The Chicago Bulls lack a true identity when Derrick Rose isn't with them. That much is obvious. It should be that way with a player of Rose's caliber. However, the Bulls also lack a true go-to guy in Rose's absence. The lack a closer.
The Bulls snapped a three game skid on Saturday and sit at an even .500 coming into Monday. They have managed to survive without Derrick Rose, but they have not thrived by any stretch. Part of that, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, is that coach Tom Thibodeau does not have anyone he can go to at the end of games when the team needs a clutch bucket.
Of course, that's hyperbole. The Bulls have plenty of players who can knock down a game-winning bucket. They have guy who have done it in college and guys who have done it in the pros. But they don't have Rose. They don't have that one guy who draws just about every guy from the opposing team on the final play. That guy who despite being triple-teamed, despite every single person knowing the ball will be in his hands for the final shot, can still knock it down. So they improvise. And it's worked to the tune of a 6-6 record.
At 6-6, the Bulls are just 1/2 game out in the division. But Rose isn't going to be there anytime soon to lift them up. They'll have to do it on their own. And to do so, they will need someone to step up and be that clutch guy when the game is on the line. This could be a season where the Bulls chances at the playoffs are determined by one close game that could have gone either way. They need it to go their way.
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