Derrick Rose tore his ACL with just over 1 minute left in Game 1 of their series with the Philadelphia Sixers. At the time Rose went down, the Bulls had the ball and were up by a dozen. There was probably a 97% chance that they were going to win that game. Rose has been injured all year, so I ask myself, “Why wouldn’t coach Thibodeau pull him out?” I know, I’m Monday morning quarterbacking right now, but still The Bulls just went from favorites to win the Championship to a 1st or 2nd round out. Let’s not blame the Bulls coaching staff entirely. I believe the league has to share about 50% of this as well. Had it not been for the lockout, the cramming of all these games in a shortened season, this would’ve never happened. No preseason, no camp, multiple back to back to back games. I mean, this is ridiculous. Same thing happened to Dwight Howard, Al Horford (although he is injury prone), and now Iman Shumpert of the Knicks. Looks like Chicago’s gonna have to wait another year. Take it from this blogger who has torn his ACL in each knee (the most recent 2 yeas ago), it ain’t fun, and rehab’s no walk in the park either. But I’m guessing with the money they have invested in Rose, along with the state of the art facilities and medical staff, Rose should be ready to go by November. As for the playoffs, looks like the Heat are gonna coast to the finals.
Chicago v. Cleveland: I love watching the Bulls play. Derek Rose is awesome. Unfortunately, they have no chance against the Cavs. Lebron is on a mission this year. There is noone that is going to stop this team. I don’t care what other 4 players are on the court with him. Cavs in 4, bring out the brooms. Not this year Rose, you’re gonna need to make a big off-season signing (hint hint: Bosh).
Milwaukee v. Atlanta: I don’t even know how the Bucks got into the playoffs. I know about that kid Brandon Jennings (good move playing in Europe for 1 year). I also know they’ve lost Bogut for the year. The Jennings/Salmons combo is solid, but not good enough. Who’s going to step up for the Bucks? Atlanta is gonna roll over these guys in 4. Might be the easiest first round matchup in the playoffs. I don’t even think I need to go into the strengths of this team, but I’ll name a few just for kicks: J. Johnson, Horford, J. Smith, Bibby, Jamal Crawford, Mo Evans.
Miami v. Boston: I’m not sure who I hate more, Boston or Denver. Since they won 2 years ago, Kevin Garnett has turned from a role model into a thug. Paul Pierce has game, I can’t even hate on him. Ray Allen is a has been that has 2 things going for him, his FT% and his steaky 3 pointers. D-Wade might be playing his last series as a Heat. Beasley’s the only other Heat I can name and frankly, he’s not getting it done either. Can’t wait to see what happens to Dwayne in the offseason… Boston in 5.
Charlotte v. Orlando: Interesting match-up here. On one hand, you have the reigning Eastern Conference Champs, big Dwight Howard, healthy Jameer Nelson, improving J.J. Reddick, and two key offseason pickups in Matt Barnes and Vince Carter. I actually think Barnes’ presence on the court is more vital than Vince’s. Kudos for the Bobcats for making the playoffs. Stephen Jackson has turned this team around. Gerald Wallace has always been a box-score filler. He his one of the best defenders in the league and one of the hardest guys to guard. Depth will be a problem for this team as well. They will give Orlando a run for their money but the Magic should pull this off in 5.
And the Rookie of the Year award goes to…hold on, hold on. All preseason, everyone’s been talking about Kevin Durant and Greg Oden and how they are the best players to come out of college. Then when Oden went down, the ROY award was practically given to Durant before he even stepped on the court. Durant is having a good year, especially for a rookie. But there is one guy out there that might give him a run for his money, that’s Atlanta Hawks power forward Al Horford. Coming out of college champion Florida, Horford was probably the best players out of that team. As of Tuesday, Horford is averaging 8.5 ppg and a whopping 9.8 rbds. If this guy improves on his scoring and averages a double double on the season, he’s got a great chance to be the top rook. No offense to Durant, but Al is also throwing in 1 steal per game and almost 1.5 blocks per. So while the Hawks are flopping, their will be one bird on this team flying high…
Who would’ve thunk it? Outside of Atlanta that is. The Hawks, possibly one of the biggest laughing stock in the NBA over the last decade, have strung together an impressive season. They’re 2-2 and could easily have been 3-1 if not for a 1 point loss against the Detroit Pistons. Not only have they beaten the Dallas Mavericks, but on Wednesday night, they handled the not so hot Phoenix Suns. Led by Joe Johnson’s 22 ppg, rookie Al Horford’s 9 rebound per game, and Marvin Williams’ surprisingly well play (I haven’t forgotten about Josh Smith and Josh Childress) the Hawks might sneak into the NBA playoffs, that’s right playoffs. Let’s not jinx it though, it’s only the first 4 game of the season and there’s still another 78 left. But it’s looking good, Atlanta, so go and support your team and fill up those seats.