Injury, illness and in need of Derrick Rose

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Nets Force Game 7

Yes, people, Game 7 of Bulls-Nets would be a great time for Derrick Rose to return, but the Bulls say they are comfortable with everything that Rose absolutely refuses to do.

Until Rose says his brother won’t let him play this season -- oops, I mean, until Rose himself says he’s not playing the rest of this season, he will be considered a day-to-day decision. What that means is, Rose will represent hope. Fair or not, it’s true.

Each game Rose doesn’t play while teammates are getting spinal taps and vomiting all over the place and jumping despite the searing pain of plantar fasciitis and throwing off walking boots trying to play, Rose will represent hope amid a hopeless situation as the Bulls, Rose’s Bulls, head for just about the worst collapse you can manage in the postseason.

Deng had a viral infection that left him shivering as he walked into the United Center in an attempt to play. Taj Gibson had the flu, but played. Nate Robinson had the flu, but played, and when he didn’t, he had a vomit pail in front of him on the bench. Kirk Hinrich could barely walk but gave himself every chance to play. Joakim Noah looked more like Joakim Noah, but plantar fasciitis always looms to take you down, like LeBron James.

It’s as if someone is using the Bulls’ best players for a game of human Whack-A-Mole.

But hey, didn’t Rose look sharp in that suit? Fine suit. Stylin’, rockin', or whatever the popular kids say.

Rose continues to say he’s not comfortable enough to play. Rose continues to look like a guy who has stopped listening to doctors. Rose wants to be “110 percent’’ before he comes back, but he or some voices in his posse are talking so loudly that Rose can’t hear the medical instruction that coming back to play in games is the last part of rehab.

If nothing else, Rose is a live body who can give the Bulls 20 minutes that would help a battered and sometimes brainless backcourt. When Marquis Teague is playing a lot, you’re desperate a lot.

Desperate doesn’t excuse stupid play, but they tend to go steady with each other. They seemed to be on a date late in Game 6 when it came to Marco Belinelli.

The Bulls made only two baskets in the last 4:26 of the third quarter, and Belinelli had both. He was 7-for-15 from the floor and leading the team in scoring.

And then he had one shot in the first 6:30 of the fourth quarter.

The Bulls missed seven straight shots -- three by Jimmy Butler, two by Nate Robinson -- before Belinelli even got a chance. Belinelli led the Bulls in assists, but they never seemed to start possessions with him. Maybe he didn’t demand the ball, but a smart team knows who’s hot and keeping the team organized, and it wasn’t Robinson or Butler or, yeesh, Teague.

Belinelli went 1-for-6 in the fourth quarter. The mojo was gone, clanking off the iron on a potential game-tying shot at the end.

Maybe he was tired. Maybe Robinson thought he was headed for another hero night. Maybe Butler wanted to earn his card into that club. Maybe everybody in the backcourt was tired or sick or both. Whatever, it didn’t looked smart or organized.

One more guard playing even 20 minutes might made a difference in getting rest for the right players and allowing the right players to make the right decision.

But I guess the Wrong Decision Flu is contagious among the Bulls, as well.

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