Posts Tagged ‘injuries’

by: Mauricio Rubio Jr.
email: mr@99sportsproblems.com
twitter: @MRubio52

I’ve been avoiding this. This whole Bulls thing that just happened. It’s not good, not in the least. It’s been covered, and I don’t have to review the details really.

All I can say is that it sucks. It really, really sucks. The life of an NBA midget has a finite number of nicks and bruises that it can take, and Rose, Rose has been through hell.

Before you start, the kid is tough as nails, and that’s his real fault. Him and Thibs, both together in this, can’t dial it back. I don’t blame him, I don’t blame anyone or anything but luck really. It happens, torn ACL’s can happen at any point, and while that’s really shitty analysis, it’s honest analysis. The easy thing is to blame Thibs, but the real issue here is a heart that won’t stop beating, a mindset that won’t give up, a sense of responsibility to teammates and fans that won’t allow him to sit, the real thing here is the massive heart of Derrick Rose.

It’s not a negative 99% of the time. There are the times when he demands the ball, demands the shot, demands the weight of a team, of a city, and takes all the responsibility if it fails, and shares the adulation if he succeeds. But that 1%, that percentage when it could backfire, it did. It happened early in the year and he was never really healthy. He pressed to come back even though it was clear to the eye that he was never anything approaching even 80%. When he went out there, he was sluggish, slow, normal. That was the kicker, he looked average.

What an awful thing to witness, average, when you are used to the superlative. It hurt to see him turn a corner at half speed and realize the extra gear wasn’t there, that he couldn’t push it as hard as he so desperately wanted to. It hurt, I tried to ignore it, I tried to tell myself that it’ll be fine, it’ll clear, he’ll find the gear in the playoffs.

No. No he didn’t.

All of three games and the playoff hopes of a team are dashed. Sure, they will still probably beat Philly. They might sneak by either Boston or Atlanta. But that specter is looming on the other side of a bracket that looks like more feed to the maw at this point. A demolishing force is coming for Chicago, and as much as I want to believe in TEAM, and #doitforderrick, I can’t do it. I’m rooting for the Bulls, I am still a fan, but in my heart, I know I’ve seen this before. This Heat engine is humming, and it’s going to be annoyingly loud throughout the playoffs.

Luol&
CJ&
Rip&
Carlos&
Noah

I dunno. I really liked it when #1 meant something to that list. Sadly, he won’t this year.

Heading into the stretch run, we’ve figured out quite a bit about the 2011-12 edition of the Hawks.  It’s a bit of a mix of good, bad, tasteless and stupid.  Sounds like the Oscars.  At least I didn’t hire Billy Crystal or a very stoned James Franco to write this.

We Know….enough about concussions to know that there can be no target date for Jonathan Toews’s return.   Hopefully, he progresses quickly and we get him back before much longer.  I like good old-fashioned injuries where a reasonable estimate for return was possible.  The fact that he’s an elite player and our Captain makes the uncertainty even more excruciating.  We Don’t Know.…how badly we needed him until he’s been out of the lineup.  It sucks without him.

We Don’t Know…which Corey Crawford will show up on any given night.    His confidence level is either sky-high or in the crapper and it doesn’t help when he lets in a softie.    Even when the defense is limiting quality chances against him, your sphincter is tight when there’s action in our end.    We Know….we can’t put up with this type of stuff if he’s the future in goal for us.

We Know….Patrick Kane can give us more than what we’ve gotten this year.   It’s been a down year for him, but everyone has them in their career.  Even Babe Ruth and Ted Williams had off-years.  I’m not ready to scream that “TRADE KANE!!” crap with the rest of the meatballs.  He’s 23, has a cap-friendly deal and steps his production up in the playoffs.  You don’t deal a guy like that when his value isn’t as high as it should be.  We Don’t Know….who the clown was who originally started that rumor, but he should be de-balled immediately.

We Know…Stan could have done more at the deadline.  With that cap space and young talent to deal, I felt we’d do more.  We did get Johnny Oduya, who was solid against Toronto, but we sure could have used that 2nd line center.  I realize the cost of making deal was exorbitant this season, with only 9 or 10 legit sellers out there, so I’m also glad he didn’t get trade-raped.    We Don’t Know.….the last time we heard a particular team’s fandom go so absolutely batshit crazy at the trade deadline and crucify the guy so thoroughly in every available media outlet.  My God….he didn’t get a center (we have other options, like Sharp), he didn’t cause cancer.   Christ, look at the long-term scenario, not just the next two months.

We Know…Andrew Shaw can bring some serious energy to the rink.  He’s a whirlwind out there, and that’s been a commodity we’ve been sorely lacking at times this season.   We Don’t Know…if he’ll hold up physically, since he’s so damned small.  He is responsible for a sweet little fad, however.  #shawfacts

We Know…John Scott sucked and getting a 5th rounder from the Rangers was a good thing.  We’re better, skill-wise, without him.  Pluswhise, his so-called physical presence has been replaced by Brandon Bollig, who can actually play more than 4 minutes a night 4 times per month.  We Don’t Know….what NY sees in Scott, but I hope they get it.  Even though he sucked, he was a good teammate and a funny guy.  His appearance in the Hawks’ Xmas album was glorious.

We Know…Duncan Keith can play at an all-world level and control the ice when he’s out there.  We Don’t Know….if that guy is ever coming back.  I don’t like what I see from him on too many occasions.  His bad decisions have been ending up in the back our our net far too often.

We Know…the power play sucks.  An 85 year old paraplegic man with no testosterone is more potent than our power play.  I mean, if they haven’t figured out that pucks on the net with traffic on front is the way to go, then I’m at a loss.  Fancy perimeter passing is nice, but not when that’s all you accomplish.  We Don’t Know….why it had to be Davy Jones passing on while Snooki and the cast of Jersey Shore continue to draw breath.

Big weekend coming up with road games in Ottawa tonight and Detroit on Sunday, and a third roadie in St Loo on Tuesday.  A mere 17 games remain and every damned one of them looms large.    A nice run of inspired play would be a welcome sight down the stretch.

2012 is clearly the year that everyone gets hurt in the NBA. Stern can only blame himself and the player’s union for the rash of injuries that is currently overtaking the league. This is a funky NBA season, and nothing really shows that more than legit concerns in Golden State over the Kwame Brown injury.

So it would fit to form that our own Bullies would run into a rash of injuries that would severely cripple the team and flush them out of first place in the conference. Except that it didn’t…because the Bulls are very deep.

Think about it, Scal is getting meaningful burn, Asik started and played 39 minutes in a game, Rose missed 5 games in a row, Luol Deng went down with an injury, Korver was asked to play serious defense on players faster than he is, Boozer was playing center, half the frontcourt twisted their ankle, seemingly on the same play, and through it all the Bulls collectively shrugged and won 4 out of 5 games.

That’s not normal. You aren’t supposed to lose half your team and thrive. The schedule definitely helped, the Bulls ran through Charlotte, Cleveland and Phoenix before getting Rose back for the recent Nets game. It also was a relaxed schedule, or as relaxed as this NBA season will allow. There was only one back to back thrown in there.

Yet, there the Bulls sit, atop the conference and undefeated at home, poised to once again snatch that one seed. Honestly, it all hinges on the Luol Deng injury. #9 is the best defender the Bulls have, he is a perfect cog in the Thibs defensive machine. Deng is also a reliable 3rd scoring option, and his jumpshot does have the tendency of loosening up the defense in the paint allowing Rose to drive in and play 21 with the opposing team. Deng has a wrist injury, he doesn’t expect to miss any significant time unless he opts for surgery, and that should concern Bulls fans. If this guy is out for a few months, the Bulls are in a tough spot.

The MVP is already playing through turf toe (that they won’t ever say is turf toe), and you’ll be taking away Thib’s blankie. Carlos Boozer can make all the sweet love to undersized PF’s that he wants, his offense will not be covering for the loss of Deng’s defense. It will manifest itself in very subtle ways. Brewer does a good job at the 3, but he’s not 6’9 like Deng is. The Bulls have thrived so far, and they are an elite NBA team, but the Deng/Rose combo is important in Chicago, and the injury to Deng hurts. It’s a rough season, and our iron man is finally missing time. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bulls respond to his absence.