HAHAHAH, no. Look, I know the Bulls lost a game with Derrick Rose to the Knicks only to win fairly easily without him a couple nights later. As we all know, any given day something different can happen. That's why two teams can play a seven game series and go to seven games even with the same players suiting up.
The Bulls did lose to the Knicks largely because Derrick Rose played poorly, but let's not confuse that with the Bulls being better off without him. There is even this subset of thought that the Bulls play more like a team without Rose even if Rose makes them better overall.
This second thought is also a load of crap, all apologies to those shoveling it. The Bulls do not have better ball movement without Rose, they are not better on defense without Rose, they are not better on offense without Rose, they are not better at all without Rose. There is no single facet of basketball that improves by taking Rose off the court and putting C.J. Watson or John Lucas on it.
I hope that is clear enough.
If you analyze the Bulls/Knicks past two games, then you'll come to a few conclusions as to why the Bulls lost.
1: They turned the ball over a crapload in game 1 and rarely in game 2.
2: They allowed a crapload of offensive rebounds in game 1 and almost none in game 2.
So if we examine these two points, and ask ourselves, are the Bulls better in either of these areas with Watson/Lucas vs Rose, the answer is a resounding no. Rose is the best rebounder of the three, his turnover percentage is in the middle of the two, but in aggregate the Bulls would average less turnovers with Rose 38 min / Watson 10 than Watson 30/Lucas 18.
Now I know someone will say the ball movement is better without Rose on the floor, but this is also a load of crap. Have you watched John Lucas play five minutes of basketball and come to the conclusion that this guy facilitates ball movement at all? He's the type of PG that would cause me to just sit down while my team was on offense if we were playing together. He dribbles 12-18 seconds off the shot clock every play and frequently launches shots without ever letting the ball leave his hands.
C.J. Watson always looks to move the ball to another player, but he's never threading the needle on a pass. He simply runs the offense and moves the ball around the perimeter. If you hadn't noticed, this was exactly what Derrick Rose attempted to do early in the season and at the start of the Knicks game.
In the Knicks game, the rest of the Bulls coughed up the ball repeatedly and missed shots to allow New York to get a 21 point lead early. Much of that was poor luck, but it still underlies the point that Rose is certainly a willing passer and has no problem sharing/moving the ball to his teammates. Was Rose rusty in this game? Yes. Did he turn the ball over like crazy in such a way that we wouldn't expect it to happen normally? Yes. Did he shoot well below his norms and lack his typical explosiveness? Yes.
It was not a great game for Derrick Rose, and the Bulls may have won that particular game if he didn't play, because he was doing so much to try and get back in sync after a long layoff. However, that's a situation brought upon by specific circumstances that won't be the norm after playing a few games.
Derrick Rose is the heart of this Bulls team. The Bulls championship hopes rest on him playing well, and while his teammates have truly been outstanding in carrying the torch while he's gone, the idea that they'd be better off without him is ridiculous.
Filed under: Players