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Bulls brace to start season minus Rose
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 1, 2012 @ 5:59 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott M Gleeson, USA TODAY
DEERFIELD, Ill. — For a team that finished with the best record in the NBA for the last two seasons, the Chicago Bulls now look more like a team trying to make the playoffs than a team with championship aspirations.
That will happen when a team is without its best player for at least half the season, as the Bulls await the return of franchise point guard Derrick Rose, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the first round of last year’s playoffs and has been rehabbing since a May surgery.
“Every week I’m improving, just trying to stay patient, take my time, and hopefully be back soon,” said Rose, who could return as early as February according to team doctors.
It was just two years ago that Rose said confidently at Media Day that he thought he could be the Most Valuable Player of the NBA — and then delivered, leading the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011 after a breakout MVP season.
But a form of hope and optimism similar to that of the past two seasons was nowhere to be seen at Bulls’ Media Day on Monday, as coaches and team members didn’t answer questions about how they could beat the defending-champion Miami Heat, but rather how they’d tread water until Rose returns.
“You don’t lose a great player like Derrick without feeling that,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who received a four-year contract extension on Monday. “I think we can overcome that with our collective effort.”
Rose is putting his collective effort toward getting back on the court. Last month while promoting his new shoe, Rose became emotional while watching the tape of the injury and talking about what the fans mean to him.
Chicago went from a No. 1 seed at the start of last season’s playoffs to a first-round upset by the No. 8 seed Philadelphia 76ers. Although the Bulls won an NBA-best 50 games in a lockout-shortened 66-game season, winning 18 of those games without an injury-plagued Rose, the team struggled to find its identity … [For more on Chicago Bulls brace to start season minus Derrick Rose, click here.]
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