Maybe it’s because he didn’t play last season, or because he’s got his sight completely set on the Miami Heat, but for some reason Derrick Rose is completely ignoring the Indiana Pacers.
On Friday, Rose said that a rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the Pacers does not exist.
But let’s be real. If a rivalry doesn’t exist between the Bulls and Pacers yet, one will arise pretty soon. The Pacers and Bulls are the two second-best teams in the Eastern Conference (Does that make sense?). There’s the Miami Heat and then there’s everybody else.
Both of these teams will be definite players in deciding who represents the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals and will probably end up playing each other at some point in the playoffs. Both teams play really good defense, have great size and have the same goal in mind — beat the Heat. In order to do that, though, they’ll have to beat each other first.
With that said, Rose still doesn’t think there’s a rivalry there.
“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it,” Rose said before scoring 32 points in the team’s 103-98 win against the Pacers. “I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals.
“If anything, by probably in a year or two, it could become a rival. But right now, people say it’s a rival. … I just don’t see it right now.”
The last time the Bulls played the Pacers in the playoffs was 2011. I guess he has a point, maybe.
Of course, when they asked Rose if the Heat were currently the Bulls’ biggest rival, he said yes.
“If you want say [that], yeah,” he said. “For sure, Miami.”
Well they have played each other in the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. So I guess that’s accurate.
But back to the main issue. Many are sleeping on the Pacers, including Rose. I think Rose saying that he doesn’t see a rival in the Pacers says more about what he thinks about Indiana than about the Bulls’ rivalries in general.
I just don’t think Rose sees the Pacers as an obstacle. Honestly.
Though, one thing is for sure. If the Bulls get to face their “biggest” rival in the playoffs this year, it’ll depend on whether or not they can get past their non-rivals in Indiana. Irony?
Fun. Fun. Fun.