Unfortunately for Derrick Rose, his return to the Chicago Bulls lineup on Sunday was overshadowed by Carmelo Anthony’s game-winning overtime three.
Rose ended up with 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, but he looked very rusty (read: 8-for-26 shooting and 8 turnovers).
The vast majority of Rose’s points against the New York Knicks came either from the free throw line (9 of 12) or beyond the arc (4 of 8).
From inside the paint, where he’s usually automatic and where half of his points come from, Rose struggled mightily. Just look at his shot chart:
Rose missed nine of his 10 shot attempts from inside the paint. For the season, Rose is shooting around 55 per cent from close range.
Granted, the Knicks’ guards did an amazing job of defending Rose and it’s only his first game back from a groin injury that forced him to sit out 12 straight games.
But the Bulls depend on Rose’s explosiveness to the hoop to win games. The kind of stifling defence he saw from New York is exactly what he’ll see in the playoffs. Rose also won’t have too much time to recover from his groin injury as the Bulls play their final nine games of the season over a 17-day span.
Chicago may have pulled off a solid 8-4 run without Rose, but the only impressive win came against an apathetic Miami Heat team.
Unless the Bulls lose the top seed to the Heat over the next two weeks and/or face off against the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, having Rose at less than 100 per cent shouldn’t be a big deal. An unhealthy Rose against a team like the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals would pose a HUGE problem, however.
Watch some of Rose’s struggles versus the New York Knicks:
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