Derrick Rose out for the postseason with torn ACL
BY NEIL HAYES email@example.com April 28, 2012 4:12PM
Derrick Rose of the Bulls is assisted off the court after injuring his left knee in the final minutes of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round playoffs at the United Center Saturday, April 28, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: April 28, 2012 8:00PM
Just when Derrick Rose was on the brink of alleviating fears that he would be unable to fully recover from a nagging ankle injury, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Rose landed awkwardly after a jump stop and fell to the floor with 80 seconds left in the Bulls’ 103-91 victory over the Philadelpha 76ers in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series at the United Center. The team later announced that Rose had torn his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. It’s the sixth different injury Rose has suffered this season.
“It’s the saddest win,” Kyle Korver said. “But we have to pick ourselves up. We’ve played a lot of games without him. Maybe it was just getting us ready for this.”
Rose sat out the regular-season finale and has played in only five games in the last six weeks because of a nagging right ankle injury. After shaking off a slow start in which he missed six of his first seven shots, he looked anything but rusty in finishing with 23 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in 37:13.
Sixers coach Doug Collins waved for Bulls’ trainers after Rose went down. Rose was writhing in pain and clutching his left knee before being helped off the court and into the locker room by trainer Fred Tedeschi and assistant trainer Jeff Tanaka.
Afterward, the Bulls’ locker room felt as if the team had lost. Rose’s teammates didn’t know how serious the injury was, but their fears were realized a few hours later when the team released a statement.
“It sucks because he was just getting back,” Taj Gibson said of Rose. “He looked good in practice yesterday, and he was looking good in the game offensively and defensively. It was good to have our leader back.”
Bulls players defended Thibodeau’s decision to have Rose remain in the game late in the fourth quarter. The Sixers had cut a 20-point lead to 12 at the time.
“I don’t work backward like you guys do,” Thibodeau said. “The score was going the other way. He’s got to play.”
C.J. Watson will start in Game 2 on Tuesday at the United Center.
Rip Hamilton scored 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and Luol Deng had 17 points and six rebounds. Joakim Noah had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who outrebounded the Sixers 47-38 and had 11 more second-chance points.
Korver helped the Bulls pull away in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 points. Elton Brand led the Sixers with 19 points. “I thought we came out great and had a great edge to us and a great intensity,” Korver said. “We had really good ball movement. Everybody was touching the ball. I thought we played at a very high level.”
Tempers flared briefly in the third when Evan Turner got his arms tangled up with Carlos Boozer, resulting in players from both teams having words near center court. Rose and Hamilton were called for technicals, as was Brand.
Turner was booed when he checked into the game and whenever he touched the ball early in the game. The St. Joseph product and longtime Rose rival told a Philadelphia-area newspaper that he preferred to play the Bulls rather than the Heat because it was a more favorable matchup, although it hardly seemed favorable Saturday. Turner scored 12 points.