Is It Time To Bet Against Chicago?By Jonathan K.
A couple months back it looked as though the Chicago Bulls were going to be the Central Division team in the Eastern Conference that had a legit shot at threatening the Miami Heat’s chances at a two-pete. However, February has not been a good month for the Bulls.
They lost the chance to make a big statement when they got crushed by the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. On top of that, last night, they were defeated by team that is not only last place in the central division but is in second to last place in the entire NBA, the Cleavland Cavilers.
A lot of people said that the Bulls recent struggles was because Derrick Rose’s replacement Kirk Hinrich was out with a sore elbow. However, Hinrich returned last night and the Bulls did not fare much better, losing 98-101. To make matters worse, the Bulls are now four games behind the Indiana Pacers to lead the Central Division. They had been staying just .5-1 games back right on Indiana’s heels. Now it seems that the Pacers are poised to be the team that is a legitimate threat to the Heats Eastern Conference superiority.
Chicago is getting production from both Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng who both scored over 25 points in this game. The Bulls are also a fluid defensive team. The problem is the obvious elephant in the room. They are playing without Derrick Rose.While Hinrich has had some impressive outings for the Bulls and led them to some impressive wins, he is not as consistent as Rose and more importantly he does not have the leadership and ability to change plays on the fly like Rose has. While Rose has started practicing before games, even setting Chicago media on fire by dunking the Ball before the Bulls-OKC game, he does not sound too optimistic during interviews that he will be returning this season.
The Bulls have a long term investment in Rose, and he will not return unless he is fully recovered. What that means for bettors is if the Bulls are going to go without Rose this season, then do not put money down on them to get to deep into the playoffs during the post-season.