As news broke that Derrick Rose's injury was unfortunately a torn ACL, the minds of
thousands dozens of Sixers fans began humming at the thought of playing a Rose-less Chicago Bulls team the rest of the series. In what was realistically a very sound beating in Game One, the Sixers were still a -6 in 11 minutes of time with Rose off the floor. Derrick was not the only Bull to take care of business against a lacking Philadelphia team.
The Bulls, as far as everyone is concerned, are no longer a championship contender. They're a very good team with some very nice role players and tier 2 guys (Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah), but any hope of winning a title just crumpled to the ground with Rose's ACL. What's worse is that Rose may never be the same player again. This from Blog-a-Bull:
There's still a playoff run to be had. This is still a very good and determined team, and they can win this series and maybe the next. Derrick Rose will come back and be a Chicago Bull for many years. But, today, this championship-contending season is over.
But it certainly does make things, from a Sixers perspective, more interesting. As sad as it is for Chicago and NBA fans, there's still a rest of the series to play here, and it'll have the Bulls shorthanded. They famously went 18-8 during his absence in the season, with C.J. Watson and John Lucas III playing major roles in his stead. But don't confuse yourself into thinking they're a better team.
So have the odds tipped in the Sixers favor? The general consensus is "no". The Bulls, without Rose, are still the better team. And that's true. But it doesn't matter who's the better team, it matters who wins. We'll talk about the fallout of what a few cheap playoff wins could do to the franchise later. But for now, the Sixers have a much better chance at stealing this series than they did 24 hours ago.