The Bulls ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak Wednesday night, you know that. But the question remains on whether the Bulls can now gather momentum (and get Derrick Rose back). Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick discuss:
Styf: Dearest Tom, Wednesday's Bulls game made me think of something. We don't Kirk Hinrich-style bear hug often enough. Maybe we should. We can invite Waka Flocka Flame too, I hear he's close with Derrick Rose. Not bear hug close, but close nonetheless. All that being said, I think Wednesday will be remembered as the high point of the Bulls' season. This won't end well .....
Musick: Sorry, Jon, no bear hugs. It's in my contract, along with access to a private helicopter and an unlimited supply of Animal Crackers from the vending machine (do we still carry those?). But I'm willing to compromise. If Derrick Rose returns to help lead the Bulls to a playoff series win, I can do either a high five or a fist bump.
Styf: Luckily, we won't have to go down that road. Fist bumps are so '90s anyway. Wednesday was great, really. Even though my headline (Sucker Punch) on the sports front didn't make as much sense as I thought it would (It was intended to be the dictionary definition of "an unexpected defeat or setback," but it many read it as the more common use of "cheap shot"). The Bulls will be remembered as the team that ruined it. Five years down the line, no one will remember Rose wasn't there. But right now, it matters. Theoretically, he could have played. And if he could have picked a moment to emerge, that should have been it. I don't think it's going to happen this year now.
Musick: I don't think Rose is coming back this season, either. But I think he should. Even if he returns to play only one or two or three games, that's still progress heading into next season. Besides, we saw how hard Rose's teammates worked to beat the Heat. Doesn't he owe it to them to contribute? Teammates say he looks sharp in practice.
Styf: Allen Iverson always looked sharp in practice too. But he's unemployed. Or was it the other way around? Either way, I think that owing something to your teammates is a lost art. It's about Rose, his shoe contract and his future. This year just really doesn't matter. It's a stretch to think the Bulls could win a title, even though they just beat the favorite. There's enough offseason that I'm not buying three games would make any difference as far as progress goes.
Musick: If Rose provided his best Iverson impression – "practice?!?" – I would forgive him for ducking out on the end of the season. No, the Bulls will not win a title this season. Without Rose, they probably won't win a playoff series. At least they won Wednesday against the Heat. The regular season was lacking a top highlight. Finally, the Bulls have one. Rose will be back at full strength next fall (knock on hardwood), and we can forget this whole thing ever happened.