The NBA: BULLS***!!!

Not again! Derrick Rose could miss the
entire season due to a knee injury.
(Image from: USA Today Sports)

I am not a Chicago Bulls fan but I respect and admire Derrick Rose. I have liked him since his freshman year in the NCAA with the Memphis Tigers in 2007-08. Actually, I am a Miami Heat fan which is a rival of the Bulls but I still like Rose as a player. He is fearless, quick, explosive and very competitive on the court. Rose is a dynamic playmaker and an amazing finisher at the rim. Off the court, he is modest, unassuming, shy and a good example to kids everywhere.

His latest injury to his right knee which is a torn meniscus could keep him sidelined for the entire season AGAIN. This happened versus the Blazers last Friday and it happened without any physical contact from others. People were so worried that it was another ACL injury that when it was announced that it was "just" a torn meniscus, some had a sigh of relief (including me). Remember, he injured his left knee and ACL last April 2012 and it took him 18 months to fully recover mentally and physically. His surgery will be on Monday and the extent of his injury will be revealed when the doctors cut him up.

The best-case scenario for D-Rose is to repair/reattach his meniscus which could take several months to recover from. A similar procedure was done on OKC's Russell Westbrook and it took him about 7 months to get back on the court at full strength. Another procedure is to remove his meniscus (like Brandon Roy) and that would typically result in a much faster recovery period from months becoming just weeks. For example, Metta World Peace had his meniscus removed late last season and it took him less than 2 weeks to get back to playing. The drawback of removing Rose's meniscus this early is the potential for more nagging knee injuries and knee pain (like Dwyane Wade). The worst-case scenario for Rose is having major knee problems similar to what Brandon Roy experienced which forced him to retire early twice.

Just knowing how safe and cautious D-Rose and the Bulls are, they will probably choose to do the repair procedure which would effectively put Rose out for the entire season. Even if he makes a speedy recovery like 2-3 months from now, it's very doubtful that Rose goes back on the court after having major knee surgery. Since he took a year off due to his ACL injury in the left knee, I would not be surprised at all if he took the rest of the season off due to a right knee injury. In fact, I am actually expecting Derrick Rose to sit out the entire season.

So, what should the Chicago Bulls do? They know that they're not good enough to challenge the Pacers and Heat without D-Rose. Heck, even with Rose, the Bulls were not as good as the top 2 of the East. Rose started the regular season very slow and rusty. He played in 10 of their 11 games averaging 15.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists (all career-lows) while shooting a dismal 35% from the floor. The Bulls ranked 24th in scoring at 93.5 ppg and last year without Rose, they were 29th at 93.2 points per game. They don't have Nate Robinson who averaged 13 ppg and Marco Belinelli (10 ppg last year) anymore so points will be a lot harder to replace without Rose too. The Bulls don't have a lot of options left on the bench (Mike James, Marquis Teague, Tony Snell).

Is it time to trade players (Boozer and/or Deng) and tank the season? Or should they keep the core together and try to make the playoffs? Their current team is good enough to make the playoffs (barring anymore injuries) especially with the Knicks and Nets struggling plus the East is very, very bad. If they make the playoffs, there's no way they can beat Miami or Indiana. A first-round exit is the most probable outcome. Since that's the most likely scenario, the Bulls should just rebuild this season and shoot for a high draft pick for next season.

I really hope that D-Rose makes a speedy recovery and that he returns to his MVP form. The NBA needs him and the fans need him. Get well soon D-Rose. We will await "The Return: Part 2" very eagerly!

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