Head Vs. Heart: Bulls’ Rose, Noah Approach Injuries Differently

BROOKLYN – Chicago center Joakim Noah, nearly distraught Friday over the prospect of missing playoff games against the Nets in the city he once called home, almost was willing himself – and his aching right foot (plantar fasciitis) – to be available for the first-round series opener Saturday at the Barclays Center. Noah warmed up, appeared to be moving well and essentially was going to determine his own fate, telling the Bulls if he was capable of playing or not.

Which was fine and tough and all that. But the question then simply shifted: By passing up the opportunity to rest and recuperate Saturday, were he and the Bulls pushing questions of Noah’s health and availability onto Game 2, Game 3 and beyond?

In other words, were they robbing Peter to pay Paul, in terms of their All-Star center being around to help when they need him most. Generally, the 0-0 point in a best-of-seven series isn’t considered a critical juncture.

“The thing is, it’s the type of injury where you don’t know how he’s going to feel the next day,” Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said about 80 minutes before tipoff. “It’s unusual. Some guys completely tear it and feel better right away. Some guys completely tear it and they have to shut it down. He’s had it before. He’s dealt with it. We just have to see how he is tomorrow.”

In a way, Noah’s scenario in fighting through his sore right foot (he’s had plantar fasciitis issues before, by the way) offers a thumbnail glimpse at the Bulls’ greater injury situation – the knee surgery and recovery of point guard Derrick Rose.

Rose’s return, once penciled in for sometime near or after the All-Star break, has yet to occur. The 24-year-old scorer/playmaker has been cleared by doctors and, behind closed doors at practice, is said to be the best player on the floor. But he hasn’t felt quite right – possibly hesitating from a lack of confidence or trust in the repaired knee or uncomfortable with the prospect of coming back rusty and less than 100 percent. The Bulls have left the matter up to Rose, and he has erred on the side of caution.

Noah seemed to be responding more urgently to the “my team needs me” call of the postseason. His injury isn’t as severe, but his zeal to play – through pain, at the risk of causing his foot to worsen – scores him more “warrior” points than Rose gets for being more patient and more cautious.

In a city like Chicago, so deep into a season built around and delayed by Rose’s presumed return, Noah’s apparent toughness seems laudable even if it puts him down for Game 2, Game 3 or thereafter.

Rose, meanwhile, is pursuing what looks to be a wait-till-next-year strategy that, in Chicago, has been played out too many times by too many teams.


  1. Don says:

    All the hype for “The Return.” The Adidas ads. “The Return” doesnt matter now, The Bulls are gonna be eliminated in 5 games. Is his knee not yet healed? Or is it in his mind? Or both? IMO In Rose’s mind he was never gonna return this year.

  2. sportsfan says:

    Kenny Bell, when Rose won the MVP that was LeBron’s first year with Miami. If you take LeBron off of that team then they still would’ve had Wade & Bosh. That Miami team would’ve still been better than the Bulls that year if the Bulls didn’t have Rose. Therefore, for the ’10-’11 season Rose proved he was more valuable to his team than LeBron was to his.

  3. ab says:

    Surgical treatment for plantar fasciitis (usually unnecessary and not advised) involves CUTTING, not SEWING. Pain is the only sympton, and can often disappear after ten minutes during exrtended activity (after the athlete has fully warmed up). The treatment for a torn knee ligament is repair, or replacement. Equating the risk of playing through the two injuries is foolish.

  4. Bucky C says:

    D-Rose mind isn’t 100%,so I’m good with that!!It also can be something else,like what caused it in the first place..Hamstring is 100%Wait until next year DRose!!

  5. sportsfan says:

    hold the phone – I agree. ballhogger & LALALA don’t know what they’re talking about. When choosing an MVP it’s not all about the stats. Doc Rivers isn’t all-knowing & numerous players (current & former) acknowledged Rose deserving of the MVP. A player’s heart & what they do for their team also needs to be factored in when choosing an MVP. Rose carried his team that year & LeBron didn’t have to due to all of the extra talent. “Most valuable player” is self explanatory, the Heat are still a great team without LeBron but the Bulls really need Rose. Instead of being a 5th seed the Bulls would be a 1st or 2nd seed with Rose. Rose deserves to be called the youngest MVP.

    • Kenny Bell says:

      Not really look at they years when Lebron wasn’t there… They weren’t exactly top tier threats. Look at Lebron’s cleavland team. While he was there 66 win season. With him gone, pitiful. The Bulls with derrick rose 62 win season I think, without him still above .500. I would rather have Lebron on my team than Derrick Rose and isn’t that what being the “Most Valuable Player” is?

  6. Kal says:

    damn this is frustrating for NBA fans everywhere.

    now that the Celtics have fallen the Bulls with Rose are the only East team that can potentially beat The Heat. (or at least give them a fight.)

    maybe the only team in the league…

  7. NBA Fan says:

    Derrick Rose is a joke. If he was any other player he would be playing as soon as he was medically cleared. Doing his job. Like he’s being paid to do. Everyones saying about the mental aspects and everything which is fair enough. But not playing in an NBA game isnt gonna help him get over his fear of getting injured in an NBA game. If he came back when he was cleared he would have been over it by now. The Chicago team is running on empty without their MVP and starting point guard. They could definitely have used the boost.

  8. ab says:

    What a silly comparison of apples and oranges. I’ve had plantar fasciitis 3 times. Yes, it’s very painful, but yes, one can play through it — and I did (squash rournaments). I’ve never torn a knee ligament but I would never play on it until it was 100 % even if it wasn’t very painful.

  9. Symon Adamson says:

    Rose is the face of the franchise, probably for the next few years, so the handling of his injury is critical to their long term future. Let’s not forget how serious an injury he got last year. He obviously doesn’t feel right yet, whether that’s physically or mentally. Whatever the reason, he needs to be 100% and be the old Derrick Rose that has thrilled the league thus far. He’s not going to be that player until he’s completely ready to go.
    As for Noah – look how he plays every night, every play. He gives his all and you can see on his face what it means to him. It’s no surprise to me he will do his utmost to get back whether its 0-0 or 3-3 in a series.

  10. W says:

    Just to clear up!

    In my point of view, Rose just wants to be at his best before he enters again. He knows that many ppl and fans want him back in the game and he wants it too, but he wants it only when he is capable of setting the same results as before, cause that’s what the croud expects and he doesn’t want to dissapoint the croud.
    And if he only got the MVP-award because ppl are tired to give it to LeBron, why didn’t KD, KB or CP3 or all the other worthy players got the MVP-award???? Rose was the worthy MVP, maybe not as good as LB, but they both play on different positions, so it’s hard to decided who was the best.

    Rose will return, when he thinks he’s capable of giving his fans what they want to see of him.
    And he decides what’s best for him.

  11. Paco Taco says:

    Seriously Steve…….

    Steve Aschburner= worst sports journalist ever

  12. TT says:

    Remember what Derrick Rose went through last season during the game 1 playoff in Philly. It’ll be devastating for Derrick Rose to get injured again when he knows that his coach Tom Thibodeau will continue to push him to his limits regardless of the lead in the game. KNOW YOUR ENEMY BULLS FANS!!! WE’ll NEVER FORGIVE YOU, TOM THIBODEAU!!

    • GangstaP says:

      It’s not Thibs fault. Injuries happen. He’s been cleared to play and he is as likely as anyone else in the league to tear his ACL again.

  13. r says:

    noah needs to chill and heal up.

    rose returning now of all times won’t do the team any favors. they will be rusty together.

  14. googergieger says:

    Even with Rose this isn’t that great a Chicago team. No more depth to their name really. Better for Rose to come back next year with a hopefully better team. Question is, how do Bulls get better?

    • KareemoftheKrop says:

      By getting their bench back to “BENCH MOB” status. That’s what breaks through in playoffs, having a strong bench. Your starting five can be the best but if the bench is non existent, the game gets twice as hard when you rest your starters

  15. talawan jud says:

    if you are an all star and the face of the franchise and a true basketball player sometimes, you will play through pain like kobe did but it seems that even derrick rose is cleared to play by the doctors and already did practice with the team still reluctant to return.. maybe he should be thinking about retiring and never to play a game of basketball…

    • Pakyaw says:

      If Kobe have this kind of injury on his younger years,I bet he’ll be sitting out too..torn acl is a serious injury and it can be a career ending(B.Roy, Oden)..Rose still have a lot of years left..why risk?..just sayin

  16. Chlomosaurus says:

    DRose dissapointed many of his fans. But really I am ok with his decision to sit this season out. He’s a franchise player, he has his hometown and team relying on him. So if he feels uncomfortable coming back this season, its ok. Because he still has many years in front of him.

  17. hold the phone says:

    Before we all forget, Derrick Rose was the youngest man to receive league MVP. Most people would say that this would qualify him to be the face of the Bulls franchise. If he is indeed the face of the franchise then the Bulls have at least 77,911,880 reasons to protect him. That number is how much D Rose will collect in salary from the Bulls between now and the summer of 2017 when his current contract extension expires. Considering that they have him locked up for the next 4 years and all the money that they have invested I think they can be as careful as they want in Chicago.

    • ballhogger says:

      yes he’s the younger mvp coz people are tired of Lebron James to get an MVP award.. thanks to him LOL

    • LALALA says:

      the only reason rose got that mvp is cause of what happpened to lebron or should i say “the decision”. Some ppl say that the judges took that in account thats why he wasnt voted. Look at roses stats in mvp year vs lebron the numbers dont lie.DOC RIVERS himself told reporters that any1 who doesnt vote for lebron is simply tired to vote for him cause he is in no doubt deserving of such an award. The things ppl call extraordinary is simply basic routine for lebron. So dont wave that argument of rose being the youngest MVP, because the scenario itself doesnt clearly support a unanimous decision and that decision is questionable.

      • Brain32 says:

        Don’t be silly LALALA I just DID look at stats in the season and the difference is minimal(unless you find 1,7pts per game huge) not to mention that Chicago ended up on top that season with the best W-L ratio in the entire NBA, oh and Rose didn’t have Bosh or Wade I mean sure Noah, Deng, Boozer, all good players but comparing that to the Miami line-up is a bit too much…

      • Trip says:

        Ok La La.. But Go Look At That Season Rose Won MVP.. Bulls Had The Best Record.. Rose Hit Like 15 or 16 Game Winners.. He was the top Clutch proformer that year.. And His numbers dont lie!!! So Get Yo Facts Straight Homie.. Its A Hole Video About it on youtube.. Rose Mvp season check that out and say Lebron should had won it that year..

      • YeahBruh says:

        Lebron should have won it that year.

  18. Ralph says:


    Until you’ve walked (or jumped) in D. Rose’s shoes, you need to shut it down.

  19. steppx says:

    totally agree. There is something, at this point, unfair though it may be, offputting about rose.