Derrick Rose has only played in 35 of Chicago’s 57 games this season, and he’s going to miss another one tonight, this time with a new ailment: A sprained ankle. Rose, the league’s reigning MVP, has been plagued by injuries to his toe, back and groin.The diminutive Rose (6-3, 190) often knives through the lane with reckless abandon, kind of the way Allen Iverson used to. Could it be catching up with Rose? He had only missed five games in his first three seasons in the league.
At the risk of looking too far ahead, let’s say Rose isn’t 100 percent and the Bulls lose in the first round of the playoffs to either New York or Philly. At what point do we start talking about the window closing on the Bulls? Unless they can miraculously unload Carlos Boozer’s terrible contract, there’s simply no way they can pay to keep key reserves like Asik and Gibson.
Maybe the Bulls secret plan is to have 2011 1st round pick Nikola Mirotić show up in two years? They’d have to buy out his contract overseas, but he certainly would fill the Asik/Gibson void.
The Bulls lead Miami by two games in the East. Chicago hosts New York tonight (payback for Sunday’s loss?), while Miami hosts Boston. You know something’s up when the Bulls – sans Rose – are 7-point favorites. As noted Sunday, the Knicks probably have little or no interest in this game – hell, they might even be wise to rest starters – with a pivotal trip to Milwaukee Wednesday. The Bucks are only 1.5 games back of the 8th seed. Philadelphia, if you care, visits New Jersey tonight.