COMMENTARY | Michael Jordan once said, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships."
And with the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose injured with a torn meniscus and out (again) for the season, arguably, the franchise has lost a major driver of its talent. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, all things considered.
In sports, sometimes a win may not be pretty, but it's a heck of a lot better than getting the "L" at the end of the day.
With D-Rose out and the Bulls' season up in the air, LeBron James and the Miami Heat are likely doing the Electric Slide on the down-low. No, really. And here are three reasons why the Heat's celebration may be in order:
Miami's 3-Peat threats: The Bulls and Indiana Pacers
With the Chicago Bulls' point guard sidelined indefinitely, it's one down and one to go, as far as the Heat are concerned.
As the Washington Post suggested, the Bulls had a fighting chance to topple the elite Heat from another title run. I strongly concur. After all, even with Rose out last season, Chicago still managed to win 45 games in the regular season and earn a trip to the playoffs.
@CindyBoren absolute killer. Man, I really thought Bulls as a healthy team could wear down Miami. Now Indiana and OKC are only hope.- Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) November 25, 2013
With the Bulls all but a non-threat to the Heat's quest for three in a row, all eyes are on Paul George and the surging Indiana Pacers, the NBA's best team at the moment.
Strategically speaking, it's better to have one moving target than to have two attacking you, one in front and the other in the rear.
The Bulls were better with Rose
Before Rose suffered the season-ending injury, the Bulls won five of their last six games. Following the tear, Chicago has been in a slump, having lost four of its last five matches.
In the first 10 games of last season, the Bulls were 5-5 and throughout the entire season, Chicago only managed a series of anemic three-game winning streaks on several occasions.
And to add insult to injury, Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who was tied for second in steals (16) and second from the foul line (.861), suffered a toe injury on Nov. 19. He's expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks.
Rose's return gave the Bulls a lot of confidence in getting things done on both sides of the court. This season, they were getting good looks and appeared to be feeding off Rose's knack of controlling the paint at will.
Are the Heat really doing the "Happy Dance?" You betcha.
Derrick Rose was heating up
In the first four games of the 2013-2014 regular season, Rose averaged only 15 points per game, according to NBA players stats. In fact, he only dropped 12 in the 107-95 loss to Miami. Many wrote off the lackluster scoring as rust from not playing in a full time capacity in over 500 days since his first injury.
However, over the last six games this season prior to the injury, D-Rose averaged 18 points per game, arguably, a clear sign that he was finding his rhythm. LeBron James doesn't want any more of these back-in-the-day embarrassing moments (shown here) to go on his basketball resume.
Listen, don't buy into hype that all professional athletes are resigned to the fact that wins must come with blood, sweat and tears.
Sure, it makes for good TV and crafty gifs when a team grinds through a tough match and one player steps up and takes the winning shot at the buzzer (even if Ray Allen allegedly traveled). And in the spirit of the Ray Lewis' of the world, the locker room talk after the game is "We did it guys," "We survived the grind," "Today, we all stepped up as a family" -- you get the picture.
In a perfect world, that sounds like the honorable way to go, right? Not necessarily so.
Even the diminutive bench players, some three and four deep in the rotation -- who rarely touch the basketball unless it's in practice or if an errant shot comes their way during a game -- will ride along in the celebratory float and sing the "We are the Champions" song.
Heck, even a skirmish in the American Revolution was won without a single shot being fired. Yet, George Washington declared a victory over the British occupation.
And how many times has a boxer won a match by default? In short, a win is a win in some instances and -- barring any alleged unethical or illegal acts (Mike Tomlin, Jason Kidd and the New England Patriots come to mind) -- it doesn't matter how the team arrived at that moment.
Certainly, the NBA has not morphed into a "win by any means necessary" league. Moreover, in no way am I suggesting that LeBron James and the Miami Heat are focused on taking the easy way out. Arguably, not many people saw this chapter in Derrick Rose's career coming.
But at times, as the wise old saying goes, "One man's loss is another man's gain."
Bradley is a professional writer, journalist, sportswriter and avid follower of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins developments.
- Sports & Recreation
- Derrick Rose
- Miami Heat
- LeBron James
- Chicago Bulls
- Indiana Pacers