Embed from Getty Images

With the NBA playoffs quick approaching, many are turning their eyes to the pressure-packed Eastern Conference and the pending return of Derrick Rose to the Chicago Bulls. Betters are flocking to sites such as wageronsports.com to get the latest odds on all the different teams in the NBA. Whether you are looking for a basketball wagering strategy or simply enjoy watching hoops on TV, you may be curious about what Rose’s return means for the Bulls and the larger playoff picture in the East.

The latest report on Rose from sports.yahoo.com states that “Rose (knee) participated in “a little” 5-on-5 action during Monday’s practice.” Seeing that he is ramping up his play in hopes of a near return, he would provide a nice boost to the Chicago roster. Though his timetable is still a bit unclear, Chicago fans are rooting for him to lead their team on an extended playoff run come April.

The Bulls have managed quite well with Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson manning the point, but Rose’s return would give Chicago a relentless, attacking guard and a true closer come crunch time. Luol Deng has emerged as an all-star and Joakim Noah has upped his play since returning from injury, and Rose’s return gives the Bulls a formidable inside-outside game. The Bulls struggle with outside shooting and Rose, who averaged 1.5 threes over the past two season, would help solidify the long-range attack.

A lot depends on his health upon return, and if he can get back to playing the same level of basketball before the injury. As a point guard, he relies on his athleticism and ability to make strong, decisive hard cuts to the basket with quick change of direction and hesitation moves. His knee must be fully healed in order to ensure no further re-aggravation going forward.

If he returns before the playoffs and plays well, the Bulls should be able to get past both the Brooklyn Nets as well as the Indiana Pacers for the third seed in the East. New York is also within striking distance, especially given the recent shooting struggles of Carmelo Anthony.

There is no doubt that Derrick Rose was one of the best basketball players on the planet before the injury. Bulls fans and his teammates are hoping he can quickly return to form and lead them to the Eastern Conference Finals this year.