Can you believe it? We’re just a couple of days away from the start of the 2015 NBA Playoffs and excitement is slowly building for this 16-team basketball extravaganza. One of the intriguing subplots of this year’s competition is the much-awaited postseason return of Derrick Rose.
This will be his first playoff appearance since suffering that ill-fated ACL injury back in the 2012 Playoffs and many are wondering if Rose can still be a dominant force now as he was back then.
Say what you want about Rose’s weak knees and his injury-plagued career but the fact remains he still is an integral part of the Bulls organization. He’s averaging 18.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and a team-high 5.0 assists in the 50 games he played with Chicago this season. He showed glimpses of what he can do for Chicago in the upcoming playoffs with a superb performance against Philadelphia on April 11. Rose was in supreme form in his third game back since undergoing a meniscectomy, putting up 22 points, eight assists, six rebounds and no turnovers in a 114-107 win over the 76ers.
He attacked the basket time and again as he displayed the aggressiveness that the Bulls sorely missed in his two-month absence. With Rose back, the Bulls are looking like a team that can go all the way this year. With current NBA odds to win the title set at +1500 (5th favorite overall), Chicago is a good sleeper pick to win the crown this season.
With that being said, there’s still plenty of uncertainty concerning Rose with regards to his health. He was limited to just 10 minutes of action in Chicago’s final regular-season game against Atlanta as he was once again nursing a sore knee. Rose brushed aside this latest development saying “it’s nothing serious”. Will his health hold up for this long and brutal playoff run? Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals can’t come soon enough.