Derrick Rose sitting on the bench is a good thing for the Chicago Bulls right now. In carrying the Bulls to a 37-10 record, Rose has suffered three injuries so far. First it was turf toe, then back spasms and now an injured groin. The injury happened against the New York Knicks and it's kept Rose on the bench the last three games.
Rose has missed 13 games this season and played through injury. It’s safe to say Rose hasn’t been 100 percent most of the year but he’s still averaging 22.8 points, eight assists and is in position to defend his MVP award.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said he will not rest Rose more than he has to before the 2012 NBA playoffs, via ESPN.
In the back of his head though, Thibodeau has to be worried about Rose’s health going into the postseason.
Keep Rose on the bench. He will want to play through pain. The 23-year-old reigning MVP doesn’t have a stop button, and Bulls management need to protect their young superstar before the playoffs.
Instead, the Bulls should let their role players develop and take shape during this six-week (19-game) stretch.
The Bulls have already proven they can win games without Rose, going 9-4 this season without him.
Watson helped the Bulls fight back to a win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. The Bulls were down 14 points at one point, but Watson kept them in the game. He finished with 20 points.
John Lucas III
Lucas had his coming-out party against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, leading the team in scoring (24 points) and has been a consistent backup all year long.
He concisely summed up the season in two sentences, via ESPN Chicago.
"We're like a brotherhood," Lucas said. "When one brother goes down, we have their back."
Brewer has silenced critics who say the Bulls still need a shooting guard. He’s only posting 7.7 points and 3.5 rebounds. But, Brewer’s intensity on defense and ability to play of Rose paints a better picture.
"Ronnie has really played at a high level all year long. Whether it's been as a starter, bench guy, and in all areas. His defense, his offense, running the floor, making hustle plays. He came up with those steals. He's uncanny with just reading things. He's playing very well right now," Thibodeau told ESPN.
Play the Game
A lot of people watch the Bulls because they want to see Rose play, and who wouldn’t, but the goal in this game is to win a championship. The huddled schedule is making it tough for all teams. Of course, it would be nice to have Rose playing with the team, gaining momentum into the playoffs, but Rose's health is of utmost importance.
In the next six weeks, the balance of power may shift multiple times. That’s not any of the Bulls concern. They have nothing more to prove during the regular season. Soon, the time will come to see what they’re really made of. That’s when they need Rose most.