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Bulls Mon Nov 04 2013

Doubt and Expectations: The Derrick Rose Paradox

Bulls_200.pngThe combination of Derrick Rose's prodigious talent and 18-month recovery from a torn ACL has made some of us something we're likely not. Just because we've all logged a night at a Holiday Inn Express doesn't give us the expertise of a doctor, the experience of being an NBA player or for that matter, walking a day in DRose's signature shoes.

With that being said, now is a good time to let go of any beefs and discard any complaints that you've logged over the last year and a half.

We're seven pre-season and three regular season games into "The Return" and although Rose's game-winner in Thursday's 82-81 victory over the New York Knicks looked like something Adidas scripted for one of his commercials, it's obvious and understandable that he still is working toward getting back to his MVP level of play.

The pre-season games inflated expectations with Rose going full speed against teams that were only interested in going half speed, Tuesday's loss against the Miami Heat sent critics and commentators down the path of doubt while the win against the Knicks seemed to level things out.

That's where the roller coaster of doubts and expectations comes into play. Other than perhaps Dwight Howard, is there a superstar player in the league that's equally celebrated and criticized (LeBron James used to hold this crown until he won two titles)?

There still seems to be a bit of a hangover from either Rose or Bulls management deciding to sit Rose for the duration of the 2012-13 season. Evidence of the first few games of this season, it would have been a poor choice to bring Rose back toward the end of last season or immediately put him in an intense postseason situation. With or without Rose in the lineup, the Bulls weren't going to win the NBA title last season.

That's a completely different story this season. Some say a healthy Rose is enough for Chicago to knock off Miami's bid at a three-peat. At this point, no one should be buying a dose of doubt or supersized confidence in the Bulls.

Rose still has much to prove and it could be until after the All-Star break before things really start to click for him and his teammates. Remember, the Bulls were able to still win games without Rose last season and while everyone on this team knows their role, a readjustment period is still taking place.

With Rose in the lineup, the Bulls will still win a lot of games and have the chance to take the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The months that matter in the NBA are April, May and June. So while the "experts" want to weigh in on Rose after game one, the final analysis won't come in until around game 100. That's the school of thought I'm checking in to.

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