If Derrick Rose is healthy, and playing at a Derrick Rose type level, the Chicago Bulls have a good chance to knock off the Miami Heat come playoff time and rep the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Ifhe’s not healthy, or not playing D-Rose basketball, the Bulls will definitely lose to the Heat again for sure.
After missing five games with back issues, Rose returned yesterday for the President’s Day tilt with the Atlanta Hawks. He looked totally healthy too, except for maybe being a little more winded than normal.
Rose finished with 23 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds, and afterwards his team talked about how stoked they were to have him back.
“Having (Rose) back just opens up everything,” Joakim Noah said. “He was very aggressive tonight. When he’s aggressive like that, it opens up everything for everybody, and it gives us a lot of confidence.”
Rose did not make himself available for comment afterward. Coach Tom Thibodeau said his conditioning is “not where it usually is,” but the explosiveness was there.
“Overall, I was very pleased,” he said. “Derrick said he felt really good out there.”
The Bulls insisted they wouldn’t rush Rose back. He had increased his activity in practice but still was a game-time decision on Monday.
“Who we’re playing had nothing to do with it,” Thibodeau said. “He felt he was 100 percent and he could go. He was cleared medically to do it. We’ll just go from there. He said he felt well out there.”
As long as he continues to feel one hundred percent, there’s no reason for Thibs not to be pleased. His Bulls are really good when Derrick Rose is out there, wherever they are. Good for the League to have the MVP back in action for the holiday yesterday too, I’m sure the current President appreciated as much at least.