Remember how I said before the playoffs began that the Bulls were my prohibitive favorite to win the title? Well, just a couple days later, that’s gone up in smoke.
In what was a costly game for the Bulls, they ended up getting the win against the 76ers today, but lost so much more in the process. Because, with just over a minute to go and the game out of reach for Philadelphia, Derrick Rose went down with what has since been diagnosed as a torn ACL.
Before this, the game was going well. After a rough 1/7 start, Rose went on to hit eight of his next 16 shots to finish with 23 points, along with nine rebounds and nine assists, and the Bulls had the win wrapped up.
Outside of him, they also got a double double from Joakim Noah, 17 points from Luol Deng, and 19 from Rip Hamilton.
For the most part, the Bulls controlled this game throughout. They outscored Philadelphia in every quarter of the game, and held them to just 39 percent shooting. They also managed to dominate the glass too, which is something they’ve done all season.
And the 76ers didn’t just struggle as a team – they all struggled individually in this game. Andre Iguodala scored an inefficient 11 points, Lou Williams only hit one of his six shots off the bench for a total of nine points, and Jrue Holiday only hit seven of his eighteen shots.
Not all was bad for them though. Elton Brand went 8/15 for 19 points, and also chipped in seven rebounds. Thaddeus Young was also solid, going 6/12 for 13 points off the bench.
Overall, the Bulls played a good game – both offensively and defensively. It’s that simple.
But the problem with all of this? No one is going to remember the fact that the Bulls won. No, that’s not the lasting effect from this game. It’s the sight of Derrick Rose in a heap of agony on the court with just over a minute to go. That’s the last sight we’ll see of him on the court for the rest of this postseason, and probably for the next eight months to a year.
The only question now is – what’s next? Will the Bulls be able to rebound and rally to victory, much like they have all year in the face of injury? Or will they flame out. Only time will tell now. I still think they have enough to win this round, but how much more after that? I suppose we don’t have to wait all that long to find out.
Mike Owens is a sports blogger for Sir Charles In Charge. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @mikeowens1