[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he NBA regular season is about to come to a close and that means the greatest time in sports is about to commence: playoff basketball. The excitement, the fast pace of plays, the endless amount of commercials are all set to be showcased over the next few weeks. For the Chicago Bulls though, this is a frustrating time.
Despite constantly being picked to win the NBA Championship and having the best record year after year, the playoffs have not been kind to the Bulls. Since the Tom Thibodeau era started in 2010, the Bulls have had a 17-22 playoff record only getting to the conference finals once.
What seems to be their problem when it comes to crunch time? Are they too worn from the season? Are they making dumb mistakes on the court? Or are they just playing better opponents? All those are applicable to the Bulls, so it’s tough to pinpoint an exact reason. The playoffs are a completely different beast compared to the regular season, so all teams will be different, but in order to succeed this year the Bulls will need huge contributions from Derrick Rose and their bench.
Rose finally returned from his newest ailment and seems to be taking things in stride. Since returning on April 8, Rose has averaged 22.3 minutes per game and 14.3 points per game. They may not be stellar numbers, but for a guy who is being dropped right into the thick of the playoff hunt he is doing just fine. Rose seems to think the same thing.
“Every game I play is a stride,” Rose said. “Every day I go in there and work out, do my rehab or training, it’s a stride. It’s a step forward. So every day is a positive day, even if I have a bad game or if I’m having a bad day, I try to erase it the next day.”
Rose does not have to be the savior he is painted as in order to be a success. Thibodeau does run his player’s through the ringer and that may not be the best for Rose. But if he continues to average what he has since his return, he’s going to be just fine.
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