The Bulls used to have the league's MVP running point. Now they're down to C.J. Watson. Ouch! They'll probably skate by the 76ers, although that now becomes a greater challenge.

Yes, the Bulls did fine without Rose in the lineup this season. But the playoffs are a different beast.

Without Rose, they lose in the second round and likely spend the offseason wondering why coach Tom Thibodeau wasn't protecting his most valuable asset late in Game 1 against Philly.

gdiaz@tribune.com

Better luck next year

Ben Bolch

Los Angeles Times

The Bulls can get past the 76ers no problem. Heck, UCLA could get past the 76ers.

The problem is going to come in the conference semifinals, where either the Celtics' Rajon Rondo or the Hawks' Jeff Teague will be waiting. Having Derrick Rose would have given the Bulls a considerable edge in either matchup. His backups? Not so much.

Of course, the Bulls gamely fought on without the injury-plagued Rose for much of the season, but they will not be able to overcome the veteran savvy of the Celtics or the prolific scoring of the Hawks without him.

Better luck next season.

bbolch@tribune.com