And just like that, the second round is upon us. If that felt a little abrupt, don’t worry: it was. Somehow the first series to be set is the last to get underway, which I’m sure Gregg Popovich and the Spurs won’t mind. Mark Jackson and the Warriors probably won’t mind too much either, with Andrew Bogut and Steph Curry’s ankle troubles. For more on the Warriors and Spurs, check out Jan Hubbard’s latest column.
The other series that starts tomorrow will be the Bulls and the Heat, and while it won’t be Derrick Rose vs. LeBron James, there’s plenty of intrigue with the Bulls if you can get over their All-Star point guard’s absence. Just watching them dig down to their deepest reserves of grit against the Nets should have done that. In another new column on Sheridan Hoops, Jeremy Bauman looks at what the Bulls have accomplished without their franchise player.
Still, the rumors will continue to abound over Rose, and not without reason: he still hasn’t ruled out that he’ll return, and it’s not unreasonable to presume that the best chance the Bulls have of knocking off Miami is with him in the lineup. So let’s start off today’s roundup of the latest news from around the NBA with an item on Rose:
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports says what everyone in the NBA is thinking: “For the good of his franchise and fans, for everyone’s focus to be where it should belong now – Bulls-Heat, Game 1 on Monday – Rose needs to drop the illusion that his return in these playoffs remains a consideration. “Who knows?” Rose told reporters hours on Saturday. “It’s still up in the air.” Who knows? Derrick Rose knows. His choice has been made to sit out the season and it includes no provisions for turning back, sources with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports. Inside and outside of the organization, that isn’t much of a revelation. After all, the surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee was May 12, 2012. Doctors cleared him to start scrimmaging with the team in mid-February. After all that, he isn’t walking out for the first time with LeBron James and the Miami Heat waiting to jump him. … Of course, Derrick Rose could make everything easier and simply say so publicly. He refuses. So, Rose will still needlessly linger over this Heat-Bulls series.”