By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) After a loss to Milwaukee last month, a defiant Derrick Rose said of the the NBA playoffs, “I’m built for this s***.”
So when he faced what to this point was the biggest game of his star-crossed career, why didn’t he respond?
As his Bulls gasped and grasped in a season-ending 94-73 loss to the Cavaliers on Thursday night and needed any help to find points in their own building with Cleveland starting to pull away, Rose managed only four shot attempts in the deciding second half.
Chicago’s most important and highest-paid player vanished inexplicably, despite counterpart Kyrie Irving sitting out with yet another injury and covered in ice packs. Undrafted Matthew Dellevadova stepped into the vacuum with 19 points, becoming the most dynamic guard on the floor when it mattered.
And the Bulls’ latest opportunity fizzled flat, so much wrong laid bare as everybody walked out.
No Kevin Love and no Irving, but then no Rose. And now no season and no chance.