Derrick Rose injured his knee late in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls’ 103-91 Game 1 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday.
Rose scored 23 points on 23 shots in 37 minutes before the injury and this is now the sixth injury Rose has suffered this season. Rose will have an MRI on the knee today.
It is amazing how good the Bulls have been despite Rose’s injuries this season but if they are to lose him in the playoffs, they would surely fall short of their expectations which are to win an NBA championship.
When you look at the injury it does look similar to those that result in ACL and MCL tears. An injury that sever would leave Rose sidelined for the rest of the year.
Considering the force and torque that Rose plays with, I have a feeling the injury will be a bad one. I lump Rose into the same class as Blake Griffin and Tiger Woods: they can do incredible things athletically but the wear and tear from playing the way they do makes it seem like injuries are inevitable.
The Bulls win Game 1 nonetheless and with or without Rose should have enough to get by the 76ers in this series.
It has been confirmed now that Rose is done for the year. The Bulls still played great this season without him and finished with one of the best records in the league but they definitely will need him to get past Miami in the playoffs and Boston.
It is very unfortunate that a great season by the Bulls and a team that had the potential to win an NBA title with their star healthy may now be wasted.
The road for Miami just got a lot easier.
The Miami Heat led by LeBron James destroyed the New York Knicks 100-67 in Game 1 of that series.
LeBron played some of the best basketball he has in awhile scoring 32 points in 32 minutes, going 10-of-14 from the field and 11-of-14 at the line and the Heat were plus-35 when he was in the game.
Carmelo Anthony was the complete opposite of LeBron shooting 3-for-15 in the game and scoring only 11 points.
Shane Battier did the most impressive job in the first half denying Anthony the ball when the Knicks tried repeatedly to get it into him in the post.
The defense overall was very impressive by Miami and the Knicks simply were not ready to match the intensity combined with execution.
I do feel that the blowout loss isn’t as bad as it looks for the Knicks in this series. Sometimes I feel that it can be more demoralizing to lose a close game than a blowout. Now, this was a huge blowout and I don’t feel the Knicks have a good chance of coming back in this series but I do think it can still go six games.
Tyson Chandler was noticeably not himself and had flu-like symptoms before the game. He is as crucial as any Knicks player to beating this Heat team.
With the Rose injury and Knicks no-show, the road to the Finals looks as bright as ever today after the first two NBA Playoff games of 2012.
If I had to rank the best chances that the Heat do not make it to the Finals this year it’d go something like this:
1. They meet Boston in the ECF and Rajon Rondo goes to another level and completely dominates four games of the series.
2. LeBron or Wade gets seriously hurt.
I think that’s it…
I was always afraid that by joining forces in Miami, LeBron and Wade would have too easy a time of making it to the Finals and winning championships. They had to go through a lot last year beating Boston and then Chicago but this year it may become a much easier path.
The Thunder will cap off the first day of playoff games tonight when they host Dallas for their Game 1.
We’ve seen some potentially severe injuries so far today so hopefully that can be fully avoided tonight.
We’ve also seen the style of play picked up a notch by the top teams, Miami and Chicago. Oklahoma City needs to replicate this and send a statement to Dallas tonight. That is their next step to becoming a great team.
James Harden and his health will also be very interesting to see when he checks in roughly six minutes into the game.
You can read my preview of the Dallas series here. Also check out Pippen Ain’t Easy for the latest on the Rose injury and All U Can Heat and Buckets Over Broadway for more analysis on the Heat-Knicks series.