The Chicago Bulls didn’t fare so well in their first game without Derrick Rose, which is like saying the city of Boston has had kind of a bad winter.

The Bulls lost at home to a sub-.500 Charlotte squad, 98-86, on Wednesday. They trailed 67-65 through three quarters and were outscored 31-21 in the final frame.

But losing is one thing; looking lifeless at home against a bad team is another thing altogether.

Chicago’s 670 “The Score” radio host David Schuster said there was a “hangover effect” surrounding the Bulls last night.

“Not only is their teammate (going through this same thing yet again), but (also) a close friend to a lot of these guys on the team,” Schuster explained on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “You talk about Groundhog Day or deja vu all over again. As reporters – and certainly fans and the players as well – this is the third time now, so (it’s) very upsetting. In fact, Joakim Noah used those exact words: sad initially and then angry after the fact. It was definitely a hangover effect in the game in Chicago against Charlotte. Because the Bulls – you could just tell – they almost looked like zombies on the court at certain times. They almost looked like they were going through the motions.”

Rose was not on the bench for the game.

“No, you won’t see him,” Schuster said. “He’s going to have the surgery over the next probably 48 hours. Friday is the likely scenario. A sliver of possible good news – optimistic, if you will – I talked to some people high up in the Bulls’ chain. They’re of the belief – now you don’t know honestly until you literally have the procedure itself – but they’re of the belief that this time around is not as serious as the last time they went in on the right knee with the meniscus. And they’re hopeful – underline the word ‘hopeful’ – that if they go in there and find that to be the case, that there’s at least a chance that he could come back this season. So they’re holding out some optimistic hope.”

How the Bulls handle Rose’s injury, recovery and return will be worth monitoring. After all, they’ve been down this road before – and they chose to handle things in very different ways.

“The first time around, the Bulls released a medical opinion that he was cleared to play,” Schuster reminded listeners. “Then the camp of Derrick Rose opted that they were going to sit him the rest of the season no matter what. Then there was the big controversy. A lot of the fans in Chicago were very upset.

“And then the second time around, the Bulls decided he wasn’t going to come back no matter what,” Schuster continued. “They released it right away after the surgery. And by the way, they opted to have the long-term recovery as opposed to getting back on the court quickly. Instead of cutting out the meniscus, they repaired it the second time around. This time, they feel that it just will not be that serious.”

The Bulls host Minnesota (13-43) this Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

Chicago (36-22) is tied with Cleveland (36-22) for first place in the Central division. The Cavaliers have won 17 of their last 19 games.


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