Is it time to start getting pumped about Derrick Rose and the Bulls?

Is it time to start getting pumped about Derrick Rose and the Bulls?

I have personally thrown cold water on Derrick Rose's possible recovery lots of times. I've pointed out that effectively no one misses two years of NBA career due to injuries and comes back to play at the same level. We won't know what Rose can do until the NBA season starts, but Team USA is a stacked group of elite players, and Derrick Rose went from "will he make it to 90/10 starter" according to John Schumann.

Day three notes

As noted in today’s story about Durant and George, those two and Davis are locks to start for this team. I’d guess that Rose looks really good (like 90/10) to start at point guard and Harden is the most likely starter (65/35) at the two. Curry is the other possible starter at either guard position.

Earlier reports had Derrick Rose as the best player at team USA camp and the most tenacious defender. Coach K gushed about him on the NBA TV program on Tuesday, and so for all the cold water I've thrown on Derrick's health, it may be getting to kool-aid time instead.

Bulls fans wondering if Rose would be too rusty, too slow, too something to even make the team now have had three days reading about how he's kicking ass, and it's not just by people who are pumped writing about the Bulls, but the neutral reporters just taking notes on Team USA overall, the coaches who have to talk about everyone, the other players there.

Rose is a big story, and team USA camp is somewhat of a PR machine, you don't hear any negative quotes about anyone, and since Derrick is the most talked about player there due to the injuries, he has the most positive quotes said about him. Still, the fact that he's on track to be the starter actually means something.

Team USA doesn't have a huge incentive to prioritize Rose over anyone else. He's never been an elite player for them, and given his age and injury history, you wouldn't project him to play for more than maybe three more events. There'd be every reason to try and suck up to the younger PGs competing against Rose as well, especially given that they generally are better shooters (except Wall) who would appear to fit the international game more.

Yet, Derrick has come in and made his mark on the camp. Given the meniscus is a lesser injury to recover from, I'd wonder if Rose simply feels better physically this time around. I'd also speculate that Derrick is more invigorated about the roster this season than in the past.

The Bulls enter the year as possibly the favorites in the East and have added a plethora of offensive options. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson's offensive games have matured over the past couple seasons with Rose out, and the roster actually has plenty of shooting on it for the first time since Rose's rookie year.

This is the most complete, balanced, skilled team, that Chicago has had since the Jordan era, and judging by the quotes by everyone inside and outside the organization, I expect Derrick has to be excited to lead it, excited about a legitimate shot at the title rather than just his own recovery.

Fans can discuss the things they may have done differently this season, and maybe there were other options, but it's hard to complain too much about any off-season that has you looking at your team thinking "we're won of the top 5 teams in the NBA and much better than last year". That's where the Bulls are at, and with new around Derrick Rose looking really positive the missing piece in whether or not Chicago can actually do this thing might fall into place.

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  • The history of players who are out two years with injury is probably more a history of injuries so bad that it took two years to recover, rather than Derrick's case of two consecutive years with different injuries.

  • This hype seems all too familiar, it feels like preseason last year. With all the reports about how his athleticism seemed unaffected and that he added to his vertical, it built up championship expectations. Seeing him last year re-injure himself so easily is going to make it so nerve-racking every time he sets foot on the court.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Agreed. For me, you cannot get pumped up or hype up the season until Rose is actually able to get through an entire one with no injuries. The fact that two seasons were lost based on two non-contact injuries, the hopefull Bulls fan will be holding their breath everytime Rose does anything on the court.

    Every post-game assessment will be - did the Bulls win and did Rose make it out healthy?

    Also, what happens if Rose tweaks something - I wonder about the caution that will be exercised - what might be a normal 1 week injury might be 2 weeks simply because the Bulls hold him out another week taking precautionary measures. Also, what about minutes? Is there a minutes plan? 30 min/game?

    As for whether we can get excited about the Bulls, it all hinges on Rose's health. If healthy, Bulls are top 2 team in the East with Cavs (I'm assuming they're getting Love).

    Whether they can get to the Finals and win a championship, that window might be for this year only considering the Cavs are only going to get better and Durant might go to Wizards in 2016. Then the Bulls would have to get past Bron and the Cavs and Durant and the Wizards every year - and thats going to be TOUGH!!

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    "until Rose is actually able to get through an entire one with no injuries"

    Do you mean with no "season ending injury"? Because if you simply mean, no injuries at all, that's a bit absurd. All that matters is that he is healthy enough to play at an elite level from when the playoffs start to when they end. If he misses a stint of 10-15 games at some point because he turns an ankle, and misses a few others, ending the regular season having played 60 games total; that's completely fine and realistic.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    I agree.

    Besides, don't forget some other huge improvements:
    1) M and M are both deadly shooters, and they are more experienced than average rookies. In fact, both could become All-stars;
    2) Pau is a significant improvement on both ends of the court;
    3) A couple of nice backups at PG and C won't hurt;
    4) These are all additions to a team that was a game away from the ECF third seed last year.

    I think the Bulls take the ECF this year.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    They don't even need to be precautionary if he sustains a minor injury, just don't let him on the court until he is healthy. Let's not forget the year he tore his ACL he was playing through various injuries.

    Health is the primary concern before beating the Cavs because we certainly aren't winning without him. I hate to doubt Rose but it was scary how easily he tore his meniscus from such a simple manoeuvre. What's even scarier is after all these years and injuries, he still hasn't changed the way he lands. He never bends his knees when he lands. If you look back at all his dunk highlights it will make you cringe. Even the recent USA training camp highlights.

  • Hopefully with the new offense, Rose won't have to carry too much burden on scoring and play more of a CP3 role. This will save his career and keep the Bulls odds to win titles on upcoming seasons.

  • Just saw a terrific video at the ESPN-NBA website with Henry Abbott and David Thorpe. Thorpe said that if Rose is 95% back the Bulls should be favored in the East.

    However, the video is mainly about Love going to the Cavs and how Love is generally underappreciated by fans who don't quite grasp the power of advanced metrics. For example, one little known fact is that Corey Brewer of the TWolves led the NBA in transition baskets last year (mainly as a result of Love's elite outlet passing). Now imagine Love doing this with Lebron and Kyrie, two amazing open court players. This is aside from Love's elite scoring and rebounding. See the video-you won't be sorry.

    I would agree with Doug that this is the most balanced, complete Bulls team since the Jordan era. But can they beat a superteam that IMO could be better than the Heat of the last four years? They will have the big three-Lebron, Love, and Kyrie. But they also will have a solid back-up big in Thompson, and an up and coming scorer in Waiters. Verajao also had a terrific year last year before he got hurt. Look it up.

    Bottom line- the Bulls will be better than any other team in the Rose era. Will they be good enough?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Want to amend above statement about Verajao having a "terrific" year. Sorry. He had a solid year, however. A PER of over 17 and close to 10 rebounds a game.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    With Love, this Cavs team is probably better on paper than Lebron's first Heat team, but IMO not the 2 championship teams. They're definitely not better defensively.

    The Cavs starting lineup is formidable but who's coming off their bench besides Waiters? Their frontcourt depth is pretty thin too.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    I don't see how this is better than the Heat were, at all. Love is probably a little better than Bosh, but Bosh was an all-star big man in his prime, much like Love is. Again, Love is a little better. Meanwhile, I don't think Kyrie Irving compares at all to Dwyane Wade, a legit MVP candidate and top-5 NBA player at the time. Irving has a ways to go to be that kind of player. LeBron is essentially the same player, he was not quite at his peak when he joined the Heat, he's just past it now.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    You're right. I think I based my statement remembering that LeBron's first Heat team having both Carlos Arroyo and the player formerly known as Mike Bibby play heavy minutes and that clouded my judgement.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    That Cavs team would be sick, but as good as the Heat during their two titles with Lebron? Not even close in my opinion. That Heat team was elite on defense and not just because of Lebron. Last year with Wade's decline, sure that Heat team wasn't as good as this Cavs team might be. Love is under-appreciated by many, but his shortcomings on defense are absolutely not overstated and might actually be understated. Wiggins is a freak and is going to be an absolute nightmare on defense. Next to Lebron, good god, it would be the ECF 2011 all over again when Wade was still an elite wing defender. But if its Love, with Wiggins gone, the Cavs D will struggle mightily. They will be something to behold on offense to be sure, but you can't just write off their defensive weakness. The Heat's defense played a huge part in their two titles, and that defense's regression played just as big a part of their failure this year and LeBrons eventual departure.

  • Besides Rose, the season will depend on how good M & M become, and how fast. These 2 kids are not typical rookies, they could work out the NBA thing real fast! If so, the Bulls will be unstoppable on O. Both are deadly shooters.

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    If you plan on waiting an entire season before you become excited about Rose, then you might as well root for the Milwaukee Bucks and Jabari Parker. Rose should be as healthy as he ever was after not playing for so long. I could see him pulling a hamstring, but I wouldn't worry about his knees. He should not be too cautious and worry about them either. The more cautious a player plays the more likely he is to get injured. What ever happens happens for all players not just Rose.
    I suspect Rose will be managed closely this summer mins-wise, and gm-wise. During the reg season it would be wise not to play Rose in back to back games, or limit the amount of gms Rose will play in to bet. 67-70 gms.

  • The Cavs will probably have to give up Waiters or Verajao and Thompson in the Love trade, hopefully Verajao, leaves no rim protection or skilled big. Same huge weakness the Heat had. The Cavs 2015 1st round pick is not that valuable because they are gonna be a top 5 team in the league. In the end, this is a game we are talking about. So I like to be positive at the start of every season. If Rose gets hurt again I can live with the disappointment. I think Rose is gonna be great win MVP cause Bulls were 4th in the East last year and will finish 1st next year. They will beat the Cavs and Spurs and win the Chip!!! I was most worried about Rose being less athletic and still trying to be his old self and struggling. So far though it seems that if he's healthy he will be awesome and we just have to hope he doesn't get hurt. I agree with the post that stated if u worry about getting injured then u will. So it seems like Rose might be over that worrying stage. I'm excited

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    The Cavs will not give up Varejao for any number of reasons, he is Lebron's favorite teammate, he is their only semi legit center, and Minny doesn't need or necessarily want him in the trade. They probably aren't overly excited about getting Thompson either, they probably take/get Bennet instead. If Wiggins is in the deal then likely Waiters isn't. Certainly the Cavs depth will be affected, but they will at least be able to put out the best starting lineup in the east if not the entire league(OKC).

  • Let's compare Bulls and Cavs. Besides LBJ, who else has playoff experience on Cavs? Love? Irving?
    How is the Cav's bench compared with Bulls?

    So by answering these 2 questions, I would still have the Bulls to win the ECF with Rose being a superstar, playoff experience of Noah, Taj, Butler and Kirk, and more importantly, championship experience from Pau Gasol.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    I really like your optimism but talent trumps experience almost every time. Many thought the Bulls would lose in their first Finals to the Lakers due to the Lakers' experience, but talent trumped. Also, we've discussed this before at this site, but depth is overrated in the NBA. In the clutch moments, it's 5-on-5 and the Cavs' 5 would be better than any 5 the Bulls can put out there. Not saying the Bulls can't beat them but if they were to get Love, I'd put my money on the Cavs.

  • If Mirotic and MCD prove to be multi-dimensional offensive players then that's a huge add. It's entirely possible that long term that will be the case, but not necessarily in year one. For me it's just a wait and see. Can one of Butler or Snell can threes consistently? Rose regaining his shooting mid range and being healthy. Another wait and see.

    Could be an exciting offense if everything clicks. Still, Klank on board if he stays healthy could put a damper on things, but maybe he follows recent history and sits while Brooks pulls a Nate Robinson. Gasol healthy and scoring efficiently. It's possible next year sees the Bulls reach the Finals, but I'd be happy with Derrick returning along with his shot and a couple of the young guys being legit offensive pieces. Along with overall team health(Taj, Noah). Those things in themselves would be awesome.

  • The Rose hype is addicting, but nothing that he is going thru now, or will go thru even as a starter for Team USA will compare to the rigors and grind of the NBA regular season. Most Bulls fans will have their fingers crossed every time that he steps on the court at least until he makes it thru one entire season without another injury. Maybe next time at this year we will be able to relax and have normal expectations.

  • I am psyched about DRose. I see people are discouraged by his injuries and vague communication with fans the last 2 seasons... And Reggie is just a major douche bag. But, Rose is healthy now and in his prime and he's worked hard to get back to where he is now.

    Bulls are gonna be legit. I think arose can make another run at MVP, even with reduced stats due to less minutes and a greater offensive balance. I think his D could be suffocating at times if his minutes are reduced and he does not have to shoulder the entire load on offense.

    Injuries are hard to predict, so you never know... He will most likely miss some games for various reasons, but hopefully he can avoid the big one.

  • While I'm not sure how serious the Bulls' shot at a title is given the current roster makeup, can I just say, this upcoming season will be a distinct failure if the Bulls don't kick the Pacers' butts all the way back to Indianapolis.

  • There is no way Cavs get Love for just Wiggins, Bennett, and their '15 1st rounder. They will have to throw in at least 1 more guy probably 2. They will not be better than 2 Champion Heat teams. Bosh is a better player than Love with Lebron. Plays great defense, gives solid rim protection and can shoot. I don't know why Love wants to go there to see his shot attempts dwindle like Bosh's. Wade 2 years ago was better than Kyrie or Love. They will be a great team but the Bulls with Rose should be able to beat them this year. Depth does matter in regards to player energy and health. It also plays a role in playoff team adjustments. When Indy finally realized they needed some of their guys they hadn't played all year long, they weren't ready and team chemistry tanked. You never know when ur team will need to run 3 guards, a small forward and a power forward. Or 3 power forwards and 2 point guards.

  • We are going to the NBA Finals !
    You can bank on that !

  • I remember when Rose tore his ACL two years ago, there were many reports about ACL injuries/surgeries. They all said basically the same thing: Athletes can return to play 9-12 months after ACL surgery, but they will not regain their athleticism for an additional year.

    Derrick Rose is now at that point, its about 26 months after his ACL surgery.

  • Truly sucks for George. Pacers are done.

  • If the Cavs do land Love, they will challenge the Bulls in the ECF. Otherwise, I do not see any team in the East beating them. Worst thing for the Bulls would be to actually trade M and M and Gibson for Love. That move could cost multiple championships.

    BTW, the Bulls still have enough to trade for a solid SG near the deadline if needed.

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