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Winderman: Granger news takes pressure of Rose return

Nov 7, 2012, 4:01 PM EDT

Derrick Rose in D Rose Short and Family Story Tee

The upshot of Wednesday’s prime injury news is that the Bulls’ injury news no longer is nearly as grim.

No sooner had the Pacers sent out their release about Danny Granger likely missing three months following a knee procedure, then Tom Thibodeau certainly would have been within his rights to call Derrick Rose and tell him, “Take your time.”

With Rose out until March, if not longer, due to his gruesome playoff knee injury, there had been thought of a precipitous seeding fall for the team that routinely had gone all-in for the conference’s No. 1 seed during Thibodeau’s stewardship, even in the face of the Heat’s Big Three.

The Pacers, after all, not only outlasted the Rose-less Bulls in last season’s playoffs, but arguably gave the Heat their toughest test this side of the Celtics.

Now?

Now the Central Division might be the worst in basketball.

And it might not take much to secure the division’s title and therefore a guarantee of a top-four East seed for Chicago.

So instead of wondering when Rose might come to the regular-season rescue, there might not be a need for a rescue. Not with this motley group. Not with the Pacers lacking Granger for upwards of half the season.

Milwaukee? The best you can say about Scott Skiles’ group is they’re scrappy.

Cleveland? Kyrie Irving & Co. are on the rise, but not necessarily division-title rise. Yet.

Detroit? Uh, have you seen the Pistons lately?

Had the Pacers been able to go into the season with continuity and maintain continuity, the Bulls could have fallen enough in the overall seedings to create concern of a déjà-vu first-round fate.

But with the shorthanded Pacers, the scrappy-at-best Bucks, the learning-stages Cavaliers and the ghastly Pistons, a team with Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah should be just fine without Rose, considering how they’re Central-ly located.

For now, for the Bulls, even without Rose, it’s about location, location, location.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

  1. southbeachtalent - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Hell, they made it last year without him. Playoffs are a different story..

    Derrick Rose, the only basketball player to ever have a knee injury….. (holding his knee, holding his knee..) commercial is annoying as hell.

    • philtration - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      I guess the Heat winning a title did not cure you of being a hopeless prick.

  2. pistolpete0903 - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    I thought it was the 76′ers who knocked Chicago out last season.
    Unless out-lasted means going farther.

    Just saying.

  3. fballlvr22 - Nov 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Granger injury takes pressure ***off*** Derrick Rose Return

  4. mcjon22 - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    The Pacers doubled as the 76ers on their off days last year during the playoffs? Wow, that’s earth shattering news. Unless, ProBasketballTalk has just butchered a story with a mind numbing mistake that Stoned freshmen in highschool couldn’t even possibly screw up.

  5. beardown2489 - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Even the Miami beat writers hate the bulls. What is it with Miami people? Don’t you have enough to write about down there with your team?

    No need to be little the Bulls situation. They play in a bad division. Not their fault.

  6. charlescub80 - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    I guess you can’t be to angry with heat fans. They only have two championships and they still don’t know how to handle it. If they can get to five they may learn to have some class. Also, that James sprint commercial. Where he happens to be friends with everyone. I would love to see that setting in Cleveland. I don’t think he would be smiling too much.

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