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.
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.