Derrick Rose Injury: Who will save the Chicago Bulls?

Feb 20, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) brings the ball up court against the Detroit Pistons during the first quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) brings the ball up court against the Detroit Pistons during the first quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Can anyone save the Chicago Bulls after Derrick Rose’ injury?

Derrick Rose had “successful” surgery to repair his torn meniscus in his right knee, according to ESPN. It’s now being reported that Rose will be able to return for the playoffs and could only be out four weeks.

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I hate to do this, because I have no idea if Rose was healthy enough to return the last time he was out with an injured knee, but we have to question whether Rose come back for the playoffs if he doesn’t feel right. It’s happened in the past. That’s the only reason it is even a topic for discussion.

Rose knows his body. No one else knows Rose’ body; it’s as simple as that.

However, if Rose doesn’t return, the Bulls have some very important decisions to make regarding personnel.

Who will save the Bulls?

If you read that to the tune of Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul,” you and I are definitely on the same wavelength.

Some people argue if they were ever title contenders to begin with, but I think it’s impossible to count out a team with Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Nikola Mirotic down the stretch or in the players. Those four players can matchup with any frontline in the league, and when the games slows down in the playoffs, those four players can make the difference in a series.

If Rose’ injury would have happened two weeks earlier, you have to wonder if the Bulls would have tried to make a move at the deadline, especially with so many point guards who were available.

I don’t think the Bulls would have made a move, but it’s definitely an interesting question. From what’s been reported, the Bulls have reached out to Nate Robinson, the guard who stepped into Chicago’s rotation and took over in Rose’ absence three seasons ago.

Right now, there are three players on the Bulls roster who need to step up in Rose’ absence.

Aaron Brooks


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Brooks is built for this role, possibly better than Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin before him.

At this point of his career, Brooks is not the creator he was early in his career. He’s also not a great defender, and he never really has been. Those two negatives will hurt the Bulls without rose, but there’s also things to like about Brooks playing more minutes for Chicago.

Brooks is a very good 3-point shooter. This season, Brooks is making 43 percent of his 3-point attempts, the eighth-best mark in the league.

Brooks, obviously, gives the Bulls a different option offensively. Chicago also ranks eighth in the league in 3-point percentage (35.8).

With more playing time, it will be interesting to see how Brooks’ game changes without Rose. If he can hold his own defensively and force defenses to mark him on the perimeter, I’d like to think the Bulls can hold their own in the East, even if Rose misses out on the playoffs.

Tony Snell 


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Snell hasn’t been the player I thought he’d be yet, but he still has time to grow as a player. Snell is going to see more minutes without Rose in the lineup. In his last two games, Snell is averaging 15.0 points and connected on 6-of-10 3-point attempts.

Like Brooks, Snell struggles defensively and he’s not a creator with the ball in his hands. He can, however, knock down big shots and 3-pointers when the Bulls need him to. This season, Snell is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

The Bulls are a little heavy at on the wings. Even without Rose in the lineup, Snell isn’t going to get 30 minutes every game to show what he can do. Regardless of how much he plays, Snell has to help fill the scoring void created by Rose’ absence.

Kirk Hinrich


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The rest of the Bulls’ season is on Hinrich’s shoulders.

Before all you Bulls’ fans have a heart attack, I’m only half-serious.

Hinrich has to play better. He’s played in the league for 11 years, and he’s the only player on the Bulls with a history of getting other players involved in the offense. It’s been a two years since Hinrich’s assist totals have been better than pedestrian, but he needs to figure out how to get the ball moving for the Bulls.

On top of Hinrich’s playmaking struggles, he’s been basically abysmal shooting the ball this season. Hinrich is only averaging 6.5 points per game, the lowest average of his career, and he’s only  shooting 37 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range.

Look, I don’t think Hinrich is good, but I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s played this season. Hinrich has never been a good shooter; he only shoots 41 percent in his career. If he can raise his shooting percentage slightly over the next few weeks, Hinrich can help the Bulls.

Come on, Captain Kirk, we’re pulling for you!

Overall, it’s going to take a total team effort to make up for Rose’ absence, but I secretly like the Bulls without Rose. Rose stops the ball at times on offense, and he hasn’t been himself since his other injuries.

I don’t think the Bulls can win the title without Rose at his best, though. Without Rose, the Bulls don’t have that star presence to win a title. Even with Rose, he’s probably not good enough to lead them to a title.

The Bulls have to feel like an underdog now, and that’s the spot I like them most.

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