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Would Derrick Rose Return For HEAT Series?
Posted By Joel Brigham On April 29, 2013 @ 12:00 pm In NBA | No Comments
Despite the fact that Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau essentially told us all a couple of weeks ago that Derrick Rose would most likely not be returning to the floor this year, we’re all still waiting for a return with bated breath.
Holding out hope is surprisingly easy to do, mostly because everybody knows that Rose’s surgically repaired knee is healthy. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Rose was cleared to resume playing back in February, but he hasn’t done so because his knee still doesn’t feel right to him. Rose claims that he’s lacking a little explosion, that he can’t dunk the way he’s accustomed to dunking.
In other words, his roadblocks are mental at this point, not physical, which means he could decide any day now that he’s ready to pull on a uniform and participate in his team’s playoff run. Physically, he’s ready.
Knowing all of that, it’s entirely too easy to get our collective hopes up that it could happen. With Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and Russell Westbrook and Danilo Gallinari and David Lee all missing out on all or some of the playoffs because of various debilitating and ill-timed injuries, Rose is the one banged-up superstar with the physical ability to actually find his way back to the big stage this spring.
The question is, will he?
The answer: maybe. But what else is new?
Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of Rose tearing his ACL in the very first game of the 2012 NBA playoffs, but he’s been practicing at full speed for weeks and weeks at this point, and anybody who’s seen him do his warm-up shooting routine before games knows that he looks pretty sharp.
Adding even more weight to the question is the fact that Chicago’s second-round opponent this year, should they advance, would be the dreaded Miami HEAT. Chicago will give LeBron James and Dwyane Wade some bumps and bruises whether Rose plays or not, but nobody thinks the Bulls have any sort of chance at winning the series without Chicago’s former MVP. If he’s going to make a grand entrance into these playoffs, Game 1 of the Miami series would be the perfect time to do it.
Rose’s big brother Reggie, who spoke with the Chicago Tribune this weekend, seems to think a return to the court this postseason is not out of the question.
“I think anything is possible,” Reggie said. “[Derrick] has been working hard and getting a lot of shots up every day. Most of all, he is getting his mind ready, getting comfortable with his body. I think [his mind] is probably at a good 90 percent now.”
But, as Derrick Rose has said time and time again during his rehab, 90 percent isn’t good enough. If he doesn’t feel fully healthy, he’s not coming back.
“His 100 percent might not be your 100 percent,” Reggie Rose added. “It’s hard. But the Bulls organization has basically told him: We support you. When you are ready, we will welcome you with open arms.”
Unfortunately, there’s no meter measuring these percentage points, so we can’t really follow the progress. All we know is that it’s been a year, and Rose still hasn’t returned. If Miami isn’t enough motivation to get back out there, then Derrick probably wasn’t seriously considering a comeback this season, anyway.
Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. Rose needs to be healthy for the long-term success of this franchise, and if he needs the offseason to get himself to that point, so be it.
But with all the injuries that have hit big-name players this postseason, it would be nice to get a big name back. Rose could still make his return this season, and should Chicago advance as expected, Game 1 of the second round would be the perfect time.
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