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.
As if you thought Derrick Rose was not going to play to close out the first round…
Rose had an X-ray and an MRI, both of which came up negative, so he made it clear to Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago exactly how this was going down, including the needle.
“It’s not broken, so I’m definitely playing,” said Rose. “It’s the playoffs. The only thing you can do is take a shot and see how it feels.
“After I take the shot, I shouldn’t feel anything, so hopefully I can go out there and perform,” he continued. “It’s getting better every day. I’ve been getting treatment on it the last couple of days. Hopefully, it’ll be ready [Tuesday].”
Rose was out of the walking boot and was in flip flops. When the Bulls win Tuesday the Pacers players can spend the rest of the summer in flip-flops.
After the win Chicago should be off until the weekend, when the second round starts. That’s some extra days for therapy and rest so he can be ready to go against Atlanta… wow, Atlanta. Did not see that coming, did we?
UPDATE 9:07 pm: According to Aggrey Sam over at CSN Chicago, Rose’s MRI came back negative. So, it is just a minor sprain. Which means like we say in the rest of this post, you can bet he plays the next game.
7:04 pm: Derrick Rose is go for Game 5. And you can expect the Bulls star point guard and MVP to be to play a lot better than he did in Game 4.
But there might be a little concern as he spent Easter Sunday in a walking boot to protect that sprained ankle he got in the first quarter of Game 4, and he’s going to have an MRI (X-rays were negative), according to the Associated Press.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said trainer Fred Tedeschi told him Rose is sore, but the swelling is “not bad.” The walking boot is more precautionary…
“Every time somebody goes down, somebody’s always ready to step up, but knowing Derrick, he’s going to be able to play,” forward Taj Gibson said. “I know he’s not going to sit out and miss a big-time game like this.”
No, he won’t. But it would be nice for somebody else to step up. Luol Deng is averaging 17.3 points per game but shooting just 39 percent. Boozer is 12 points a game (and 11.5 rebounds) but is hitting just 37.5 percent. (To be fair, Rose is only shooting 35.2 percent overall and 17.2 percent from three, which will haunt them against better teams if things do not improve.)
Expect the Bulls to play their best defensive game, take control of a low-scoring game and get some rest before taking on Atlanta or Orlando. Rose and his ankle wouldn’t mind that stretching out.
Such is the weight of the world on Atlas.
Or the weight of the Bulls franchise on Derrick Rose. He has had to carry the full weight of the Bulls return to near the top of the league this season as first Carlos Boozer and now Joakim Noah has been out, and that strain seems finally to have caught up with him.
When asked postgame how it would feel being off until Friday he responded (in a video from CSNChicago.com):
“My back is killing me right now. We’ve got time to rest, get treatment, and hopefully it will heal by the time we play Friday.”
Rose is averaging 38 minutes per game this season and when he is on the court 31.6 percent of his team’s possessions end in one of his plays (a basket, assist, turnover of Rose’s). That is the fifth highest percentage in the league, hanging out with Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron and Wade in Miami. The league’s elite stars.
This appears to be just the regular wear and tear of the NBA grind when you are the team’s franchise player, the kind of pain is part of the regular season to a degree. But the Bulls need to get him some rest before the playoffs. And hopefully get everyone back healthy and get him some help, too.