Wednesday (Explaining Derrick Rose in Minnesota terms) edition: Wha' Happened?

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:06
The Chicago Bulls went 62-20 in 2010-11, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Heat. The unquestioned catalyst and leader of the team was Derrick Rose, who averaged 25 ppg and won the NBA MVP Award in just his third season and at the tender age of 23. Chicago and Rose seemed primed for years of greatness, with an NBA title (or more than one) a very reasonable and attainable goal. What has happened since is a tale of sports cruelty that those of us in Minnesota probably can’t fully comprehend. Rose tore his left ACL during the first game of the first round of the 2011-12 playoffs after another great regular season. The Bulls, who went 50-16 in the lockout-shortened regular-season, lost their opening playoff series to Philadelphia (yes, before the 76ers committed full-time to tanking they were pretty decent). Rose missed the entire 2012-13 season; the Bulls won 45 games without him, but again came up short in the playoffs. He came back for the 2013-14 season, but he ended up playing just 10 games because of season-ending torn meniscus in his right knee. The Bulls still won 48 games, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year, Rose came back again and had the Bulls looking like a contender. They are 36-21 … but now, again, they will be without Rose for the rest of the year because of more damage to his right meniscus. The Bulls will probably again make the playoffs, and probably again make a quick exit. If so, that will be four consecutive seasons derailed by an injuries to the same superstar — not just a great player, but an MVP when fully healthy. We’ve tried to fathom that and put it into Minnesota sports terms, but there really isn’t any comparison. For all the bad luck Minnesota teams have had (self-inflicted and otherwise), their star players have been remarkably durable during good times. Kevin Garnett in his first go-round with the Wolves was an iron man. Randy Moss missed just three games in seven seasons with the Vikings in his first go-round. Johan Santana averaged 228 innings pitched from 2004-07, his prime with the Twins. Justin Morneau, pre-concussion, was extremely durable — averaging 151 games played from 2005-09. Even Joe Mauer, who has the reputation for missing games, averaged 576 plate appearances per year from 2005-10. Adrian Peterson? He missed just seven games in his first seven seasons and famously came back from a shredded knee to destroy teams in 2012. Even Percy Harvin, for all his problems, only missed three games in his first three seasons with Minnesota and was never to blame for derailing an entire season with an injury. The Lynx, during their run of prominence the past four seasons, have been gifted with generally good healthy among their top players. We really only have one-season “what-ifs” here when it comes to injuries. What if Sam Cassell hadn’t hurt his back in the 2004 NBA playoffs. Could the Wolves have won an NBA title? What if Francisco Liriano had stayed healthy in 2006 — could the Twins have done some major damage in the playoffs? What if Morneau hadn’t been injured in 2010? Would the Twins have gone further in the playoffs? (Granted, that was more than a one-year issue, but even a fully healthy Morneau couldn’t have stopped the slide from 2011-present). What if Brett Favre’s ankle wasn’t 50 shades of purple after an illegal hit from the Saints in the 2009 NFC title game? Would he have run for yards instead of throwing an INT in the closing moments of regulation? But imagine having a star player, with a very good supporting cast around him, getting hurt year after year after year after year. Imagine KG, Moss or Peterson in their primes, leading championship contenders … only to have each year end in shambles because of an injury. That’s the cruelty in Chicago right now.
Categories: Local

Hulsizer in, Falcone out as Wild minority owner

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:47
The Wild ownership group is undergoing some changes.
Categories: Local

Changing our minds on Adrian Peterson: A story in 10 poll questions

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:41
Sentiment toward Adrian Peterson has shifted pretty dramatically as his legal troubles played out. Here's a look.
Categories: Local

Hicks making friends; full squad nearly complete

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 09:40
Mauer arrives in training camp, takes part in first workout
Categories: Local

Nebraska stops Gophers' momentum with rout in Lincoln

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 22:33
two deck summary goes here fdsg fds gfdsgfds
Categories: Local

Ryan and the Twins happy he's back in Florida

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 22:26
The general manager is glad to be back in Florida.
Categories: Local

Scoggins: Garnett on court will be much different than when he left

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 21:50
The 38-year-old forward admits he’s in ‘the declining days’ of his playing career.
Categories: Local

Wild's home win streak snapped with loss to Edmonton

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 21:44
A bad first period by the Wild on home ice was too much to come back from in a 2-1 loss to the West’s last-place team.
Categories: Local

A spike in pike: Northern spearing on Mille Lacs boosts license sales

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 21:08
Opening Lake Mille Lacs to spearers bumped license sales, the northern pike harvest
Categories: Local

Wild gets ahead of rental market, acquires Sean Bergenheim from Florida

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 19:46
The Wild picked up a winger as depth
Categories: Local

Ryder Cup captain Love adds Lehman to staff

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 17:39
Minnesota native will be one of four vice captains.
Categories: Local

Minneapolis hopes to snag more sports in 2015

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 17:26
Events targeted include a college football playoff game, fat bike championships, WrestleMania.
Categories: Local

Garnett has no desire to coach

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 16:59
Superstar's return will be good for Wolves.
Categories: Local


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