On Tuesday afternoon, Derrick Rose will humbly accept the NBA Most Valuable Player trophy as the league's youngest recipient ever.

He will have to force a smile.

Along with every Bulls fans watching — and suddenly worrying.

In a stunning, uninspired 103-95 loss Monday night to the Hawks, Joe Johnson did what everybody expected Rose to do. Johnson dominated from start to finish no matter who tried to guard him, scoring 34 points in giving the Bulls a defeat for which many were unprepared.

Nobody more than the supposed No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

If the insults won't be hard enough for the Bulls to endure, add injury too. Rose came down awkwardly on his left ankle in the closing seconds while applying ball pressure to Jamal Crawford. A night that was supposed to mark the return of the Bulls' swagger ended, fittingly, with a limp.

It was the same ankle Rose sprained in the Pacers series, though he stressed treatment will make him ready by Wednesday's Game 2.

"If anything it can't get any worse than this," Rose said.

He was talking about the ankle. He could have said the same thing about the game.

We in Chicago are used to seeing a Hawks team raise its game for May playoff games at the United Center. But who expected this group of Hawks to do so against the Bulls?