With the Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat second round NBA playoff series starting tonight, I cannot help but think about what this season could have been for the Bulls.
Thus far, the Miami Heat are looking like they’re in a good position to defend their championship title. LeBron James, who just earned his 4th MVP award, and the Heat will be rested and ready to face the Bulls after their first round sweep over the Milwaukee Bucks
The Bulls, on the other hand, are coming off of their series against the Brooklyn Nets that went to 7 games. As a result, they will be playing the Heat on one day of rest following their hard fought first round series.
If Derrick Rose had never torn his ACL about a year ago, I wonder what position the Bulls would be in right now?
Without Rose, the Bulls finished 5th in the Eastern Conference. If Rose had never been injured, I believe that the Bulls would have been a very strong team this season. They likely would have had more wins during the season which would have possibly given them a better seed and a different opponent for this round.
As long as everyone else on the Bulls had the same kind of season they had this year, I would even go as far as saying that I believe the Bulls could have been the strongest competition for the Heat (especially considering Russell Westbrook’s injury now). Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng have all had good seasons.
While I do think it would be nothing short of amazing if they win this series against the Heat, I am not completely counting the Bulls out. They do have a steep up hill battle though. They were the team that ended Miami’s streak earlier this season, but that was one game, not the four they need to win the series.
The Bulls do have some health problems besides Rose to worry about for the up coming games that will have a big impact on their ability to hang in their with the Heat. Luol Deng has been sick with something similar to the flu and had complications from a procedure at the hospital. Kirk Hinrich is day-to-day because of a calf injury. Also, Joakim Noah has had a consistent foot injury, plantar fasciitis, for much of the second half of the season. Noah’s injury needs rest and he played a lot of minutes in the Bulls last two games, so that could be a concern moving forward.
Could Rose come back for this playoff series? Pretty much since the All-Start break, there has been questions about him returning. There was even talk yesterday about him playing the Miami Heat tonight. You never know, but I doubt he will play tonight or this series. I think if he is going to play, it would have made a lot of sense for him to start by building up minutes or at least playing some in the Bulls first round series against the Nets. Also, I cannot imagine that he would want his first game back to be against the Heat’s defense. We will see though. He has not said he will not play. It would certainly be exciting to see how things go if he does play.
Although this could have been a completely different match up than it is, it’s not reality. I am still looking forward to watching this series. Maybe there will be the chance next year to see how the Bulls with Rose match up with the Heat.
Until next time,