Protecting history? Not our history, not much of a chance

Hey it's not the 72-10 record on the line here, if it were, then protecting history might mean something to the Bulls. However, the Lakers have enough history that I'm not so concerned if one of their records falls. Of course, if it does, the Heat will then get more pub along with Bulls as one of the greatest teams of all time. With LeBron drawing more comparisons to Jordan.

However, the Heat ARE one of the greatest teams of all time, and LeBron IS the only player who deserves to be compared to Jordan. He loses the comparison due to lacking the mental toughness for much of his career that Jordan always seemed to have, but unlike Kobe Bryant, he at least deserves to be in the picture. His level of dominance is on a similar level now that he's gotten past his LeChoke mental block.

As for the game itself, the Bulls simply have no chance if the Heat continue to play basketball at the level they've been playing over the streak. Chicago doesn't have the horses to keep up with the Heat offensively. That said, Miami has shown cracks many times during the streak. They've had to win via epic comeback several times and have given up early leads frequently.

If the Bulls can find the shooting early to build a lead, then it's not inconceivable that they can bring enough defense to slow down a big comeback. That said, hoping for anything other than a 20 point blowout is probably wishful thinking.

Do you think Michael Jordan would ever miss this game?

Maybe it's totally obvious that Rose is no Jordan. However, with a chance at stopping a hated rival from making history, do you think Jordan would miss this game? I don't think Jordan would have sat out for a month while trying to overcome the mental side of an injury anyway, but if for some reason he did, there's no way in hell he'd miss this game.

Joakim Noah will be back, not officially. Officially he's day to day, officially there's no word. However, unless the trainers bar him from competing, it's hard to imagine him not coming back for this game. Maybe I'll be proved wrong, but I think Joakim would try to play through a broken leg Willis Reed style to go up against the Heat.

Don't you wish Derrick had a little bit of that in him? Doesn't seem like he does. Unfair? Absolutely.

Maybe he's being smart. Maybe he's doing the right thing. However, after a time it has to bother any fan that he's sitting out due to what he terms "mental" and seems to be lacking the fire to come back that the rest of the players in the league have.

Derrick's recovery from ACL surgery is likely the longest of any NBA player we've seen in years which is perhaps even more unusual given the fact that many players with ACL injuries also tear multiple ligaments while Rose did not. I get it, Derrick wants to come back like Derrick Rose rather than fighting through some pain and stiffness in front of the cameras and throwing up 12 point 5 assist games by shooting mostly jumpers and playing 25 minutes a night. There's some logic to that.

Maybe it's the safe thing. Maybe it's the best thing. However, I can't help but fear Rose is missing some part of the hyper competitive athlete gene that he can even consider it. Rajon Rondo played with one arm against Miami and led his team to victory after one of the more gruesome in game injuries you're likely to see.

We're probably all much better off that Rose is smart about this. Truly. The Bulls future will be better off for Rose being smart about this, but it still feels awfully empty right now, like something is missing.

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  • If he's still out through the first week of April I will fully concur with this article.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I agree that Rose should have that competitive fire to come back for this game against the Heat, but there has to be something bigger going on here if he doesnt. Whether he's just not mentally ready, if he and the organization is together on this being a tbrow away season a.d just not going to risk his health, or...and i hate to bring this back up, but he has the same outlook about this team that his brother has, that the Bulls FO didn't do enough to keep this team a contender and he wants nothing to do with this team outside of practice.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Let's hope not, but it's a possibility.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    From day one, I was in the camp that didn't care if he sat out the whole season, and that it might even be the best thing to do.

    I doubt that he isn't coming back for Reggie Rose reasons. I have always said that Rose is a bit of a mama's boy and I think that has as much to do with it as anything.

    Right or wrong, I agree, Jordan would have tried to come back by now, and would certainly have put up a fight to come back tonight to stop the hated Heat.

    That is probably the wrong mentality to have from a long term perspective, but it is why Jordan was the winner that he was and Rose isn't.

    I have always maintained that Rose is a more offensively talented Pippen than he is a Jordan. I would also argue that Pippens 94 season was every bit as MVP worthy, if not more, than Roses.

    Whether he returns this season or next the Bulls have a ton of work to do to get back to championship levels.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    My fellow blogger that is an understatement being that the Bulls have a ton of work to do to get back to not just a champion ship, but in beating Miami in a playoff series especially with the mismanaged moves from the Bulls FO.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    No doubt Pippen's 94 season was a great one ... I'd take prime Pippen over anyone who isn't LeBron in today's NBA.

    It's always a bit of guesswork trying to psycho-analyse athletes from afar but I don't see Rose as Pippen ... he lacks Pippen's will to win. Pippen willingly sacrificed his own game because he knew playing second fiddle to MJ was his best chance of championships. I don't see that same desire to win in Rose ... and I've said as much from the moment he didn't get an opt out clause in his contract. He just doesn't have that do anything to win instinct to win that even LeBron or Howard have. He seems happy to ride his reputation as the hometown star and fat adidas contract.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    You must be joking. Dwight Howard?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Say what you like about how he handled the situation, Howard at least took active steps to try to improve him chances of getting a ring. He forced his way off the Magic, which had no realistic shot of a championship, to the Lakers, who despite how they've played this year, everyone believed had a shot at the championship when he made the move.

    Rose locked himself into a long term contract with no out to give him the chance to do that. He doesn't want to win the same way other stars do.

  • I am in the idea that this year was determined to be throw away by both Derrick Rose AND Jerry Reinsdorf. Who invested tens of millions into Rose and his career? Who was burned by a freak Jay Williams injury and set the franchise back, arguably til they drafted Rose? Who advised MJ to take off until next season after his broken foot season? Theres a history with this FO that suggests they feel snakebitten and when has this team thrown caution to the wind?? There seems to be a proclivity to adhere to the doctors 8-12 month pronosis and just let the man practice in obscurity until ultimately ready next season. Those commercials and updates earlier in the injury were more for Derrick and his Psyche than for the hearts and minds of the fans. Which I understand. Hell He doesnt travel with the team and is rarely on the bench whats there to expect? The playoff tix have been sold with the idea that Rose could, might,umm maybe blah blah blah.Thats the business decision and saving face which they are wont to do. Which I understand also since they are a business. Whats sad is the rest of us who doesnt recognize game when its being blown right up our asses. The Chicago Bulls run their business like a secret society and know die hards will be there.They do have strong assets to look forward to and maybe Reggie Rose and BJ Armstrong have less influence than we think. I dunno. But months later here we are.. keep holding breath for them and evetually we'll need a CPAP. So wait til next year and DRose get your rest, hopefully the FO intention will be creative to stay competitive. cause other teams are too

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    I'll keep saying it...If Reinsdorf knew it was going to be a throw away season, it is shameless that they raised season ticket prices 20% this year.
    They don't deserve their season ticket holders.
    I believe that JR's son taking over the team last year has something to do with the mis-management. He's trying to prove himself. But doesn't know what he's doing. Destroy the bench, get mocked on national tv and your stars management but still get taxed?!?!
    2014 ?!?! There's no plan, other than the succession plan from JR to his son, whose learning on the job.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Good point.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Michael Reinsdorf is going to try to show the Bull's shareholders that there is a continuity of profitability. He will not make agressive management decisions as far as personel or expense.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Hard to say, Michael Reinsdorf at least grew up a massive Bulls fan and puts the Bulls ahead of the White Sox on his priority list. I think he's more likely to aggressively spend than Jerry would have been.

    That doesn't mean I think he'll go nuts, I think the new CBA will limit how nuts anyone goes, but I do think he'll be more open.

    Besides which, by the time Michael takes over, there will probably be a hard cap (or one coming very soon). I'd bet a hard cap is coming next CBA.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I was rooting for the hard cap last cba since i always knew the Bulls would be tight with cash and not pay for winner. The hard cap would favor the Bulls since its takes away one of the advantages New York, Miami and LA have over us. but your right, the hard cap is almost guaranteed next cba.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    We already have a de facto hard cap. As soon as the old, grandfathered contracts go away, it will become virtually impossible for any team to spend more than $80 million even if they were inclined to do so. Maybe you could get to $85 if you use the mini mid level every year.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree a hard cap is coming next CBA.
    I've said for some time that the Reinsdorf's are just biding their time and refuse to spend like other big-market teams, preferring to wait for the coming hard cap to level the competition.

    The stair-step approach is how many skillful negotiators work. And David Stern is an excellent negotiator - much better than the incompetent Billy Hunter. The owners are planning 2-3 CBAs in advance.

  • Careful Doug, you're going to upset the 'Derrick can do no wrong' fanboys. :D But guess what? Everything you say re: Jordan is absolutely true. I only wish Derrick could have half the killer instinct that Jordan had.

  • If they get the 33, I think next season, they'll go after the 72 record.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    The chances of that happening are very meak why? Well winning the NBA title for the next 2 years will have played over 200 games and trying to win 72 the third year will be more difficult.

    Can you imagine the Heat having to play at that level for 72 wins. dont think so to many issues they would have to meet to win 72.

    Furthermore winning 72 will take several things 1. Being the best defensive team in the NBA, 2. have 4 players that make all-defense 3 first team, 3. having the leading rebounder, 4. having the leagues top scorer, 5. having the leagues best 6th man 6. Having the best 3pt shooter % wise in the NBA. 7. having the best coach in the NBA.

    One thing the Heat have is the best player in the game which is still a difference in the Bulls winning 72 and the Heat because being the best player in th game is a big difference when yo have the geatest player in the game.

    Chances that the Heat winning 72 is about as good as someone jumping off the top of the Willis tower without a parachute and living

  • In reply to BullySixChicago:

    I wish someone in the media would mention that: as great as the Heat are, and as impressive this streak, they could win out and still fall a handful of games short of that 72 win season.

    Talk about perspective.

  • In reply to BullySixChicago:

    It also requires being injury free, which the Heat have more or less been up until now, while the rest of the conference has been decimated by injuries. What is the likelihood that luck will continue through all of next season.

  • I think derrick gets too much flack, I think the organization is holding him back and making it look like he is "not ready yet". They obviously have someone targeted in the draft and wanted to lose some games so not to get out of range since like some have said, this is somewhat of a throw away season. They still want to make the playoffs but be the 6-8 seed. I hope garpax hits the homerun on this year's draft this its one of the few things they generally do well. I'm not agains this strategy to get that targeted rookie but derrick rose needs to play some games and playoffs so he's ready to roll by next year. I hope he plays at least the last 10 games.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    This is patently ridiculous. The FO leaked a report about Rose being cleared to convince him to play, there's no way in hell they're holding him back.

    Beyond that, there's no way they're trying to lose games to improve their draft position when they are squarely in the middle rounds and no one has done workouts and guys can still move up and down the draft 20+ slots right now. No one has the draft that well scoped out to know whom they might get in the mid rounds.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You wrote in your article: "It still feels awfully empty right now, like something is missing."

    I agree with your observation. And it is a feeling, not something one can quantify. So is this medical? The docs say No. Is it physical? We do not know, since we cannot know what Rose is feeling.

    Is it psychological? Maybe. If so, that can be a huge problem. Apart from natural talent and work ethic, there is one factor that all great athletes have in common -- the ability to focus, to concentrate. In fact, that ability can, for a game here and there, turn an ordinary player into a star for a night. But the elite players bring it most every game. A player will not re-acquire that sitting on the bench!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    the FO have been caught lying all the time like last year when they said they were looking for a shooting guard/combo guard while they had their eyes on a point guard in the draft. or my favorite " we will match any offer for Omer Asik". I have a strong feelings its them who are holding derrick back, making him look like a wuss but he's following their orders since he gets paid by them. Derrick Rose is a warrior/competitor, he would not be doing this primadonna crap unless he was instructed to do it. They have some kind of plan in action, whether its a draft trade in mind or whatever.

  • Maybe the bulls are just trying to make sure they end up in the 6th spot and face the Knicks in the first round. If Rose comes back and he is as good as claimed in practices, the bulls could easily win out and end up the 4th seed. If they hold Rose out until the last week, they will most likely end up 6th or 7th. I'd like to think there was some kind of plan as opposed to Rose being a wuss.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    It might be better for the Bulls to lose the game to Miami. To make history, the Bulls need to beat them, not in the regular season, but in the playoffs!

    Here is what it will take.
    1) Rose playing elite;
    2) Everyone else bringing their A game, at least for 4 games;
    3) Out rebounding the Heat;
    4) Out shooting them from 3-point range;
    5) All 5 players on the court playing D;
    6) Someone playing elite for a night.

    This does not have to happen every game, only for 4 games. It is possible. That is how historical upsets happen.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Possible, but unlikely. The Heat definitely have better shooters than Chicago so #4 is going to be tough, and the Heat are more likely to get those same things than Chicago is.

  • Yes, Jordan would probably have come back, but the interesting question is how many players other than Rose or Jordan would have the clout to make their own decisions to return?

    Surely not, say, Taj Gibson, or even Noah. How about past superstars? Scottie Pippen perhaps, but we did give him grief (different scenarios to be sure) for sitting out 1.8 seconds rather than almost a whole month.

  • In reply to BullsC4:

    I give Pippen the most grief for waiting until right before the season started to have surgery in 97-98 the last year of the second 3 peat.

    It turned out not to matter much, but it could have submarined the season, and certainly cost them a shot at anothe 69-70 win season, they ended up with 62 wins and Pippen only played in 44 games that season.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Pip was protesting Reinsdorf's long standing refusal to renegotiate his horrible 7 years/20 million contract. And also refusing in 3rd quarter 1997 to offer Pip an extension (new contract).

  • Well put. Couldn't argue one thing you said there. Nice job

  • I think you're being perfectly fair. He's cleared to play, he can play. Hurt athletes who really want to win have to be chained down for their own good to not go out there and play. Remember Grant Hill destroyed his career to go out there on a broken ankle for a team he was leaving anyway!

    I think Rose has made a miscalculation here, he may think he's protecting his brand and image by not going out there and playing less than 100% of his old ability but if he sits out the year it's going to backfire, he's going to look soft.

  • What better way to get your head right than against the best team in the NBA under the bright lights of your home arena? I bet Adidas is scratching their head as well as to why Rose won't make his epic RETURN against the hated Heat.

  • Rose will come back via preseason games, then early season games, rounding back into all-star/mvp shape by all-star break 2014.

    It's a good plan. Would be foolish to return directly to playoff level competition on a repaired ACL. Bulls botched Rose's rehab through multiple injuries last season, and the Rose Camp learned to not repeat these career-threatening-mistakes. Has everyone in the media lost all memory of last season?

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yes they have, sadly, and so have many fans.

  • Rose is asking these guys like Grant Hill & BJ Armstrong, and they're telling him to just take his time, for the better of his career. He's looking at Rubio & Shumpert and how they appear to not be quite ready. Rose was cleared something like 5 times last year to comeback by doctors, and each time it was a mistake, and ultimately might have led to this ACL injury. Rose is not Jordan, but to question his fire is plain ridiculous to me. Jordan also never tore his ACL during a season in which he had 5 other injuries. If he did you could probably add him to the list of those advising Rose to take his time. I know in a world of twitter & iphones patience has become a lost virtue, but let Rose come back when he is ready, without so many unfair attacks on the man. I would think he has earned as much in this city.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Very well said. Thank You.

    "Rose was cleared something like 5 times last year to comeback by doctors, and each time it was a mistake, and ultimately might have led to this ACL injury." +100

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