Everything was going perfectly for the Bulls in Game 1 of their series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia was having no luck scoring on the Bulls’ defense, Lou Williams was never able to get anything going, Derrick Rose was approaching a triple-double, and new addition Rip Hamilton had 19 points on 6-7 shooting from the field.
Then it happened. With the Bulls up 12 and 1:09 left in the game, Derrick Rose was driving to the basket, and then he went down. Hard. Rose looked to be in a great deal of pain, and the air was instantly sucked out of the building. Rose eventually limped off with help, and the Bulls held on for an easy 103-91 win, but everyone in Chicago is wondering about the left knee of their young superstar point guard.
If Rose’s injury is serious, there’s still a good chance the team will get through the first round, but it would be almost impossible for any team to make a serious run at a championship with their best player in street clothes. All the right things happened for the Bulls in the 1st 47 minutes of Saturday’s game, but everything about their playoff run is now very much an open question after Rose’s injury.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.