Chicago Bulls: Why Chicago Is Right to Rest Richard Hamilton Before Playoffs

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 05:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls leaves the game against the Indiana Pacers after suffering a shoulder injury at the United Center on March 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls remain the top seed in the Eastern Conference despite having their starting backcourt of Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton together for only a handful of games all season long.

Their impressive 40-11 start to the season has been based on a complete team effort and tremendous work defensively.

That will continue with whoever is on the floor right now for the Bulls, so it makes perfect sense that Bulls' head coach Tom Thibodeau will keep resting Hamilton right now until he's more then 100 percent sure that the shooting guard is completely healthy and is at no risk of missing any further action.

Hamilton has missed 34 of the Bulls' 51 games so far this season and there's no need to rush him back right now, even though Thibodeau told Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune that Hamilton is very close to returning to action.

While there is no doubting that Hamilton's return will be a big plus for the Bulls, the smart thing would be to give both he and Rose a little additional time until they are absolutely sure they are both ready to go.

At least give them both to the weekend. Getting by Atlanta and Detroit is possible without Hamilton in the lineup.

However beginning Sunday, the Bulls have a six-game stretch against Oklahoma City, Houston, Boston, the Knicks twice and Miami. After that they should be plenty ready for a long playoff run.

A few extra days could be big, especially in the case of Hamilton.

The last thing the Bulls need right now is for either guy to re-aggravate something and end up right back where they are now.

A few days additional rest may be exactly what the doctor ordered.