Bulls

Fans must put trust in Rose

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Fans must put trust in Rose

In Rose we have to trust

I'm trying to find a silver lining. If Derrick Rose believes God does things for a reason, then what is the lesson here? Only Rose can answer that, but I have a few ideas of my own. Surely you can make all kinds of connections between Rose's injury-plagued season and the shortened NBA schedule, managing his minutes properly, and just the sheer nature of his game. But this isn't about blame, it's about getting it right for the future, and that responsibility will fall largely on Rose who needs to take this devastating setback to learn how to come back stronger, better.

It will take patience and it will take trust.

Dr. Michael Terry at the Northwestern University Department of Orthopedic Surgery told Comcast Sportsnet that once Rose's rehab is complete, it will still take him a while to fully trust his knee again. Trust it will do what he wants it to do or expects it do, and we will have to trust Rose: trust him to manage his health, listen to his body, and be smart in securing the longevity of his career.

There is nothing wrong, in and of itself, of being competitive and wanting to go all out, giving the game everything you've got and always wanting to win. This way of thinking is in the blood that courses through Derrick Rose's veins, and coach Tom Thibodeau's too,for that matter. But managing that drive is equally as important.

I'm not suggesting that Rose has to completely change his game or change the way he plays. I'm saying he needs to manage his intensity better.

On a much different level and much smaller scale, I can relate.

Pre-marriage and motherhood, I raced Ironman triathlons. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's an endurance race of 140.6 miles broken down like this: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. It was a hobby, but I was obsessed with it. I over-trained and under-recovered until one day I snapped my right Achilles tendon. Different injury than an ACL tear, but the recovery time on a torn Achilles is actually longer. You can't even start running for at least 9 months.

In my stubborn, overly competitive spirit, I was determined to get back to racing as soon as possible. I willed my way through rehab and within 16 months I was racing Ironman Wisconsin. I barely finished the race, so I hopped in Ironman Florida two months later and had a better showing. Both were stupid ideas.

I rushed my recovery and raced on a weak right leg that was not prepared to handle the stress I was putting it under. The entire left side of my body paid a price because of compensation. Needless to say, that was my last Ironman race. Since then, I have had one injury after the other to my left foot, left ankle, left knee, left IT band and left hip.

I implore Rose to not rush his recovery for the sake of getting back onto the court as quickly as possible. Any weaknesses can trigger a whole host of problems. He may be able to come back mid-way through next season, or he may miss the entire campaign. This is one time Rose has to set aside will and determination and defer to smarts, common sense and trust.

He will have to trust in the expert advisors who will guide his rehab and strengthen his body.

He will have to trust what his body is telling him.

He will have to trust whether or not he should tape his ankles or wear the special ankle braces Adidas made for him.

He will have to trust that his coach will manage his minutes properly and if not, speak up.

He will have to trust that backing off in games does not mean he's dogging it.

He will have to trust himself to know when to dial it down and when to ramp it up.

The future of his career depends on all of this. How he handles his rehab and recovery will tell us if he's learned anything from this and if he's serious about preserving his career.

All we can do is trust.

Report: ESPN moving release of 'The Last Dance' documentary on 1998 Bulls to April

Report: ESPN moving release of 'The Last Dance' documentary on 1998 Bulls to April

It's happening. We did it.

Monday night, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that ESPN is moving up the release date of 'The Last Dance,' the highly anticipated 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the 1998 Bulls, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Marchand, the new start date will be April 19. Until now, the docuseries was billed as being released some time in June.

Some writing had been on the wall that this might be coming. In mid-March, commercials for 'The Last Dance' began advertising the series as 'Coming Soon' instead of 'Coming in June.' ESPN shortly thereafter dismissed rumors of the release date moving up — saying the documentary had yet to be completed — only to be indirectly contradicted by LeBron James and (ESPN employee) Richard Jefferson on the Road Trippin' podcast late last week.

Now, it's nearly official. Marchand reported that ESPN is planning to announce the new release date on Good Morning America Tuesday morning.

So rejoice, Bulls fans and sports lovers, at large. It won't replace the entirety of the void left by the halting of live sports, but this series is sure to be essential, enthralling TV, and as close as the sports world get to a monocultural event under the current parameters.

And above all, what a win for NBA Twitter. They keep rolling in.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Bulls observations: The full Dennis Rodman experience sends Knicks packing

Bulls observations: The full Dennis Rodman experience sends Knicks packing

The Knicks are hitting the links and the Bulls are going to the Eastern Conference Finals. Observations:

A splendid series for Dennis Rodman

This series felt like the full Dennis Rodman experience, and it was delightful. In terms of production, he averaged 15.6 rebounds (4.8 offensive) across five games and dished two game-swinging assists to close out Game 4 at The Garden. As a team, the Bulls were +39 on the boards (winning the offensive glass 84-45) in the series.

In the clincher, Rodman posted 11 points and 12 rebounds — relatively pedestrian by his standards. But he was omnipresent throughout nonetheless, a whirlwind of limbs careening into every rebound scrum, passing lane and screen set. His swagger and unbridled joy for the game were on full display, too:

 

 

Every foul call (there were six in this one, plus an ejection) drew a performance. Every bump from a Knicks player elicited subtle retaliation. And every move he made was met by raucous cheers from the home crowd. Chicago really loved Rodman, and he earned it every time he stepped on the floor.

It all culminated with a litany of peak Dennis moments in the fourth quarter. With just over four minutes left to play, he leapt down the floor and into Luc Longley’s arms after a fastbreak Longley dunk that he assisted put the Bulls up 13. Moments later, he sealed the game for good with a layup to similar celebration (this time, Ron Harper got the hug). 

And the coups de gras: With about a minute left and the game out of reach, he picked up a suspect second technical (which led to an ejection) after he had committed a sixth personal foul. A fiery exit and impassioned jersey chuck into the frenzied UC stands capped it off. All in a day’s work for The Worm. His evolution from fierce rival to beloved anti-hero is truly something to behold.

 

Unfortunately, NBC Sports Chicago wasn’t able to get the reel from this game’s ‘Walk of Shame’ but we’re sure it was as entertaining as ever after this one.

“Playing in the mud”

Those were Tom Dore’s words early in the fourth quarter, and boy were they apt. For this game and the entire series. 

Without fail, mid-90s Bulls-Knicks seems to be a recipe for slog. A fistfight where all the blows are contested midrange jumpers and wild elbows. Only once in the series did a team reach 100 points (the Knicks, in Game 3). In this one, the Knicks hit their first 3-pointer with just outside of a minute remaining in the third quarter (finishing 2-for-13 overall). 

Man, how times have changed: 

 

But ultimately, this series amounts to another whooping, one the Knicks appeared noticeably demoralized by the end of. The Bulls’ swagger is just unmatched. We’ve detailed Rodman’s individual exploits, but there really is a collective feeling of inevitability when this team gets rolling, as they did in the second half of this game. Somehow, Michael Jordan’s 36-point average in this series felt under-the-radar, but he was capable of ripping New York’s hearts out seemingly on a whim.  

And beyond even the players, this team’s energy seemed to seep into the city around them. At one point in this game, cameras panned to a fan-posted ‘Title Ticker’ on the UC wall, counting down the numbers of wins remaining until another Bulls championship. “Another One Bites the Dust” blared as the Knicks sauntered off, defeated. Even from afar, it’s apparent that this dynasty was a full-city effort.

And another late-series gem, from Johnny “Red” Kerr: 

So long, Knickerbockers.

Passing thoughts

  • Jordan (35 points, 5 assists) and Pippen (15 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals) remain absolutely ridiculous. And Ron Harper, who poured in an impactful 12, is still one of my biggest personal revelations from this Rewind run. Couldn’t go this whole post without shouting out their nights.

  • We had a sad, then animated, then sad again Spike Lee make multiple appearances throughout this one. You simply have to respect the grind.

  • Seriously. Bring back the classic Bulls intro theme. I’ll never ask for anything again.

  • Uh, what?

 

See you Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Magic.

Every other night through April 15, NBC Sports Chicago is airing the entirety of the Bulls' 1996 NBA championship run. Find the full schedule here.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.