By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – It’s been twelve games since the All-Star point guard has been sidelined with a groin injury. Before that Derrick Rose also missed time with a bad back. This is the most time away from the game for the rising star. The frustration is mounting as the post season nears with only three weeks left in the season.
“Of course it’s frustrating,” said Rose. “I want to be out there playing with my team, I’m a competitor and it’s hard watching on the sidelines.”
The aftermath of last season still looms over the MVP. A few games into the season, Derrick continues to blame himself for the loss in the Eastern Conference Finals. But this season he believes the only goal is to win the NBA Championship. A few minor adjustments like adding veteran Richard Hamilton to increase their offense is suppose to help.
But he too has been sidelined with injuries. So, in the mind of the humbled 23-year old who signed a multi-million dollar contract with both the Chicago Bulls and Adidas. Rose sees nothing different other than getting much further than last year. The Bulls will try to finish with the best record in the NBA but without their star player things can change quickly.
The Bulls opened the season strong against the Los Angeles Lakers and got their first win. But when the trip headed up North, the Golden State Warriors had their own agenda. Under new head coach Mark Jackson, something different happened, “defense”. Not often seen at Oracle arena but when the Warriors hosted Chicago they shut down Derrick and the Bulls.
“When Derrick attacks, he makes us better,” said coach Tom Thibedueau. “When the pressures on I’d like to see him go to the line more. But give them [Warriors] credit in forcing the turnovers.”
Fast forward to the present, Chicago find themselves questioning how far they can get without their All-Star to maintain their top spot in the Easter Conference. In the meantime, the lower rated teams are battling it out for a spot in the post season. Movement in the standings can change until the last game is played.
In his return on Easter Sunday, Rose and the Bulls lost to the New York Knicks 100-99. A time when the last shot would go in Derrick’s favor, this time the point guard didn’t have luck on his side. Rose finished with 29 points and saw his team succumb to free throws that might’ve helped them in the end.
“I missed those free throws, Derrick explained. “Hopefully, next time if I get the opportunity I’m going to knock them down.”