|Bulls carry on without Derrick Rose|
|Written by Sam Isdale, Sports Columnist|
|Wednesday, 30 January 2013 11:25|
The talk about the return of Derrick Rose continues as the Bulls compete without him. The team has had its ups and downs as D-Rose has been working hard to recover from his ACL injury.
But when ESPN asked Joakim Noah on Tuesday afternoon if he and his teammates could talk about Rose’s return, Noah just turned away bright-eyed with a big grin on his face.
Although we may not know exactly when Derrick Rose will be able to step foot on the court again for his first game back, we all know it is coming. Until then, we need to cheer on the rest of the team.
Without Rose, the Bulls have been making it through, but there have been some rough patches. It sounds amazing to say that we’ve beat the Heat, but when we lost to the Hornets earlier this season, announcer Stacey King should’ve been begging for the “hot sauce.”
It hasn’t been all bad news for the Bulls. Noah and Luol Deng making it to the All-Star Game is an honor and a real treat. Both of these guys have made a serious impact on the team this season, with stats revealing that Deng is averaging 17.3 points per game and Noah is recording 12.1. Deng was recently out from playing due to a right-hamstring injury he initially contracted against the Toronto Raptors, then re-injured against the Celtics. While he was resting up and getting ready to get back on the court, Jimmy Butler filled in.
Butler has been a consistent go-to-guy for the Bulls this year. In his last five starts, replacing Deng, Butler averaged 14.2 points and 8.6 rebounds. He also hit his career-high of 19 points against the Bobcats on Monday. Not to mention he’s aggresive on defense as well.
“In some cases, a guy has a hard time starting or coming off the bench,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau told Comcast SportsNet. “Jimmy does both very effectively. He also has a very quick motor. Oftentimes, he didn’t play a lot in the first half and ends up finishing the game.”
Whether Deng or Butler takes the spot on the court, I’m happy the Bulls are winning. I think both players have the potential to be a leader on the court.
It’s always fun to see someone coming off the bench who doesn’t normally get that much hype in the media, especially when he steps in and does something great.
“Jimmy’s great,” Deng told ESPN. “I think people will start seeing what he can do. And I think at the same time, it makes us better in the long run.”
Another guy I believe has been putting forth his efforts to get the job done is Nate Robinson, standing tall at 5 feet 9 inches. I don’t believe his height is a factor in his play because he has been an asset to this team.
Many of you may remember last week’s game against the Detroit Pistons, when Noah threw his body after a loose ball, whipped it to Marco Belinelli and Belinelli had the game-winning shot. I couldn’t forget that because my only sports-interested roommate and I screamed and jumped off the couch to high-five each other.
Robinson came through and delivered nine straight points early in the fourth quarter. He was a key factor in the Bulls overcoming a 17-point deficit to beat the Pistons. I hope to see this type of performance from him throughout the rest of the season.
The Bulls have taken the lead in the Central conference with 27 wins and 17 losses overall. There is still work to be done, improvements to be made and essential games to be won. Whether the wins come with or without D-Rose, I hope we can welcome him back into a victorious atmosphere.