Derrick Rose’s return one of the top stories in the NBA


After experiencing injury troubles over the past four seasons,

Derrick Rose

is showing signs that he is back. He is having a pretty good playoff run, and has made some incredible shots. He is leading the way as the Chicago Bulls are trying to finally get past a

LeBron James

-led team in the playoffs. His comeback is one of the best stories in the playoffs this year.

Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls /

Chicago Bulls

In the 2011 NBA playoffs, LeBron James and the Miami Heat defeated Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls in a tough, five game Eastern Conference Finals series. After a Game 1 blowout by the Bulls, the Miami Heat won four straight battles that each went to the end.

Many thought that this was going to be another great rivalry — James vs. Rose.

In 2012, Rose and the Bulls were looking forward to the rematch. Then Rose blew his ACL in the first round. Rose missed the rest of those playoffs and the next season.

Last season, Rose came back, and the Bulls again were looking forward to making a real playoff run. Ten games into his comeback, however, Rose blew the meniscus in his other knee, and once again he missed the rest of the season.

Rose made another return this season, but he had his ups and downs. Then, right after the All Star break, the terrible news hit again — he tore the meniscus AGAIN.

This time, though, he was out only six weeks and he came back right before the end of the season. This time he would be ready for the playoffs.

People wondered what kind of player Rose would be in the playoffs. Would he be able to take the beating that he would take in the playoffs? Would he be able to play with limited rest?

After an opening series against the Milwaukee Bucks in which he averaged 19 points and 6.5 assists per game, critics said he was okay, not great. They talked about how Rose did not play the same with one day’s rest as he did with more than that.

Whatever the case, Rose and the Chicago Bulls advanced and got their chance to take on LeBron James again — this time as a Cavalier.

So far, Rose has answered the critics and telling a great story. He is averaging 25 points and dishing out 6.5 assists per game. He is also shooting 42 percent from three.

Speaking of three, he hit an incredible three at the buzzer in Game 3, and had a great layup in Game 4 that tied the game late. Oh, and that narrative about not playing well after only one day’s rest? He’s had back-to-back 30-point games. He is also averaging 39 minutes per game in the series. After struggling with his shot in Game 2, he shot 21-for-49 in the last two games (43 percent).

The series is tied 2-2, but Rose himself is winning. He is beating the odds, and he is beating the critics. He told everyone he would be back, and up to now he is showing just that.

His teammates see how Rose’s play is returning to the old familiar fashion. “I think since the playoffs started, even before the playoffs, he’s been getting a good rhythm, and he’s getting back to his old self from previous years,” Taj Gibson said of Rose. “I think that his confidence is growing.”

Rose’s play is telling a great story for the NBA. Four seasons of struggle and three knee operations are showing to be no match to his strength. He is still not all the way back, but he is playing at a level that has him as one of the best players in the NBA playoffs this year.

Now, if he can get the Chicago Bulls over the LeBron James hump, that would make his story even bigger.

Next: Jimmy Butler to be a popular player in the offseason

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