Derrick Rose will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee during Saturday’s playoff opener.
With the Bulls up by 12 and just over a minute left in the game, Derrick Rose was going for a layup when he came to a jump-stop and seemingly changed his mind, passing off to a teammate before awkwardly landing. He crumpled to the floor, and team medical personnel immediately rushed out and tended to him for several minutes before helping him to the locker room.
Derrick Rose will miss the rest of the playoffs and is looking at six to nine months of rehab.
Many fans are blaming coach Tom Thibodeau for the injury, questioning whether Derrick Rose should have even been in the game at that point. During the fourth quarter, the Bulls had a 20-point lead, and at the time of the injury, they were still up 12. The 76ers had pulled most of their starters, but Thibodeau must have thought the game was in doubt. Starters Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng were still on the floor as well.
It is possible that Derrick Rose’s previous injuries had not fully healed, causing him to overcompensate. Perhaps it was due to the pressure of the condensed schedule that was caused by the lockout. Or maybe it was a result of a combination of these factors.
Regardless, the loss of Derrick Rose is certainly a huge blow to the Bulls, but the team insists it is not a death sentence. "We're not going to start backing down now," Joakim Noah said. "We're a team of fighters. We're going to keep fighting and make the city proud. The whole team has to step up. Our margin of error is a lot smaller with Derrick out. Can you replace Derrick? No. But we're not going to let the media or anybody paint the picture for us. We've played well without Derrick before."