Updated: June 11, 2012 9:24AM
Derrick Rose might be sidelined by an injury, but he could haunt the Philadelphia 76ers.
One more victory will put them in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2003, but their validity certainly will be doubted with Rose having missed all but Game 1 of the series.
During the shootaround Tuesday morning, Andre Iguodala was quick to refute the assertion that a win for the 76ers would mean less.
“You put an asterisk on Hakeem Olajuwon’s two rings?” Iguodala said, referring to the nearly two seasons Michael Jordan missed to play baseball. “I think [injuries are] a part of the game. We would never want that to happen, but it’s the situation.”
But Jordan wasn’t part of the NBA for the majority of those two seasons. Rose was primed to lead the Bulls in the playoffs.
The 76ers haven’t benefitted from the loss of Rose alone. His absence has had a trickle-down effect on the Bulls’ roster. Before Game 5 on Tuesday, Collins noted that Luol Deng’s production, in particular, has suffered.
“You understand that there’s going to be some injuries; you understand there’s going to be some rough moments,” 76ers guard Evan Turner said. “Some things aren’t going to go in your favor. Unfortunately, that happened twice for the Bulls [including Joakim Noah’s ankle injury].”
It’s notable, though, that the 76ers have played better since their Game 1 loss.
“It’d be a great leap for the organization,” Turner said of advancing. “And each year you want to build off the past year, so it just shows progression.”