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Thibodeau says no Derrick Rose not a death sentence

Apr 30, 2012, 11:34 AM EDT

Bulls Rose is helped off the court after getting hurt during their NBA quarter-final playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago Reuters

It has sounded like someone with a terminal illness around the Chicago Bulls since Derrick Rose blew out his ACL at the end of the Bulls Game 1 win over Philadelphia Saturday. Everyone (including myself) has said they are fine for now — they can still get past the Sixers — but the writing is on the wall long term. They will not survive to the finals now.

Coach Tom Thibodeau went Mark Twain and said the death of the Chicago Bulls has been greatly exaggerated, reports

“Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence,” head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after Sunday’s practice. “It’s not a death sentence for him, it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”

“Our margin for error is a lot smaller with Derrick out,” center Joakim Noah said. “Can you replace a guy like Derrick? No. But it’s on us to step up as much as possible. Just cause Derrick’s not on the court, there’s still a game to be played on Tuesday and we’re going to fight as hard as we can and make the city proud.”

The Bulls were 19-8 without Rose in the lineup this season, using defense and good ball movement to win. C.J. Watson and John Lucas III played well in Rose’s absence.

But it’s hard to see the Bulls getting past the Celtics or Hawks, let alone the Heat, without the dynamism that Rose brings to the Bulls. The Bulls and Rose are not dead, they’re just not going to be alive a long time in these playoffs anymore.

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  1. iowahbr - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    The coach is right about his comments regarding this year’s play-offs. It took Jordan several years to understand the difference between great stats and winning NBA championships. On the other hand when you watch Rose play it is apparent that he plays at the physical limits of the human body and we should be concerned that when he recovers from this, which he will, that those limits will be a bit less far ranging than they were before his injury. Does no good to fuss about it now and we all want him back as soon as he can be healthy again and back on the court.

    Even the fans of the Celtics, the Heat, the Hawks, and the Spurs want him back as winning when the best folks aren’t on the floor against you means your victories aren’t as meaningful.

    • chitownmatt - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      Actually, most ACL patients report having more range of motion and less general knee soreness or pain post op. That being said, much of Rose’s game is based on his speed and “explosiveness.” Those are two things that generally start to fade after 21 yrs old or so.
      Rose knows he needs to expand his game and gain more experience; he would be the first person to tell you as much. (It just sucks that he is going to have to wait 6 months to get back to work.)
      Don’t kid yourself, Derrick Rose will be back and he will be better than ever.

  2. southbeachtalent - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    It sucks that D. Rose got hurt, must be frustrating for that fan base and that team. But to say that the wins won’t be as meaningful is dumb. Every single win in the playoffs is meaningful, regardless of who’s on the floor. Staying healthy is part of the game.

    Regardless, aren’t the Heat haters always talking about lack of depth? And how deep Chicago and OKC are? Well I guess we will soon find out how deep the Bulls really are. After all that’s what matters right?

    • pudgalvin - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      We will find out how deep they are. I think they get past the Celtics and/or Hawks too. Probably can’t handle the Heat at this point, but you never know what can happen in the next couple series leading up to that.

    • iowahbr - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      All you have to do to understand my “meaningful” comment is for me to reverse the roles. I wouldn’t go snapping my suspenders all over town if Rose were healthy and the Bulls beat the Heat in six because LeBron was injured. The win would still be meaningful but it wouldn’t be the same thing.

      • southbeachtalent - Apr 30, 2012 at 4:19 PM

        snapping my suspenders!

        That made me LOL!

      • chitownmatt - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        Agreed, you have to beat the best to be the best.

  3. williegault - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I hate basketball now.

    I’ve watched every Bulls game for 4 years, and I don’t know if I can bear watching the rest of the playoffs.

    So. Freaking. Depressed.

    • pudgalvin - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      Suck it up man. D Rose ain’t coming back and there’s nothing we can do about it. More than enough to win. We’re going down with the ship.

      It’s true though. I’m still not ready for football after what happened to Cutler last year. The draft didn’t make me feel much better (nice Angelonian pick taking a guy who doesn’t really have a position and who hadn’t played in a year in the third round). This one is gonna sting for a while too.

    • choosefit - May 1, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      You keep on pulling for your team. Any full-in fan of any team knows the “always a chance” feeling. Those of us who grew up following the Bulls watched year after year as the Pistons would knock them out of the playoffs. It took 7 years but man, what a sweet feeling when they finally made it.

  4. 16x8equal49ers - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    He many never be the player he was after this injury, his style might change a little, but he’ll still be one of the best in the league. I’m confident that the Bulls can push to the Conference Finals. Home court might now be evermore important.

  5. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Well, they were coughing up blood this morning.

    • florida727 - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Yeah, might not be a death sentence, but they’re definitely on life-support.

      As a lifelong Bulls fan, this is tough to watch… even more so because of the kind of person Derrick Rose has proven to be. This is the kind of guy you want to root for. Get well soon, DRose. Hopefully this is only a minor setback in what turns out to be a very long and successful career for you.

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