The sun finally is out this morning, but it is a dark, dark day in Chicago.
Sports talk radio almost sounds as if it is in mourning. Perhaps, the hosts are mourning the likely end to an NBA title run.
Interesting to note the views from the various columnists on the Derrick Rose injury, especially on if he should have been in the game with the Bulls up by 12.
David Haugh in the Chicago Tribune:
There’s also little doubt in my mind that Rose’s season-ending injury occurred due to bad luck, not bad judgment by Tom Thibodeau.
Later, Haugh writes:
Rose needs to work on closing sounds as silly as Thibodeau needing to practice on his intensity. But Thibodeau had nothing to apologize for regarding Rose playing. You didn’t have to be the best coach in the NBA the past two years to understand why Rose was on the floor.
This wasn’t a meaningless regular-season game. This was the NBA playoffs. Momentum matters. Sixers coach Doug Collins sought any glimmer of hope in the final minutes to make Game 2 less daunting psychologically for his team. Thibodeau wanted to do everything to prevent that momentum from developing.
Rick Morrissey had a different view in the Sun-Times:
It had been established by the middle of the season that Rose’s body and hard-driving game were not built for a condensed schedule. He had gone down with a sprained left toe in January that caused him to miss five games, and from there, his season read like the index to a human-anatomy handbook: lower back, right groin, right ankle and right foot. In all, he missed 26 regular-season games.
It meant that every decision the Bulls made during the season should have flowed from the simple truth that he was brittle. The idea should have been to keep Rose healthy, to keep him off the floor whenever opportune and, above all, to keep him away from banana peels.
Later, Morrissey writes:
“It’s part of the game,’’ Thibodeau said. “There are going to be injuries. A guy can get hurt in practice. He can hurt in the first five minutes of the game. He can get hurt at the end of the game. You can get hurt any time.’’
You can get hurt playing in highway traffic, too, but it doesn’t mean you should be doing it. It’s the coach’s job to look at the scoreboard, see that his team has a double-digit lead and get his injury-prone point guard out of the game to fight another day.
Michael Wilbon at ESPNChicago.com:
It’s an unbelievable downer that Rose is now done for the season, just when the season starts to truly matter. And I’m dogged by this feeling there was something inevitable about it. But a very smart man I know who makes his living in the basketball industry is miffed by the notion, held by many of us, that the compacted season contributed mightily (not at all, in his opinion) to Rose’s injury. While, like the rest of us, he finds the injury to be a downer, my friend says Rose’s playing in five games the past 46 days and only 39 games in four months suggests he had plenty of time to recuperate. He contends the schedule didn’t have the wear and tear on him it might have had on others, and this was just a freakish thing the schedule had nothing to do with.
Melissa Isaacson at ESPNChicago.com:
While it is entirely fair to question Thibodeau and to engage in the debate, particularly given the fact that this was the league MVP who had five previous injuries, this was not February and these were not the New Jersey Nets. Rose was en route to a game-high 23 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. He was driving effectively though less frequently, shooting the 3 at a 50 percent clip, looking better than he has in any game since returning from his last (ankle/foot) injury a week and a half ago.
But he was also shooting 9-for-23, had five turnovers and needed the work. This is presumably what he was being saved for.
Sam Smith at Bulls.com:
I can’t fault Thibodeau. There’s no blame there. He has been consistent and always coached this way. It is the playoffs, and the 76ers had shaved eight points off the lead in the last few minutes. They were about to have it down to 10 with over a minute left, and you still can lose that sort of lead as the 76ers shoot threes well in streaks. Rose had played 37 minutes and sat out the first four minutes of the fourth. Yes, he’s had multiple injuries this season, which was a concern. But he just jumped and was hurt. He wasn’t hit. So that could have happened anywhere and at any time. He jumps at all times in games.