Not Bullish on their chances without Rose

Cheers and Jeers,Sports,Brian McNally
On Sunday, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibideau refused to concede that the ACL injury to star guard Derrick Rose, last year's NBA MVP, was "a death sentence" for his team. That's his job, of course. The Bulls have come too far this season as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference just to punt it all away. But even they know their chances have dimmed dramatically.

Rose will not be back this postseason. And even though Chicago still could hold on to beat Philadelphia in the first round -- Rose was hurt late in Saturday's Game 1 win over the 76ers -- Boston looms in the next round and after that a likely meeting with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.

On a noncontact play, the entire scope of the NBA's postseason changed. It suddenly got a little bit easier for the two other legitimate contenders in the East, obviously, but also for San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the top contenders in the Western Conference, who now have one less dangerous foe to deal with when the NBA Finals roll around.

- Brian McNally

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