Derrick Rose took the NBA by storm this season, averaging 25 points, nearly eight assists and four rebounds during the regular season. He led the Bulls to an NBA-best 62 wins and the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls were without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for a combined 57 games -- if someone had told you the Bulls would win 62 games this season with those two missing 57 games, would you have believed them?
Yeah, nor would I.
The Bulls were the top defensive team in the NBA during the regular season and there's no question Tom Thibodeau's arrival to Chicago has played a big role in the Bulls success. But it all starts and ends with their points guard, Rose.
Rose led the NBA in points accounted for (points and/or assists) his team -- not only overall, but even in the fourth quarter.
The majority of NBA analysts and followers believe Rose is this season's NBA Most Valuable Player, but it hasn't been announced officially by the NBA. However, it's been leaked out. No, not by a member of the media. By a Bull.
This is what C.J. Watson, Rose's backup, posted on Twitter on Friday night:
Congrats to drose on winning the MVP he's played unbelievable this season!!! now just need tibs to win coach of the yr
That might be a first: The MVP award winner being leaked out before the official announcement by his own teammate.
In reality, it's not a big deal because it was really no secret Rose is the MVP. However, the award won't be presented to Rose until Monday at the earliest, when the Bulls play Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls will presumably practice on Saturday and Sunday, and if Rose is available for the media, Watson's tweets will likely be a topic of conversation. On his part, Rose hasn't been open to being named the MVP, but showed a little bit of acceptance after the Bulls clinched a first round win, telling reporters he would "love" to be the MVP. But as always, added it hasn't happened yet, so we have to wait.
Rose could admit he's the MVP winner, but it would definitely be awkward as it hasn't been announced officially.
The decision to post it on his Twitter wasn't a great one by Watson, but hey, now it's pretty much official.
Congratulations, Derrick Rose, who is the youngest MVP winner in NBA history, passing 1969 MVP Wes Unseld.
Hinrich "doubtful": Former Bull Kirk Hinrich is now listed as doubtful against the Bulls due to a "significant" strain to his right hamstring, per Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Hinrich suffered the injury after hitting a layup with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter of Game 6 against the Magic.
The Hawks ended up winning 84-81, and clinched the series, but they lost Hinrich the rest of the game and now, likely, for the Eastern Conference semifinals.
It's a shame because the Bulls are competitors, they want to defeat the Hawks at 100 percent. Hinrich's the best defender on the Hawks and their only hope on Rose. If Hinrich misses any games versus the Bulls, the Hawks would likely start sixth man extraordinaire Jamal Crawofrd.
Hinrich, who played with the Bulls for seven seasons and was a corner stone of the franchise pre-Rose, was probably livid after hearing his injury status. You can't blame him: He's a gamer and wants to be out there with his team. And he'd love to defeat the Bulls, who traded him to the Washington Wizards last offseason.
At some point, if not Game 1, it wouldn't be a surprise if Hinrich guts it out and plays. It's probably wishful thinking for the Hawks, though.
The chances of the Hawks winning this series has all but disappeared with Hinrich likely to miss the series. It's a break the Bulls will gladly take, but not one they wanted to see.