“It was weird,” Derrick Rose would say after the game. “The way they did it, they had someone checking Carlos. Then there was someone right behind him coming over. If I drive baseline, the guy behind him cuts me off. The guy is sticking with Carlos. If I drive middle, the guy on the side comes out and doubles me. It’s something we’ve never seen before, I guess. I just got to get used to it. I couldn’t get a feel for the game.” That would sum up most of the game.
It is no secret that this Chicago Bulls team largely rises and falls with Rose’s play. This team was tied with the Miami Heat for second in the East when the list of the All Star reserves were announced on Thursday, yet did not nab a single spot. Derrick Rose, the Bulls sole All Star, drives this team.
Watching the game, I was fearful that Rose had an injury. He looked hesitant and frustrated. And unless a player misses a game, injuries are often covered up for tactical reasons. Joakim Noah played injured for over a week before it was announced that he had a thumb injury that would go on to cost him a few months of the season.
In the end, Rose chalks up his poor play to the way the Warriors set up their defense. While it is pleasant to think that he is not injured, it is very worrisome that there may be a major weakness in an offense that already struggles for points at times.
On the plus side, Noah has been working out more and more, hoping to return before the All Star Break. A healthy Noah will be a great boost for this team on both ends of the court. He is still not cleared for contact drills, but Noah is very much a gamer and is anxious to get back – meaning that he is probably working his tail off to do so.