SportsNation Blog Archives Chicago Bulls
The Bulls made a game of it, but in the end, their loss to the Heat might have been an inevitability. Chicago's a good team, but without Derrick Rose, it's just short of elite. Rose has come under fire for his playoff absence this season -- he seemed to be approaching full speed in practice, and he could have definitely helped the Bulls against LeBron James & Co. -- but the real question is what his future looks like. ACL injuries are no joke, and Rose is important enough to the Bulls that our experts don't fault him for sitting out, but that might be cold comfort to fans focused on the here and now.
Joakim Noah and the rest of the Bulls did their best, but without Rose's explosiveness, taking on the Heat was just too much for them to handle.
Back to basics?
You never know how a player will come back from a knee injury -- Bulls fans are likely hoping for an Adrian Peterson situation with Rose.
A ring for Rose?
Rose's résumé is sparkling -- he's been both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player -- but it'll be incomplete if he never wins a ring.
It was supposed to be an unbroken chain of wins for the Miami Heat, one after the other until LeBron James came one title closer to fulfilling his initial promise to Heat fans. The Bulls, however, had other ideas, beating the Heat 93-86 in Game 1 of their series. Miami looked rusty after an eight-day layoff and was unable to overcome a patchwork Chicago team, which has found ways to win despite a host of injuries to rather important players. It's not panic time yet for the Heat, but a hungry Bulls team must make them feel less-than-secure about their championship chances.
The Heat were able to keep it close for three quarters, but a 10-0 run by the Bulls to close out the game was too much for them to overcome.
After a thrilling first round, Memphis and Golden State are the lone lower seeds to find themselves in the conference semifinals. Does either team have a legitimate chance of getting to the Finals? Did San Antonio's sweep of the Lakers convince you they are a bigger threat to the Heat than the Thunder? Click on the logos below to set your conference semifinal power rankings!
Rank: NBA conference semifinalists
You could have been excused for thinking that the Nets would sweep the Bulls after Game 1 of their playoff series. The 106-89 final score was an embarrassment to Chicago, made worse by being one of those blowouts that isn't even as close as the final score indicated. A superior effort from Joakim Noah & Co., however, evened up the series at a game apiece and dramatically altered the narrative. We're not totally sold on the concept of momentum, but if it does exist, the Bulls may very well have it.
The Heat's streak is over, but we're not mourning it. Second-longest NBA winning streak ever is not an accomplishment to be ashamed of, right? We're more concerned about the beating LeBron James is taking, apparently without officials calling flagrant fouls. LeBron said he felt at least two plays on Wednesday night -- by Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson -- went beyond acceptable hard defensive strategy. The only flagrant foul called last night was on LeBron after a play in which he drove his shoulder into Carlos Boozer.
Players often cite LeBron's rare combination of speed and strength when describing how difficult it is to guard him.
Bulls fans must have been heartened to see Derrick Rose in the arena for Sunday's game against the Pacers, even if he was only on the bench and wearing slacks and a blazer. This is Rose's first time on the bench with his teammates this season as he recovers from his ACL injury. Is this a sign that he's coming back sooner than expected?
On the opening day of the 2012 NBA playoffs, both Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert went down with torn ACLs. Shumpert returned to action for the Knicks on Jan. 17. Rose, the former league MVP, has yet to play this season and said Wednesday that he still isn't sure when he'll return to action. Should Bulls fans be concerned about Rose's extended absence? And will he be the player he once was when he does come back -- whether it's this season or 2013-14? Cast your votes!
An extended absence
Derrick Rose has been out since April 28, when he tore his ACL in Game 1 of the first-round series against the Sixers. Is it time to start worrying that he's not back yet?
Beasts of the East?
The Bulls were the top seed in the East each of the past two seasons. Would a healthy Derrick Rose make them the Heat's top challenger?
Back and better than ever?
Adrian Peterson set a new standard for comebacks from a torn ACL. Can Bulls fans expect the same level of production from Derrick Rose?
Flip Saunders joined SportsCenter this morning to discuss whether some teams in the middle of the Eastern and Western Conference playoff standings were contenders or pretenders. Now it's your turn to weigh in. Where do you think the Bulls, Nets, Pacers, Grizzlies and Warriors stand in relation to the elite teams at the top of the standings? Are any of them a real threat to go deep in the playoffs or even win the title?
Running of the Bulls?
All-Stars Joakim Noah and Luol Deng have kept the Bulls afloat until they get Derrick Rose back.
Where Brooklyn at?
Since the Nets replaced Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo has had the team rolling, going 11-3 in January.
Right on pace?
The Pacers have been without Danny Granger all year, but Paul George has stepped up.
Walking out of Memphis?
The Grizzlies are all smiles now, but will they still be winners if they trade Rudy Gay?
Golden State of mind?
Andrew Bogut's return could be just the thing to take the Warriors to the next level.
Friday night's Bulls-Knicks game brought back memories of the teams' classic rivalry in the 1990s. Both teams are in playoff contention? Check. Things got a little chippy? Check. The Bulls won? Check, with Luol Deng and Joakim Noah leading the way. And now that Chicago is 2-0 against the Knicks this season without Derrick Rose, it makes us wonder: Will the Bulls be contenders if Rose returns from knee surgery in time for a playoff run?
LeBron James has been trying to get better since last season, but Charles Barkley might say that LeBron is aiming low. Barkley said in an interview that LeBron could be better than Michael Jordan when it's all said and done. Is Barkley predicting the future, or is he pulling our collective leg?