The Chicago Bulls are second in the NBA Central Division. Despite Derrick Rose’s absence, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Yet, one question must be lingering in the minds of the Bulls’ organization and fans.
Without Derrick Rose, can they still win a championship?
Rose tore his left ACL during the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. Since then, Rose has sat out all of 2012-13 and could possibly miss the entire season. Rose told reporters despite making progress that his leg has not felt right. Instead of rushing, Rose told reporters via AP he could sit out the rest of this season.
Do the Bulls have enough to make a run and win the NBA championship? The answer is no.
The Bulls have a talented roster with All-Stars Luol Deng and Joakim Noah leading the charge. However, both suffered injuries during this season and missed a combined nine games. They went 4-2 without Deng but 1-2 without Noah. If the Bulls want a title this year, they cannot miss any more games.
Though they have a deep roster, the Bulls cannot carry the load that Derrick Rose does. Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich have done admirably in Rose’s absence. They are not long-term investments, however. Robinson averages 12 points and 4.2 assists per game, while Hinrich averaged seven points and 5.2 assists per game before injuring his right elbow.
The Bulls don’t have a closer. Rose was their guy; he finished games just as he started. Rose’s absence is fine in the regular season. The playoffs are a different story.
If the season ended today, they would finish fifth, taking on the Brooklyn Nets. Can the Bulls contain Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in the backcourt? No, they can’t. They couldn’t stop a surging Philadelphia last year whose team didn’t have the depth the Nets have. The Bulls don’t stand a chance.
The Bulls need Derrick Rose to win an NBA championship. Frankly, if Rose doesn’t return this season, the Bulls will just have to wait until next year.
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