Let's get this out there right off: What remains of the Chicago Bulls have more gumption than a steer at a steak fry.
With Kirk Hinrich out with what might be meningitis, and Luol Deng in and out of the hospital, and Nate Robinson throwing up in a bucket on the sideline, the Bulls somehow gutted out a Game 7 win on the road against Brooklyn, and for their efforts now get to be the Heat's next entree.
Which, of course, places in stark relief the enigma that is Derrick Rose, sitting in street clothes watching his teammates play hurt two months after he was cleared to play.
The schools of thought here are plain.
One, he should be inspired enough by his teammates to at least attempt to play, if he has any team esprit at all.
Two, only Derrick Rose knows what sort of shape Derrick Rose is in. He's too valuable a commodity to risk if he's not right mentally, despite the physical condition of his reconstructed knee.
Back and forth the debate goes. And I've yet to hear anyone raise a point that seems fairly obvious to me.
Which is: He hasn't played in a game in over a year.
What that says to me is he can't possibly be anywhere close to game shape. Yet now he's supposed to step right into not just basketball but playoff basketball, which resembles regular-season basketball about as much as a penguin resembles a rhinoceros?
Not sure how that would work. And the fact he still obviously doesn't trust the knee suggests that if he did play, he'd be tentative and unsure. And Rose's entire game is built on surety and daring.
So, yeah, you can wonder how he can just sit there and watch his teammates leave it all on the floor. But how much help would he be, anyway?