Tom Thibodeau isn’t the only head coach readjusting his game plan after Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Chicago Bulls’ first round series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
Now Mike Krzyzewski and Team USA are officially in scramble mode.
Not only will Rose, the reigning NBA MVP, not be playing for an NBA championship this season, but he also losses out on the chance to represent his country at the 2012 London Olympics and bring home the gold.
It’s just a sad story any way you look at it.
The pain for Rose’s playoff ending injury is equally felt by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, who is faced with the challenge of watching another Team USA roster finalist go down hard with an injury.
If you are keeping score at home, that is five of the original 20 Olympic team finalist that are a no-go in London this summer: Rose, Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups, LaMarcus Aldridge and Lamar Odom.
Who is next?
Colangelo doesn’t want to think about it, but he does know he will have to wait until the end of the NBA postseason to determine who is even healthy enough to be on the Team USA squad.
“I think now we’re going to wait until the very last moment to pick the team, because it seems ridiculous with a lot of playoff games to play that we would select a team,” Colangelo said in an interview with Sam Amick of SI.com.
“We might as well keep the options open as long as we can, and continue to monitor [the situation].
“Our staffs (including coach Mike Krzyzewski) are going to be meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Vegas, and we’re going to be talking about all of that. But I’m certain that that’s going to be the call.”
That’s one conference call no one on the Team USA coaching staff or Colangelo are happy to jump on.
While some pundits and Twitter heads are quick to blame Thibodeau for even having Rose in the game so late in the contest with the Sixers and the Bulls on their way to claiming a first round win in Game 1, the reality is Rose’s knee was a ticking time bomb ready to blow at any moment. It’s unfortunate any way you look at it, especially coming on the NBA playoff stage as the Bulls were the favorites to battle the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Had Rose — who helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship — not torn his ACL you have to wonder if he would have opted to sit out the Olympics anyway. It’s no secret what he has been through this season and how his health has let him down. Suffering a non-contact torn ACL is only part of Rose’s woes.
The knee is Rose’s sixth body part to take a hit this seasons, from his toe, groin, back, ankle and foot, he’s the one guy that was probably most plagued by the extensive work stoppage and shortened season.
Time for Team USA to regroup and move forward without perhaps the best young point guard in the game today.
“What I said [previously] was that we didn’t plan to do any additions, but we had to continue to monitor the injury situation,” Colangelo said. “Obviously this is a big loss. [Point guard] seems to be, at this point, still a pretty strong position. But at this stage, quite honestly, I think all bets are off.”
At least Colangelo and Team USA have some options, especially being able to tap into the Select Team if need by. They had planned to announce the final 12-man roster on June 1, but that date is no longer a reality.
The reality is, Team USA isn’t sure if the are waiting for another rash of injuries to hit as guys turn black and blue or finding out who is actually healthy enough to wear the red, white and blue.