The Chicago Bulls were expecting Derrick Rose to come back strong from a torn ACL last season, but they were extremely disappointed by what ended up happening.
Rose hurt his opposite knee early on in the season, and was once again ruled out for the remainder of the season. There are already high expectations for him this coming season, but he has a lot to prove before it’s time to say that he will be 100 percent this time around.
It is extremely difficult for any player to come back and be the exact same player before a knee injury, much less after having two season-ending injuries in a row. He may very well bounce back at full health and become the player that he used to be, but there is also the chance that he is nervous about another knee injury and loses some of his aggressiveness. Obviously hearing this type of mentality is a good sign, but his health is definitely still a concern this coming season until he proves otherwise.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) July 27, 2014
Most analysts believe that if Rose is able to stay healthy, the Bulls are going to be the first or second seed in the Eastern Conference. They need their point guard to play at full strength to make it to that level, but they did add Pau Gasol to the front-court as well. If Rose is unable to stay healthy, they will likely end up being a fifth or sixth seed.
Rose ended up playing in and starting just 10 regular season games last season, averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game. He didn’t look like himself before the injury occurred last season, and that is a definitely concern. Whether he comes back at full strength and stays healthy or not, he still has not played against rough defenses that aren’t afraid of bumping him around. It will take some time to get used to playing the game against NBA competition.
Overall, this is going to be a very interesting season to see what the Bulls do. With Rose on the floor, they have the potential to knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with any other team that they face. Without Rose, they are a solid playoff team, but they don’t have a chance at winning a title. Hopefully for Chicago, Rose is able to back up these words and get back to playing the superstar brand of basketball that he used to play.