It seemed the importance of Saturdays Game 1 Bulls win over the Philadelphia 76ers took a back seat for both clubs as they waited to hear word on the status of Derrick Rose.
Just two hours after the leagues reigning MVP collapsed to the floor gripping his left knee with 1:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, it was learned that he was done for the postseason and out even longer with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Not even 24 hours after the news on Rose was delivered, the Sixers were back on the same United Center Floor where Rose walked off with the help of trainers trying to get their minds back on basketball, but with obvious remorse for their opponent.
I think everyone on our team and organization is sick to their stomachs today about what happened to that young guy, said Sixers coach Doug Collins. I was in contact with Pax Bulls VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson last night, Jerry Reinsdorf and Thibs, just letting them know how we feel about the young guy. Hes everything thats right about the NBA and I know hes heartbroken about not being able to be a part of this.
Evan Turner and Rose have had a rivalry since their high school days, but even that has taken a backseat and even the Chicago native appreciates competition and the point guards talents.
I think its a blow, obviously, to their team but also to the NBA, said Turner, who was booed every time he touched the ball in Game 1 for his comments before the start of the series. Hes one of the exciting players and he wanted to help his country over the summer during the 2012 Olympics. To see anybody get that injury, its a crazy recovery process. My middle school teammate Iman Shumpert got hurt too and you hate to see that happen to anybody or see pain on their face from an injury. Thats tough and never fun. Theyre both tough guys and I think it will make them stronger, but once again, its just a blow to the game of basketball.
Andre Iguodala, who was teammates with Rose on Team USA during the 2010 FIBA World Championship, was also sad to see him go down.
He plays such a big role for his team and the biggest thing is just hoping a guy recovers fully and gets back to form because things like that can put doubt in a guys mind on when he would get back, he said. Hopefully hes confident and with the technology now, hell be back at full strength.
The Bulls' game plan will change somewhat with Rose out, but the Sixers are as aware as anyone about the teams ability to win without their best player as Chicagos identity has been built on the strength of their defense and rebounding.
The thing about the Bulls and my concern is if can we score against them, said Collins. We shot 36 percent in Game 1, so they can beat you with their defense and rebounding. Thats how they won a lot of games. Were going to have to be much more efficient offensively than we were yesterday. We had some fast breaks that we didnt cash in on, we had some open shots that we missed but they do such a good job.
"I felt coming into this series that we were going to have to score 90 points to have a chance to win. We got 91 yesterday but our defense was not up to the standards of where we want it to be and the second chance points really hurt us. We have to do a better job. We have to get 90 to 95 points in my mind to beat this team.