It happened in the second quarter. Yes, this is when the absence of Rose’s ability to create shots for his teammates and control game tempo was most obvious. This is also when the grizzlies scored 30 points to Chicago’s 17. The Bulls without Rose is something along the lines of the Colts with Peyton Manning or pecan pie with any pecans. It still might taste good, but it sure doesn’t get the job done.
Chicago was clearly undermanned minus Rose and couldn’t overcome the Memphis onslaught. Memphis rolled 102 to 86 and most of the game wasn’t even really this close. Memphis stretched it out to a 25-point lead midway through the game and basically decided to take a nap the second half. They figured they’d earned it.
Rudy Gay went for 24 points and Conley went for 20pts, 7 rebs, 8 assts, and 4 steals. The guard play of Memphis simply couldn’t be matched on the other side of the ball without Rose. Hey let’s be real, Rose was the MVP of the league last year for a reason. As solid as a supporting cast as the Bulls have, they are still just that, the supporting cast. Chicago needs Rose like LA needs Kobe. Subtract that one key player and the whole equation changes dramatically.
Chicago fans better hope Rose’s aggravated toe heals up fast or it could be a rough beginning to 2012 for the Bulls. After all, Memphis at 6-6 isn’t exactly setting the league on fire this year. If a marginal team can handle the Bulls like this without Rose, they could be looking at big streak of “L”s on their schedule. Here’s to a healthy Rose and a Chicago squad many hoped would knock of Miami in the East.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS