How Derrick Rose’s latest injury affects the Hawks

Derrick Rose, shelved again. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP photo)

Derrick Rose, shelved again. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP photo)

Derrick Rose, shelved again. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP photo)

Even as the Atlanta Hawks have threatened to lap the Eastern Conference field — they lead by 7 1/2 games over second-place Toronto — we’ve kept hearing how the road to the NBA finals still runs through Cleveland or Chicago. But now the Bulls, yet again, have lost Derrick Rose to a knee injury, and it’s not sure when he’ll return after surgery.

Not to revel in someone else’s misfortune, but the Bulls without Rose aren’t the same as the Bulls with him. If he can’t play in the postseason, Chicago is no longer a threat to win the East. And here’s what else the loss of Rose figures to do: Make the Hawks’ Round 2 matchup that much easier.

The Bulls and the Cavaliers were in race for the third spot in the East. No. 3 figures to fall to LeBron’s crew now. That means the Hawks wouldn’t see Cleveland until the Eastern Conference finals, and that’s no bad thing. Instead they’d get the Bulls or Washington or maybe Milwaukee, and the Hawks are 7-1 against those three.

Assuming the Hawks hold the No. 1 seed, they’ll play a sub-.500 No. 8 in Round 1, and that would be a walkover. Not having to play Cleveland in Round 2 would be a break, and so’s the thought the Cavs having to slug it out with the Raptors before they’d get to the Hawks.

And truth to tell, I’m not yet sold on Cleveland. Granted, it has won 17 of 19, but only six of those 17 have come against plus-.500 teams.

Reader Comments 0

17 comments
BasketballTopFan
BasketballTopFan

We would like to offer deepest condolences and sympathy to the family, friends and fans of  Earl  Francis  Lloyd  ! ! !


Earl Lloyd was the first Black person to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the 1950-1951 season. He played for the Washington Capitols.

The "BIG CAT" was a trailblazer for the now predominantly Black NBA.


Rest In Peace (RIP) !!!

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

No such thing as a walk-over in the NBA.  Come on Bradley, you have to be better than that.  Are you just trying to say something controversial to get people to comment?  Well it worked.  

You are right about what Rose's injury means to the Hawks.  They need to keep the #1 seed and hope Cleveland and Toronto beat each other up in the conference semis.  No other team is a serious threat IF the Hawks play their game and make shots.

Maavelous
Maavelous

17-2 is awesome no matter the opponents Cleveland figures to give us huge problems, if both teams make it that far -- and we seem to have faded somewhat the past few weeks just as Cleveland has been streaking. One playoff series at a time.

MacongaMan
MacongaMan

I agree with everything in this article except for the "walk over" comment.  Put those words on a locker room wall and watch out!  Remember ATL vs. Indiana last year???  A #1 vs a #8 that went to 7 games.......  You still have to play the games.

Curtis Banks
Curtis Banks

By the way, Atlanta has a pretty easy schedule as well to finish the regular season.

Curtis Banks
Curtis Banks

By the time the season ends, Cleveland will have the number two spot, and barring a monumental collapse by the Hawks, we may have the first seed.  By season's end Cleveland will be breathing down Atlanta's  neck.  Cleveland's rebounding and their bigs give them a slight advantage over the Hawks.  The Hawks were on a tear early in the season, but Cleveland has won 17 of their last 19 with a big test coming tonight against the Warriors.   Lets see how you play against the teams heading into the playoffs before you start punching finals tickets.

oledawg
oledawg

@Curtis Banks  "The Hawks were on a tear early in the season,..."  Pretty sure the end of the Hawks "tear" has not been that many games ago. Don't get to feeling too god about yourself.

BobDawg
BobDawg

Nice Article MB.   This does help the Hawks and I'm not sold on Cleveland yet either… Our bigs won't be giving Love all those open 3's either. We just need to get everyone health and get Thabo S. back in form and we are good to go…GO HAWKS! 

Wilbo
Wilbo

Seriously, dude, are you still living in the fanatsy that the Atlanta Hawks are going to be a big threat in the NBA playoffs?


They are a jumpshooting team that has begin to come back to Earth and they will continue to fall back some in the rest of the regular season and then go quietly in the playoffs, then you'll be stuck looking like a fool but not acknowledging it.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@birdrow I am not a Heat fan, but I'll have to say the Miami Heat won NBA titles in 


2006


2012


2013


The Atlanta Hawks won NBA championships in


Never


Never


Never


Nor will they anytime soon, and this current crop of early season front-runners ain't gonna do squat in the playoffs. The sad and stupid part is the tandem of morons - Jeff Unfunny Schooltz and Ugly Sleepy Looking Bradley won't waste 20 minutes after the Hawks wilt early in the playoffs and will have so many of you equally moronic suckers believing some silly arse excuse re: why the Hawks failed EARLY in the playoffs, and then you'll be yammering on about how next year the Hawks are definitely going to sweep to the NBA title.


Oh, wait, first you'll all be saying some crapola about how the Braves are going to be MUCH better than expected!


Owners, fans, coaches/managers, and especially the sports bloggers of Atlanta pro sports --- idiots all.

peanutgallery
peanutgallery

Rose has never been the same after his ACL injury.

seminoleking
seminoleking

in a way, i fear toronto more than cleveland.  toronto has PROVEN they give the hawks fits and they match up better. the only thing i like about the hawks position is it appears they have a easy road to at least the conference finals.

caneowar
caneowar

@seminoleking 


I don't know semi. Toronto is a pretty decent team, but the Hawks played their worst games against them. I wasn't the least bit surprised Toronto put the beat down on the Hawks after the all-star game. The Hawks could have just as easily won their first 3 games against Toronto though. This I however do no. If their shooting don't drastically improve over the last 8 games. They will have a hard time escaping even the first round of the playoffs. They are not a good rebounding team and second chance baskets don't come often for the Hawks.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@seminoleking

An easy road?

No ATL Hawks team has ever had an easy road to any stage of the playoffs.

mike8472
mike8472

@seminoleking Yea, the Raptors have been fortunate that they had great shooting games against the Hawks. This last time around right after an All Star break the Hawks had an incredibly high amount of turnovers and also missed easy layups and to top it all off, the Hawks were missing free throws at the line.


I wonder how the Raptors would fair against a Hawks squad that is playing their best basketball instead of there worse.