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Noah Doubt

by Robb Reel

The Chicago Bulls didn't seem to need the ailing  Derrick Rose l to beat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their second-round series.  That's the point the reporter was trying to make, I think, when he asked Joakim Noah about the victory.  That's not how it came out, though, and that's definitely not how Noah took it.

Now, I have been every guy in this equation.  I have been the star athlete on the shelf, though I admittedly tried to play injured far more often than I should have.  Perhaps Rose is smarter than I am for taking a more prudent approach to his long-term career and future.  I have been the team leader, like Noah, just trying to hold the thing together with duct tape and twine.  I have been the reporter asking the uncomfortable question.

Joakim Noah absolutely said all the right things, both in this particular exchange and every one heretofore.  There's no question about that.  The question is: does he believe it as he's saying it?  How is this really affecting the all-too-precious chemistry in the locker room?  Will this situation be the undoing of the Bulls in these playoffs and, ultimately, of Rose's tenure in Chicago?

We shall see.