an opportunity to pull the upset over Miami, the Bulls need their superstar. That is where Rose comes in.
Rose has been cleared to play since March 8, and for a player of such high caliber, it’s insane that he has not yet started playing for the Bulls.
New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert tore his ACL the very same day as Rose and has been playing for the past five months.
Rose has a chance to regain his role as the top dog in the city of Chicago. Rose was once the most beloved athlete in Chicago, but many fans are growing more and more frustrated with him sitting on the bench. Coming back to knock out the star-studded Miami Heat team would be one of the greatest post-season comeback stories in sports history.
Rose has been outstanding for the Bulls his whole career, but it is time for him to get back where he belongs, and that is on the court.
Sean Frye, staff writer
All the speculation regarding the potential return of Derrick Rose has got to stop. Rose should not return in the Chicago Bulls’ Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against the Miami Heat. The Bulls have done just fine without him up to this point.
The play of the Bulls’ point guards has been particularly outstanding this postseason. Nate Robinson carried the Bulls through much of their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, as well as late in the game against the Heat.
According to an ESPN report, Rose is not ruling out a return from his ACL injury during the Bulls’ playoff series against the Heat. However, the Bulls have managed to get this far without Rose in the lineup, so it wouldn’t make sense to shuffle up the lineup by throwing Rose into it in the middle of the postseason.
The Bulls have had a pretty good year against the Heat. The Bulls are now 3-2 against the defending champions and ended the Heat’s 27-game winning streak in Chicago on March 27 when the Bulls downed the Heat 101-97.
All of that was without Rose.
Although the recent trend of athletes recovering well from ACL injuries seems to be positive (see Adrian Peterson), it would be stupid for the Bulls to throw a player into the lineup in the middle of the playoffs who hasn’t played a single minute of the season.
The time for Rose to return was in the regular season. He was cleared in March, but chose not to return because he wanted to get emotionally ready. And while that’s understandable, it would be unfair of Rose to suddenly come out and say he’s ready to play after his team has done so well in the playoffs.
The Bulls have succeeded without Rose, a true testament to the coaching of Tom
Thibodeau and the Bulls players, who have all stepped up in the former MVP’s absence. When Rose returns next year, he’ll be an outstanding addition to a system that is now working, and he will likely put the Bulls in the hunt for the NBA title.
But for now, as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Mark Kern is a senior in print journalism. Sean Frye is a junior in journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to email@example.com.