Rose hurt in Bulls’ 103-91 win over 76ers


Apr 28

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The Bulls Saturday opened the NBA playoffs with the definition of a Pyrrhic victory, that being a win at such unpleasant consequences that it mitigated the effects and muted any celebration.

“It might be one of the saddest wins we’ve ever had,” said Carlos Boozer.

That perhaps best summed up the Bulls dominating 103-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the playoffs that left everyone leaving the United Center barely speaking and in stunned disbelief.

That’s because with just over a minute remaining in the game, Derrick Rose, who would finish with 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, came to a jump stop on a drive and as he rose in the air to pass apparently felt something in the area of the knee and went down.

The Bulls later announced Rose tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and he is out for the remainder of the season.

A sense of disbelief, of “not again” and “not at this time,” ripped through the arena and the team itself as Rose lay writhing on the floor. He stayed down for several minutes and then was helped off by trainers Fred Tedeschi and Jeff Tanaka. Rose appeared to put weight on his injured left knee, but players said he immediately was taken to the hospital for tests.

“He will be examined and then they will know,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said immediately after the game. “Derrick talked to the trainer and Dr. (Brian) Cole. He was moving his leg it is his left leg. They have to do an MRI. That (injuries) is part of the game. There is going to be injuries. A guy can get hurt in practice, he can get hurt in the first five minutes of the game. He can get hurt anytime and then you have to deal with it. That is part of this game. Derrick has had a lot of injuries this year. It has been unfortunate. We do have more than enough to win with. Whatever the circumstances are we will deal with it. Each time Derrick has played he has done better and better. He has gotten more comfortable. I thought he played great effort. His rebounding was terrific, his penetration was great. The more he plays the better he gets.”

Thibodeau was asked about having Rose in the game despite the Bulls having led by 20 with four minutes remaining. Thibodeau is sensitive about that, though he has been consistent and has always played his starters late into games unless the outcome to him is absolutely certain. The 76ers had cut the Bulls lead to 99-87 just before Rose was injured.

“I do not work backwards like you (media) guys,” said Thibodeau. “The score was going the other way. He’s got to play. We sat him to about the seven minute mark of the fourth quarter. Derrick has to work on finishing on closing. Our team did not handle that part great. That’s what I was thinking.”

Rose’s injury was about all anyone was thinking about after the game despite the Bulls playing so well in going ahead by dozen late in the second quarter ad basically keeping a double figure lead the entire second half. The Bulls got 19 points in just over 26 minutes from Richard Hamilton, 17 from Luol Deng, 12 points and 13 rebounds from Joakim Noah and 11 points from Kyle Korver as the shooting guard position ultimately sunk the 76ers. Elton Brand led Philadelphia with 19.

But it was all about Rose afterward.

The immediate sense, that being of little help, was it was either a tweak of the left knee or a serious tear.

Rose did walk off putting weight on his legs. The injury seemed to occur while he was going up in the air after the jump stop, not on the landing.

So it was also a sense of how this could be happening again. Rose admittedly was tentative in his two games he played late in the season, saying his primary concern was not be hurt again.

He had missed 27 games in the regular season with, in order, a turf toe, bad back, hurt groin, sprained ankle and sore foot. So this was still another different injury and of obvious concern to his teammates as well.

“We’re definitely worried,” said Deng. “He doesn’t normally…if it’s a little injury he wouldn’t normally go down like that. Like I said, it looked bad. Right now, we’re just hoping for the best.

Deng did add he didn’t see any problem with Rose and himself being in at that point in the game.

“I don’t know why you would question that,” said Deng. “It’s a playoff game. You’re trying to play, finish the game. Even though you’re up you’re going to see them three (or more) times. You want him to get his rhythm. I don’t know why you would question that.

“I have no idea what happened,” said Deng. “I saw what you saw. We’ve just got to be positive and hope for the best and hopefully he’s fine.”

It would obviously be a devastating loss for the Bulls even as they were 18-9 in games Rose didn’t play. The early hope was that it was some sort of strain or tweak and he could be day to day. But still Rose’s health and condition will now hang over the team in the playoffs no matter what occurs.

“He just can’t catch a break,” said Boozer. “We’re all praying for him and hoping it’s not that bad. It seemed pretty bad, but we’re hoping for the best in this situation. Just feel for him. He can’t catch a break this season. Hopefully we will have him. We have experience to reach back down, but we don’t want to think like that now.”

The phrase Pyrrhic victory comes from King Pyrrhus whose army suffered unimaginable casualties in defeating the Romans in 280 BC. The king was said to reply that another victory like that and all would be lost. The Bulls are hoping to fight again soon with their leader.

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