Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bulls' Season Over, Rose out 8-12 Months Following Surgery

Last Thursday, the Chicago Bulls ended their season, bowing out in Game 6 to the Sixers by the score of 79-78.  The end of the game was horrifying for Bulls fans. I watched the end at a clubhouse of a golf course, and seeing the Bulls come all the way back to take the lead after being down 12 in the third quarter was awesome.

The Bulls even led by three with under 30 seconds left, but Spencer Hawes had a layup to cut it to one.  In the ensuing fiasco, C.J. Watson had the ball in his hands and was almost fouled, but the refs let the action go on long enough to see him dish it off to Omer Asik, who was fouled and went on to miss both free throws. He was one of the few who hustled back and ended up committing the foul to send Andre Iguodala to the line, who calmly sank both free throws to secure the win following a last chance prayer from beyond half court from Watson.

While most Bulls fans and even members of the media said it was "inevitable", I was not one in that camp.  I truly believed the Bulls could win even against the biggest odds because I felt the 76ers were not that great of a team.  They are solid, but they can't shoot and good defense in the last two games showed that they were susceptible to losing, even with the Bulls missing Rose and Noah.  It was a horrible feeling to see the Bulls go down like this, especially in a game that they definitely could have won.  I felt like they would have won a Game 7 at home if they had the chance.  It was a kick in the groin to be as a Bulls fan to see it end like this, but nothing can be changed now.

The future for this Bulls team looks a little murky with Rose out 8-12 months as he recovers from his ACL surgery.  According to Dr. Brian Cole today, the surgery went smoothly and as planned, but Rose's expected recovery time will be at the minimum eight months.  Thinking optimistically, he could be back sometime in January, but if progress in recovery stalls out, Rose could miss the entire 2012-2013 basketball season, leaving the Bulls in a difficult position.  You must also factor in that Luol Deng will have surgery and likely miss a good chunk of the start of next year.  This Bulls team is facing a lot of uncertainty, and things also are difficult because they don't have the luxury to go and get guys like Steve Nash and Lamar Odom to fill voids.  They simply do not have the money to do that.  Nash and Odom are well-respected and deserve more money, so it's unlikely they would even consider coming to Chicago.  They may be able to get some players for cheap, but their real impact may not be felt.  Things are very uncertain for this team because they were built to win now.  The surgeries are a setback, but I trust that Coach Thibs will balance minutes more and get players like Jimmy Butler more involved as Rose and Deng rehab their injuries.

So, what do you think?  Should the Bulls pursue any big names?  What should they do this offseason?  When do you believe Rose and Deng will return?  Feel free to chime in and give me your opinion.

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