Does Russell Westbrook need to change his game in light of Derrick Rose’s injury?

Nov 22, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) walks out of the Moda Center on crutches after being injured in the game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers won the game 98-95. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

As we wait on this Saturday morning to find out the results of Derrick Rose’s MRI, every BNA fan – no matter who you root for – is left feeling a bit depressed about the situation.

Here is Rose, someone that is very hard to dislike, finally returning from a torn ACL this season. He looked amazing in preseason, was taking time to get back used to game speed, but we still all figured he’d get there and so would the Bulls. Now, maybe he’ll be out for another season after just 10 games this year. Maybe his career will even be in jeopardy a la Greg Oden.

There are two point guards that are always compared because of the unprecedented freakish athleticism they brought to the position. That’s Rose and Russell Westbrook. They make cuts with the ball we’ve never seen before, push the ball up the floor at crazy speeds we didn’t think were possible before, and at least 3-5 times per game make you gasp in amazement at a move you’ve never seen before.

That style of play, that both Rose and Westbrook possess, does not come without repercussions. It’s really no surprise that Rose would be a player to injure one of his knees. The torque he puts on his joints with so many of his moves, the jump stops where he seems to soar just a little further than most players, and just the overall herky-jerky play makes it so you’re not surprised that he is getting hurt.

There are differences between Rose and Westbrook. Russ doesn’t move exactly the same way as Rose. Their builds are a little bit different. To me, Russ does seem like more of a man that can’t be hurt than Rose. When Rose goes to jump stop, Russ decides to fly a little more recklessly at the basket. Russ is more of a one-footed jumper with a smoother takeoff than Rose who seems to use so much force when he plants. I’m not a doctor, but Rose’s game seems like one that could lead to injury more often than Westbrook’s.

The big question surrounding Rose in my eyes is this: Is it not safe for a basketball player to try and play that way? Should someone have told Rose when he entered the league that this is an 82-game season and you can’t play that way every night because you just won’t last? Does someone need to tell Westbrook this now?

It flat out sucks that Rose hurt his other knee last night. I hope it comes back as not a serious injury and he doesn’t miss a lot of time. But I’m worried it will be serious and his season will be over.

Just thinking about Rose makes you worry about Westbrook, too. When he injured his knee in the playoffs last year, it was a freak accident. But damage was done to that knee and maybe it’s not exactly the same as it was before. Maybe it may feel 100 percent better, but now it’s more prone to future injury. Maybe the next time Russ makes one of those split-second decisions to take off two feet instead of one, he will hear a pop. Maybe he needs to change his game.

Topics: Oklahoma City Thunder

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