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updated: 7/9/2013 10:36 AM

Rose holds key to Bulls' fortunes vs. Heat next season

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  • If Derrick Rose returns from his knee injury next season at his MVP level, the Bulls can win the East and sip champagne according to Mike North.

    If Derrick Rose returns from his knee injury next season at his MVP level, the Bulls can win the East and sip champagne according to Mike North.
    Associated Press


The Dwight Howard saga is finally over, now that the Houston Rockets have signed him amid a media circus.

Howard grabbed the spotlight this weekend and kept the NBA in the news.

I still don't think people are expecting Houston to win a title even with the addition of Howard, but maybe they aren't finished yet.

Even though Miami is your two-time defending NBA champion, I believe the Heat will be very beatable next year.

The Bulls sans Derrick Rose gave the Heat all it could handle, the Indiana Pacers pushed Miami to the brink -- and the San Antonio Spurs gift-wrapped Game 6 of the NBA Finals for the Heat.

But while the media and fans have obsessed over Howard's signing, when the season starts next year the bigger story will be the return of Rose.

Everyone expects Rose to come back and be better than ever. It's very possible, since his explanation the other day that he had to be selfish and rehab properly raises our hopes for his return. I still don't buy it and believe he should have played, but that's yesterday's newspaper.

If the old Rose is back, I think the Bulls can win the East. The Bulls have their franchise's health on the line next season. If Rose is a stud they will topple Miami; if he's ordinary and starts missing games, then the door is wide open for LeBron James to build a dynasty and win multiple consecutive championships.

The Bulls organization right now really has no idea how it will all play out, just like the Los Angeles Lakers don't know how Kobe Bryant will be, or how Russell Westbrook will respond from his injury in Oklahoma City.

I've been hearing that Rose is going to be better than ever.

Really? Better than his MVP season?

Great -- if that's the case, the Bulls will drink champagne next year. If not, I don't know if there's a Plan B in place.

Sox fail to bust their tail

Win or lose, Chicago fans expect our teams to bust their tails when they play.

The Cubs look like they are trying to get better, but the White Sox look like they can't wait for the season to be over.

Just watch both teams on the same day and you'll see what I mean. The Cubs pass the eye test for hustle and determination, while the White Sox are simply going through the motions. The Cubs look like are trying to build a future, but the Sox have taken disinterest to another level.

Let me know when it's over.

Program notes:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Channel 50 at 6:30 a.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday

•Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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