At 6-4, the Bulls are off to their best start since the 1997-98 season. You know, the last season that Michael Jordan guy played for them. The fast (for the Bulls) start has been mostly a result of the team defense. Chicago currently ranks 4th in Defensive Rating, as they’re giving up only 99.5 Points Per 100 Possessions.
And yet there’s a general sense of disappointment about this year’s Bulls squad, partly because the offense has been average on the team’s best nights and godawful on its worst. But the biggest disappointment so far has been the play of the Bulls’ franchise player. Statistically, Derrick Rose has slipped across the board…and his Player Efficiency Rating has dropped to a 13.7. According to the PER reference guide, that ranks Rose as “in the rotation.” Yikes.
Of course, some of the fault lies in the ankle injury Rose suffered during the preseason. But Rose says he’s about 90 percent healed, even if he looks more like 60-70 percent. But in a conversation about his rough start, Rose has vowed to get back on track:
“I need to change something. There has to be something I’m doing wrong. I know the (right ankle tendon) injury was something. But it’s taking too long to get back. We’re winning, so I don’t care anything about my game. But if we weren’t winning, I’m playing terrible. I’m not going to the hole like I used to. It seems to me that I’m not that aggressive. But it’s going to change (Thursday night against the Lakers).”
Breaking out against the Lakers in Los Angeles will be a pretty tall order. But I can’t wait to see if Rose does it. That could help a pretty good Bulls team take things to the next level.