Derrick Rose missed the second half of the Bulls' 114-109 loss to the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday. Yeah, I know, big surprise right?
Let me first point out that my headline (and the following template) are stolen from a Facebook post by my buddy Paul M. Banks, the brains behind The Sports Bank:
Become a sportswriter covering Derrick Rose in just 30 seconds:
CHICAGO-- Derrick Rose left last night's game due to an injured (insert body part here). He is expected to miss (insert timetable here).
"We are very disappointed," said Chicago Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau.
"However, we are confident that in time Derrick will return stronger than ever."
Rose will undergo (insert name of specific medical procedure here) this week and Bulls medical staff will further evaluate the severity of the (insert injury name again with more medical terminology) at that time.
Tonight, it was apparently some tightness in his hamstring. I have heard unconfirmed rumors that he actually got his period just before halftime, but I have not been able to confirm that.
OK, maybe that was a cheap shot, and I'm not saying that Derrick Rose isn't actually injured. In fact, I'm sure he probably feels like he is suffering from an actual hamstring injury.
But let's assume that Derrick Rose actually is injured. Enough already. Which is worse, a guy who isn't tough enough to play through minor injuries, or a guy who is injured a vast majority of the time?
You say to-ma-to, I say to-mah-to. What's the difference? I only know that it's becoming more and more apparent that for all his talents, Derrick Rose is the next Grant Hill. The next Tracy McGrady. The next Bill Walton.
Derrick Rose was one of the best players in the NBA in 2010-11, obviously, as he was named the league's Most Valuable Player in his third season. He was also a healthy player, missing only six games total in those first three years.
But Derrick Rose has only played in 56 of the Bulls' 245 regular-season games over the last four seasons (that includes this season). That's 22.9% of the Bulls' games that Derrick Rose has been able to play in.
He has only played in one playoff game the last three seasons.
He has managed to play in 43.3% of the Bulls' games so far this season, but he couldn't finish 28.6% of the games he has actually been healthy enough to play in.
Don't get me wrong, I am not calling Derrick Rose soft (my bad Midol joke not withstanding, and it was just a joke).
But I am calling Derrick Rose injury-prone. I don't know how anyone can come to any other conclusion if you've been paying attention to the Bulls over the last 3+ years.
Maybe someday, Derrick Rose will be able to play and stay healthy. But for over half of his NBA career, he hasn't been able to. And it's killing the Bulls this season, because they have everything else they need to win an NBA Championship.
Low post scoring? Check. Pau Gasol continues to shine, giving the team a steady 18 and 10 every night.
A dominant wing scorer? Check. Jimmy Butler matched a career high with 32 points tonight, and shattered career bests by making 18 free throws in 20 attempts. He's giving the Bulls 21.6 points on over 8 free throw attempts per game.
They have a center who was All-NBA First Team last season. They have bench scoring in Mirotic and Brooks. They have three-point shooting. And as long as Tom Thibodeau is coach, they'll have defense.
But they don't have a starting caliber point guard. Derrick Rose can't be counted on any more. Kirk Hinrich is, to quote the Nuggets' announcers tonight, "one of the best backup guards in the league". But he's a backup, not a starter at this point of his career. Aaron Brooks is a good scorer, but he's not a starting point guard, he doesn't play enough defense.
Derrick Rose should be traded for a healthy player
I am going to hold out hope that Kobe Bryant really doesn't want to spend his twilight years playing on a Lakers team that is tanking. How fitting would it be for Kobe to win two more titles, giving him 7 for his career to pass his idol (MJ)? And how much do you think he would like to do so in Chicago?
Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson for Kobe Bryant and Ed Davis. Just do it.
The Lakers can afford to let Derrick Rose sit out most of this season getting healthy, as their lottery pick for 2015 is top-5 protected. You know they want to keep it.
The Bulls have Gasol and Mirotic to give them scoring in the frontcourt, they need the defense and rebounding (defensive rebounding, specifically) that Taj Gibson isn't interested in any more. Ed Davis would give the Bulls the perfect 4th big for their team, his rebounding and shot-blocking would fit perfectly next to Mirotic off the bench.