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After a prolific 2010-'11 season where he would become the NBA's youngest ever MVP while also leading his team to the league's top record, Derrick Rose simply couldn't get on track for the 2011-'12 campaign.
Knee, groin and back problems would plague him the entire season, and he would only be featured in 39 out of the 66 regular season games. In the time he played, Rose managed to average 22 points per on 44 percent shooting, eight assists, three rebounds and a little less than a steal per. He still had it in him, but the injuries obviously kept him out of a rhythm.
Even without Rose, the Bulls still found a way to obtain the Eastern Conference's number one seed over the Miami Heat. Thanks in part to unexpected contributions from the likes of C.J. Watson and John Lucas III, the Bulls were able to prove resilient to fight through Rose's injury. In return, they'd earn a date with the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
To make it even better, Rose sat out a large majority of the final month of the regular season in order to get healthier for the postseason haul.
Game 1 was going exactly how the Bulls anticipated. They were up by double-digits, and Rose appeared to be himself after chipping in 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, while hitting 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
However, in the final minutes, Rose fell awkwardly and couldn't get up. He was later diagnosed with a Torn ACL, an injury that is said will keep him out for the next eight to 12 months. That essentially means the 2012-'13 season could be a forgetful one too, with the idea that Rose may not coming back until next year's postseason.
Immediately, the blame started to fall on Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who was criticized for keeping Rose in the game for too long when it was already decided.
While 37 minutes may seem a little drastic for a player fresh off an injury, the Bulls are obviously going to do their homework on their franchise player to make sure he's perfectly fine. The Torn ACL was a freak accident that didn't happen because Rose was in the game for too long; it happened simply because he landed on his leg wrong.
Injuries happen. As hard as Thibodeau pushes his team, he is going to know better than anyone else how long his team's star player should play before taking him out of a playoff game where anything could happen.