By Eric D.Graham
Updated: May 2, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)–We have seen him drive to the basket time after time at full speed like a raging bull, stopping on a dime and contorting his body like a pretzel in mid-air between defenders while making unbelievable off-balance shots.

But this time, the slightly shy superstar’s knee buckled awkwardly, leaving him grimacing in pain and lying on the court.

As Derrick Rose, the captain of Chicago, was carefully carried off the court by his teammates, the city of Chicago stared in disbelief.

Now, the Madhouse on Madison, is sadden as their championship aspirations seem to have diminished without Derrick dribbling the basketball up and down the court.

“”It’s not a playoff death sentence for the team.” said Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Despite Thibodeau’s comments, many analysts think a “Rose-less” Bulls team can’t make the NBA championship, even though they are 18-9 without him in the starting line up in the regular season.

For Rose, this shorten 66 game lockout season has been a rigorous one.

Many sports fans, in fact, believe that this year’s compressed schedule is the root cause of Rose’s physical breakdown.

For instance, during this grueling season, Rose suffered a banged up left toe, lower back pain, a groin injury and a sprain right ankle, which resulted in him missing 27 games.

TNT’s NBA analyst Kenny Smith said that Rose was constantly trying to get healthy enough to play but never got healthy.

As a result, he found himself sidelined most of the season with several injuries, which he never fully recuperated from.

Unfortunately, the constant back-to-back games has not only affected Rose’s on court performance, it has also sidelined other superstars like Ray Allen (Boston) and Dwight Howard (Orlando).

Now, with Chicago’s hometown hero hobbling on one leg and out for the season with a torn ACL, the Bulls will have to rely on John Lucas III and C.J. Watson to lead them to the NBA Finals.

Note: The Chicago Bulls lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 109-92 Tuesday Night, tying the series (1-1)