[Thanks to fishstix for today's game preview -yfbb]
Late last night I had written my game preview for today's game. Unfortunately, after the Rose news broke this game has become irrelevant. I want to say that this team can hold down the fort and hope Rose can return for a playoff run, but I feel like we have already seen how this story is going to end.
I feel bad for Rose, the youngest MVP in league history hasn't caught a break since winning the MVP award.. He has gone through two major knee surgeries, and will go through his third later this week. The former league MVP has suffered through unwarranted scrutiny about his decisions, rehab process, and his overall game. I feel for his teammates. Players like Mike Dunleavy and Pau Gasol came to Chicago on a discount during the latter stages of their careers in order to compete for a title. Players like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson have given their all during the prime of their career, just to prepare for the run that the Bulls were going to make this year.
Lastly I feel bad for the fans and city of Chicago. This could potentially be the fourth season ruined by a Derrick Rose injury. As a Bulls fan, or any sports fan, you feel invested in your team. You watch your team embark on a journey, which somehow you feel connected to. You go through the ups and downs with the team, and in the past few years the downs have been brutal. But no matter how bad things got, the Bulls continued to do their best by embodying Chicago's blue-collar, hard working mentality.
Sports are powerful; they have the ability to bring people together and show them the bright side of life. Whether it is an under dog story such as the 2013 Red Sox bringing joy to a city following a terrible disaster, or an Olympic hockey team uniting a country during troubling times, sports have allowed people to feel like they were a part of something that is bigger than them. At the same time, sports can show people the ugly side of life. There isn't a better example of this than the past few years of Derrick Rose's career. Despite doing everything that he can possibly do to remain healthy, he has been plagued with more serious injuries than most will face in their entire career.
So where do we go from here? Maybe Rose opts to have his meniscus removed, and is back for playoff time.. But I doubt that the team would be able to compete for a title, especially with Rose coming off another major surgery. Thibs is probably going to let us know that this team "has more than enough to win," with or without Rose. The Bulls will probably go pickup a random short point guard from free agency (State of Nate anyone?) and try to salvage what is left of this season. Thibs will find a way to get these guys to land a top four seed in the playoffs, and maybe they will win a series or two. But that will most likely be it....
I once heard a quote that has stuck with me through the years.. "I have imagined great victories, and I've imagined great races. The races are better." Like it or not, the Bulls are going to be faced with another difficult race, and they will undoubtedly give it their all until the end. Rose may or may not come back to play this season. Either way we will be there with them on this journey holding onto the little hope that is left.
Amid the Derrick Rose drama, the Bulls still have a game to play tonight. The team needs to hold down the fort until they know if and when Rose will be back. On paper the Bulls are a much better team than the Hornets, and they match up well against them. But it is a home game against a sub .500 team, so anything can happen right? Kirk and Taj will also be back in the lineup for tonight.
Tip off is at 7:00pm CT, at the UC.