Derrick Rose: "I could barely walk." and quick thoughts on Celtics loss

Derrick Rose: "I could barely walk." and quick thoughts on Celtics loss

"It's been hurting the whole trip," Rose said. "I just played through it. It tended to get worse after every game. I was really worried about it. But I'm trying to stay positive. I don't know what the diagnosis is. I just know my back is not right."

"It just came from out of nowhere," Rose said. "That's the scary thing about it. ... I could barely walk (after New Orleans). It's killing me not being able to play, especially this game, or when I do play my minutes are definitely down. Hopefully, I'll get treatments and it calms down. If not, I'll take my time."

Quotes courtesy of KC Johnson.

Part of me wants to yell and scream at the Bulls training staff for the treatment of this injury. I thought it was crazy he was playing against New Orleans given the quality of opponent, but Rose also thought this thing would just get better. He's dealt with back spasms before and figured it'd just get better.

There's a fine line between having a warrior mentality and then taking stupid risks with your health. The Bulls obviously crossed that line with Derrick Rose's back. For me, this isn't hindsight as I said it was insane to play him vs New Orleans before the game.

However, given the state of his back now, the correct thing to do what have been to send Rose back to Chicago after Milwaukee to get non stop treatment which is a step I wouldn't have thought of without the power of hindsight. For anyone who's ever traveled on a bad back, it's a terrible experience. All of the travel + playing two games has certainly hindered Rose's recovery significantly.

Had the Bulls been more ultra aggressive early, Rose would probably already be on the mend, may have played against Boston, and might have one additional win this season. Of course, maybe not. Maybe Rose's back is more significant. He's seeing a specialist today, and when specialists are called in it means the standard treatment isn't working.

The Bulls now face the classic dilemma of how much time is enough time for Derrick to recover. With the all-star game coming up, it's not crazy to think of holding him out through all-star weekend if Rose would agree to sit out the game. It'd give him an extra five days of rest without missing game action.

The Bulls have five games prior to the all-star game, all at home, but face a couple tough opponents in Boston, Atlanta, and Milwaukee [who's on and off tough]. They also play the Kings and Nets whom they'd presumably roll over with or without Rose. We'll find out more soon.

As for the Boston game, I recapped it on the podcast, so I'm not going to do a full recap, but here are some quick thoughts.

You're killing me Boozer, you're goddamn killing me

Carlos Boozer turned the ball over in consecutive possessions to lead to consecutive alley oop dunks for the Celtics. At the time, that looked like the dagger, but the Celtics completely crumbled at the end to give the Bulls a chance.

Boozer also decided to laze back on defense repeatedly allowing his man to get past him for open dunks.

He also decided not to do his job in hedging Pierce off the pick and roll to give him a wide open 14 footer which Pierce calmly sank which put the lead back up to five with around a minute left.

Then he called timeout instead of passing the ball to C.J. Watson who had a 20 foot lead on the pack after a leakout costing the Bulls two points in a three point game and using the Bulls final timeout.

Jeff Van Gundy dedicated almost the entire second half to pointing out every lazy play, mistake, and move Carlos made which made watching it all the more painful. Jeff, we know, please don't make it any worse.

Noting the above, and that Joakim was playing really well...

Why the hell is Boozer in the game with the small ball lineup at this point? Joakim had been doing an outstanding job hedging pierce off the pick and roll all night, switching onto him at several points then forcing him into really tough shots that Pierce was missing.

He'd been solid on the glass.

He'd been very good on offense.

Why Thibodeau? Why? I just don't see how you go away from Noah at this point. I won't say that decision definitely cost the Bulls the game, especially given that Boozer did hit two baskets down the stretch [though both were two foot shots with no one blocking him that Noah also probably hits], but I think there's an excellent chance that Noah sees Watson and defends Pierce.

I get where Thibodeau was coming from though, Boozer was giving the Bulls efficient offense while Deng disappeared and Watson was hitting one in three shots. He needed to score and figured Boozer would help him do that. Still would have liked to see Noah in.

Well Luol Deng did a nice job on Pierce...

He blanketed Pierce all game, and Noah [as noted above] did a great job on switches. The result was Paul Pierce didn't do a whole heck of a lot against the Bulls. Really, none of the old big three hard particularly good games.

Unfortunately, Rajon Rondo destroyed Chicago. If Rondo could ever play this way consistently, he'd be a superstar PG. However, he can't. When he does have one of these monster games, the Celtics are really tough to beat, and he whipped one out at the right time.

It's a shame the Bulls didn't have Rose in the game, because I think Rose would have trivially stepped up to the challenge to defending Rondo and then crushing him on the other end of the court.

Will injuries hinder the Bulls shot at the 1 seed?

Who knows how long Derrick Rose will be out?

Hamilton's been out for so long you forget he's even on the team, and we don't know when he's coming back.

Luol Deng is playing with a torn ligament in his wrist which will weigh heavily on the Bulls the rest of the season.

You start adding these things up, and it makes the Bulls pursuit of the one seed much more difficult.

The bright side, if you're desperate for optimism, is that we haven't really seen how good this Chicago team can be yet. We haven't seen them have their full starting lineup and have a chance to gel. If they can get everyone back healthy [say post all-star break] and stay that way, the Bulls still have considerable upside over what they've shown.

So far, they've shown they're as good as any team in the NBA, so upside above that is pretty darn good.


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  • I'm really curious to know if Thibs lays into Boozer during film sessions showing how horrible he is at defense or if he just ignores it cause he knows Boozer won't change and he'd rather save his voice. You're right Doug, you can't put sole blame on Boozer for this game, but he made some key mistakes on both ends of the floor late in the game. It's crazy that Thibs left him in instead of Noah.

    My other question is regarding CJ's defense on Rondo...wondering if anyone else noticed this. I totally get that you'd rather have Rondo shooting jumpers than driving to the hoop, but why did CJ never fight over screens to stay with Rondo? Every time they did a P&R, CJ would go under the screen leaving Rondo wide open with no one within 4' or so of him. CJ is a good defender and I think he could have done a decent job staying with him if he fought through the screens and had a little help with someone hedging the screen till he caught back up. I just don't get why Thibs would keep giving him that shot, especially since he was actually making them pretty much all game long.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    No, the truth is Thibs doesn't. Thibs will take Boozer out in favor of Gibson after consecutive defensive lapses, but he doesn't lay into Booz like he does the rest of them. Likely because of Boozer coming here as an "All-Star FA" and huge money splurge. That's caused some chemistry problems between Boozer and Noah.

    The coaching staff told CJ to slip under the screen and give Rondo the jump shot. Every team does that and they will until Rondo proves he's a consistent mid-range shooter (so forever). Make every shot the C's shoot an open jumper by Rondo and the Celtics wouldn't win a single game.

  • 1. The most important thing for this team is health. They are going to win 80% of their games just because other teams will tank or give up against the Bulls.
    2. CJ was in ultra-hype mode yesterday with starting on an ABC game. He seemed more panicky that he is starting. He basically killed the Bulls along with Boozer.
    3. Did Thibs have dinner with JVG and ask him to publicly humiliate Boozer's defense on TV? Wilcox and I think Johnson looked like all-stars against Boozer. Pretty soon, GarPax, Thibs will have no hair after watching Boozer's defense and pulling their hair out in frustration.It is one thing if your shots don't go in but mental lapses like not surveying the field, running slowly back on defense must be driving Thibs crazy.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    If they do indeed lose all their remaining hair, boozer can help them out by letting them use his hair paint.

  • Thank you Doug, and thank you JVG, all aboard the Booz Cruise(I believe some have called it irrational hatred), I call it finally admitting the reality that has been starring us in the face for well over a year now.

    I think anybody with half a brain had Rose sitting out against the Hornets, what does that say about Thibs.

    A major back problem for a 23 year old, especially one who plays like Rose does is very scary for the future. My life has been ruined by multiple back injuries that I suffered in my early 20's, major back surgeries at 30 and 50. I was still able to compete physically in my 20's and to a lesser extent in my 30's. I haven't had a pain free day more or less since I turned 40. If Rose's back thing is serious, then he is basically day to day for the rest of his career, and I don't see him playing much(well) past 30.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yeah totally. Doug and JVG share your hatred to a tee. Or maybe it was just rational criticism, but like you, I see no difference in the two right?

  • Thank god the bulls had boozer, watson and noah to keep the bulls in the game and give them a chance to win without their star drose.

    The other so called all star(deng)played horrible and couldn't do anything when the bulls needed him. Its sad because he's probably the worst player ever to make an all star team.

    Get well soon drose the bulls need you to carry them.

  • I can't believe old man pierce shut down deng, then again its believable since deng has such a limited skill set. all he can do is shoot open shots and occasionally make a layup in transition.

  • I am surprised to see you throwing red meat to your anti boozer readership. Although he did not have a good game, he hardly deserves to be the focus of your negativity. CJ Watson, Deng, pretty much everyone other than Noah played much worse than Boozer, and are more deserving of negative commentary.

  • In reply to dreverts:

    As usual, that would depend on whether you watch both ends of the floor or not. If you just check the box score, or the ESPN highlights, boozer was great.

    I am sure that some among us(TJmaxx) are ready to nominate him to the All NBA defensive team based on the "rational" argument that he scored 22 points.

  • Excerpt from an article on ESPN Chicago about Thibs taking the Bulls job...
    Rivers noted that he actually had to do a little recruiting to help Thibodeau take the Bulls' job a couple seasons ago.

    "I tell you, that was a conversation [Saturday] night [at dinner]," Rivers said. "I remember sitting in the hotel room [between Games 1 and 2 of NBA Finals in 2010 in Los Angeles] and he had two jobs. You can ask him, he was leaning towards [the other one] and I actually grabbed him by the shoulders and said, ‘Are you kidding me? You get a chance to coach Derrick Rose and you’re thinking about another job? Are you freakin’ nuts?’ And we laugh about it now. They were offering him a longer deal and a bigger deal and I literally said, ‘If it’s a penny to go there, and $10 million to go to other place, I’m going to the penny.’ Because in the long run, you’ll be allowed to coach. And you’ll be allowed to win, which will allow you to coach more. He made a great choice."

    Very Interesting...I'm glad Rivers talked some sense into him!

  • Dog, love your blog but notice that whenever you say the bulls will roll a team with or without Rose, they usually get rolled. Lets go with "they should win"

  • In reply to bullsfaninVA:

    Haha, I don't think I said the Bulls would roll them without Rose, only with him. I did think they could win without him, and they almost did.

  • Boozer was probably our second best player yesterday, behind Joakim, and he's the one to blame for yesterday's loss? Sorry, but I don't see it. People have unrealistic expectations for this guy, and the way his game is constantly put under a microscope is kinda ridiculous..

    He's like any other player: He has strengths, and weaknesses. But with Bulls' fans his weaknesses are "KILLING THE TEAM" (best team in the league since he's been here btw), and his strengths "Meh, anyone can do that".

    Bottom line is that he really is one of the better power forwards in the league, and unfortunately it's probably gonna take him being off the team for people to realize that we really don't have it that bad.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I get what you're staying but to put a hole in your one statement.... "best team in the league since he's been here btw"
    You could say the same thing about Watson, Brewer, Korver, Scalabrine, Thibs, etc. I don't really think Boozer is the reason they've been the best team in the league. The reason why they're the best is because of Rose's quick rise to superstardom, Thibs, and the collective team chemistry and willingness to buy into Thibs system.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Yeah, but I never said Boozer was the reason we were really good. I was just trying to point out that all the people talking as if he has killing the team are wrong, simply based on how good we've been since he got here.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    Boozer usually sucks on defense in the 4th quarter or the last few minutes of the game(actually, he sucks the whole game). That is very magnified because of the pressure very few shots are easily available to both teams. And Boozer lets in or escorts somebody in to the basket at those crucial times. Either he has a brain cramp at those moments(like moving to the right position or not calling a time-out) or he is physically incapable. It is understandable if Rose does that because of the burden he carries. It is not for others to commit those kind of mistakes on defense which basically contributes to losses. We are fans but look at how Thibs shows his feelings by benching him even if the Bulls need offense.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    boozer did give the Bulls some valuable offense, but oh man did he hurt them on defense. I don't think he was the second best player by any stretch, but really not many players played well, so it might be unfair to single Boozer out.

    It's just that most of the big negative plays that decided the game involved Boozer playing poorly.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, you better knock it off, if you point out the obvious about boozer, you risk being labeled an irrational hater.

  • I'm assuming that the Bulls, besides knowing that they need Boozer's offense at times, would like to keep his trade value up at least somewhat.

    If they lose to the Heat again in the playoffs, they can try to trade Boozer over the summer just because they have to extend Taj and Omer and they can say "we'd love to keep Boozer, but JR is cheap and won't pay the tax so we have to trade him, plus we have Mirotic coming over soon enough".

    Badmouth him and/or put him on the trading block now and he has zero value.

    Boozer is one of the better offensive PF in the league, the Bulls can certainly get something for him if they play their cards right. It would have to be the right team, in the right situation, but it can be done.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Agree that for all his problems you can get something for Boozer. He just needs somebody at the Center position who can hit a jump-shot(which is tough to find) and also a team whose philosophy is not so much on defense and help defense or he needs an absolute defensive super-human(Howard or Perkins or Bynum) next to him. I am not sure why Thibs has not really played that combo much..but I would be curious if Asik and Boozer play together, maybe Asik's protection of the rim might help him operate better on defense. I just think Thibs's system just doesn't fit Boozer on defense especially with Noah.
    And the way they fight for the same rebound, one of them is bound to get hurt on a rebound. and Noah better be careful as Boozer is not giving up his rebounds.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    How many centers in the league are good jump shooters and would have any hope in hell of compensating for Boozer's terrible defensive rotations.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    boozer is virtually worthless in trade, due to his contract, unless we take back an equally bad contract.

    Luol Deng became virtually untradeable the minute he signed his contract, and I assume that, all thing considered most everybody on this blog, at least would agree that Deng is a better player than boozer.

  • Who said Deng was not an All Star? It must have been a fair weathered sometimey fan! Some people don't realize that Deng is still hurt and probably should not be playing. No one noticed but he can barely hold a basketball with two hands--so I'm telling you, that he needs to have surgery. Early during the Celtic game someone grabbed his left hand and he continued to play even though he was in great pain. I really believe there are some injuries which allows an athelete to continue playing--but, when a ligament is torn--surgury is necessary.

  • Bulls could potentially find a taker for Boozer in the Western Conference. The West style of game fits Boozer, its where he spend th majority of his career, and its where he belongs. There's less defense and a more wide open style. However, I think Bulls will wait until the off-season to explore moving Boozer.

    I think Bulls are at least one major asset away from winning an NBA Championship. They need a creative scorer averaging over 15 points per game who is a good defender. They will never find that for the MLE, imo.

    i just don't see Rip staying healthy over 4 playoff series. Don't see that happening.

  • In reply to Edward:

    At this point the Bulls should hold Rip out until after the All Star break.

    Hopefully, at that point, he would be starting the season anew with a fully rehabbed hammy.

    If he is able to make a full recovery before he plays again, he might be able to make a full contribution to the Bulls in the playoffs.

  • Another ESPN analysis of 3 Dwight Howard trades that includes the Bulls

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