A fun distraction earlier Tuesday with Derrick Rose putting on a genuinely touching performance at his MVP acceptance ceremony. SBNation's Mike Prada has the full vote totals (it wasn't even close), and Adidas commemorated it with a pretty decent spot.
But onto the bigger news of the day: digging through what happened in a surprisingly flat series opener for the Bulls. The news on Derrick Rose is mixed: he feels fine and practiced today, but the ankle sprain will be an ongoing issue. And I find it hard to not call it THE issue of this entire playoff run. As Tom Ziller pointed out earlier today (really pimping the mothership in this one), if the truth can be told through Rose's ability to get to the line, then it's now been 3 games post-sprain where he's not been the same. And the ease at which he re-injured it is concerning as well...whether he gets 'seriously' hurt or not, the fact that it keeps bothering him could mean he's simply more of an outside player going forward, and that kills the Bulls chances of having an even average offense.
- Some quality recaps I started my morning with: from Sam Smith, Kelly Dwyer, and Rob Mahoney
- Extremely high-quality analysis from Zach Lowe of SI at how the Hawks defended Rose last night, and what opportunities were missed in attacking that strategy. You can't blame poor (or at least late) decision-making on the ankle, and Rose needs to be better when seeing the same things in Game Two.
- Kelly Dwyer with more on how Rose needs to stop settling so easily.
I suppose it's a bit ironic that on a day where Derrick Rose receives the league's highest individual honor that the focus is on how he can improve, however: this team is in serious trouble if their two best offensive players aren't at their regular-season level. Carlos Boozer had a decent stretch in the game last night, but he was awful in the first half and he's having his own injury issues. Who knows if he's ever 'back' in these playoffs. If Rose downgrades to being a very good player instead of amongst the best in the league...that is serious.