Tag: Bulls Hawks Game 1

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls - Game Five

Report: MRI shows Grade 2 sprain on Derrick Rose’s ankle


Pulling a page from the hockey playoffs playbook — Injury? What injury? — the Chicago Bulls did do an MRI on Derrick Rose’s left ankle (they denied they would) after he aggravated it Monday night on the final play of the Bulls loss to the Hawks.

And the news isn’t good according to David Kaplan of CSN Chicago.

Sources told me that Rose suffered a Grade 2 sprain of one of the main ligaments on the outside of his ankle and it could affect his mobility for Game 2 on Wednesday evening. He will be treated with several different methods and is expected to start when the Bulls try to even the series.

A Grade 2 sprain means a partial tearing of the ligament, which usually means a lot of swelling, there is a decreased range of motion and more instability in the ankle.

Rose did participate in the Bulls practice Tuesday and reported no swelling.

Rose is going to play, make no mistake.

But as we pointed out before, this injury is impacting Rose’s play.

Rose shot 49 free throws in the three playoff games before he first sprained his ankle in Game 4 against the Pacers. In the last three games it is 11 total, trips to the line, including zero in the Bulls Game 1 loss to the Hawks.

Rose is not as explosive and not driving into players to draw contact like he did before. This sprain will mean worse lateral movement as well.

Rose is going to be named the league MVP Tuesday because he carried the Bulls offense through the regular season. If he can’t carry it in the playoffs, the Bulls have some serious problems.

X-rays negative on Derrick Rose’s ankle, but injury matters

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls - Game Five
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The good news is Derrick Rose’s left ankle is no worse than it was last time.

The bad news is that he has not been quite the same since he injured it last time and it really hit home with Chicago in its Game 1 loss.

X-rays on Rose’s ankle were negative and no MRI is planned, reports ESPN Chicago. He is officially listed as day-to-day, but you can bet he’ll play in Game 2. He’ll get round-the-clock treatment.

He first injured tis same ankle in Game 4 of the Pacers series. He aggravated it deciding to body up and try to make a steal from Jamal Crawford with 8 seconds left in Game 1 when the Bulls were down 8. The game was over but Rose decided he wanted to press, and in doing so stepped on Crawford’s foot. That rolled Rose’s ankle.

Don’t think it matters? In the first three Bulls playoff games, Rose shot 49 free throws, in the last three games it is 11. Including zero in the Bulls Game 1 loss to the Hawks. Hoopdata has the stats and makes the point.

(Monday night) he didn’t seem hobbled by any means. But, he wasn’t able to explode INTO mighty mite Jeff Teague or whoever was guarding him at the time. He could drive and shoot (9 of 20 on two-pointers). He could drive and pass (10 assists). But, he couldn’t drive and draw fouls. As a result, he ended with 24 points on 27 shots (including 2 of 7 on treys). Given the limited margin for error in most of Chicago’s recent wins, that’s a glaring concern.

Problem is, with steady games every other day, Rose is not really going to get a chance to let that ankle rest. And if he can’t get to the line and has to hit jumpers, this is going to be a much harder series for Chicago.

Derrick Rose injures ankle on final play of game

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers - Game Four

Seriously, there is a time — and a reason — to back off a little when the game is over. Soon to be MVP Derrick Rose showed why Tuesday night.

Rose rolled his ankle on the final, meaningless possession of the Bulls 103-95 loss to the Hawks Tuesday. With seven seconds left and the Hawks up eight Jamal Crawford dribbled the ball up court to run out the clock, and normally guys just back off and let the clock run out because the game is over.

But Rose decided to pressure the ball, and in doing so stepped on Crawford’s foot and rolled his ankle. This is the same ankle he rolled in Game 4 against the Pacers, and once you do that once it is more susceptible to re-injury until it is fully healed.

We don’t know how serious it is, but any injury to Derrick Rose is serious to the Chicago Bulls. Rose said he was going for X-rays after speaking to the media postgame.

The Bulls were shocked by the Hawks in Game 1, but if Rose is even slowed some this series becomes very different.

NBA Playoffs: With Hinrich out, Rose is set for an onslaught

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls - Game Five

Kirk Hinrich is doubtful to play at all in the Atlanta Hawks’ series against the Chicago Bulls. As such, the Hawks are doubtful to even remain competitive in the series that will surely spell their playoff end. I hate to foretell a team’s postseason demise in such certain terms, but Hinrich’s absence makes it easy; without their top perimeter defender, the Hawks just don’t stand a chance.

Atlanta’s playoff success thus far has hinged on making their opponent’s offense operate even less fluidly than their own, and if they’re to follow the same template in the second round, then finding a way to impede Derrick Rose is the Hawks’ foremost priority. It’s a tall order to begin with, but almost inconceivable without Hinrich in the lineup. It’s going to get ugly.

Hinrich’s on-ball defense on Jameer Nelson and semi-frequent digs against Dwight Howard in the post were instrumental in keeping the Orlando Magic’s offense under wraps in the first round; according to NBA.com’s StatsCube, the Hawks were 9.9 points per 100 possessions better defensively with Hinrich on the floor, and it wasn’t hard to imagine a healthy Hinrich having a similar defensive impact in the second round. It just wasn’t meant to be, as a strained hamstring has created even more difficulties for an outmatched Hawks team.

That said, Hinrich’s defensive value sadly has as much to do with his strengths as it does his teammates’ weaknesses. When Hinrich sits, either Jamal Crawford or Joe Johnson typically defends the opposing team’s point guard, and at risk of spoiling the surprise, let’s just say it doesn’t typically end well. Johnson once had the repute of being a successful defender, but he and Crawford are both similarly flawed on that end of the court. The Indiana Pacers may have successfully utilized a wing defender – rookie Paul George – on Rose in their first round matchup against the Bulls, but the limitations of the Hawks’ rotation wings make employing a similar strategy almost impossible. Atlanta could potentially cross-match Johnson, Crawford, or Marvin Williams to defend Rose, but none of those players have the lateral movement or the athleticism to mimic George’s success. They would merely be empty copies, defenders with size on Rose, but no total skill set with which to use that size as a defensive weapon.

With that in mind, Hawks head coach Larry Drew has reportedly elected to start second-year guard Jeff Teague at point guard for Game 1, though it’s unknown how exactly Atlanta will match up on defense. Assigning Teague to defend Rose could be the best option available, if only due to the aforementioned poor alternatives; not only are Johnson and Crawford limited defenders, but giving them such a taxing defensive role is perhaps too much of a burden given their demanding offensive responsibilities.

Teague is athletic, but — by Drew’s own fault — a bit inexperienced. The same could also be said of George (though he has former Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien to blame), but the fundamental difference in the physical profiles of the two players makes a profound impact. Teague may have a better athletic capacity to stick with Rose than anyone on Atlanta’s roster, but his lack of experience defending quality point guards will only make him prone to defensive mistakes. George may have been similarly hindered by his lack of consistent court time, but height and length privilege defenders with a greater opportunity for recovery. When George made a mistake in the first round, he could still hustle back to block Rose’s shot from behind or get a hand in his face. When Teague makes a mistake in this series, he’ll practically be dead in the water. Length is an effective mask for the limitations of young players, but Teague, who stands at just 6-2, will have no such benefit.

Atlanta has nowhere to turn. Their best defensive option against Rose is sidelined. Their contingency plan is athletic, but can be easily exploited. All other alternatives are too slow, and too unathletic. Rose can create a positional advantage against just about every team he plays against, but this Hawks roster is uniquely incapable of stopping him without excessive trapping, and thus uniquely incapable of maintaining their current level of defensive success.

Hawks’ Hinrich likely out for Game 1 with strained hamstring

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks
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As if the Hawks don’t face enough challenges taking on the top seeded Chicago Bulls in the second round, it now looks like they now have to go without their defensive-minded starting point guard for at least a game against Derrick Rose. So good luck with that.

Kirk Hinrich pulled up lame with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter Hawks closeout win against Orlando and after an MRI on Friday seems like he will be out for Game 1 Sunday, according to ESPN.

“I saw him when he was leaving the building, and his spirits were really good, but he was limping,” (coach Larry) Drew said. “And that was not a good sign.”

Officially it is a strained hamstring. Those are injuries that can both linger and easily reaggrivate if not fully healed before stepping back on the court.

Hinrich is Atlanta’s best defensive guard and would have drawn a lot of time on Rose. In his absence, look for more Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Which is not good for the Hawks, who already face a lot of challenges in this series.