Rose's ACL injury in the Bulls' first playoff game last season was devastating news for a franchise on the verge of a championship run.
With the possibility of Rose being out for the entire season, what should the Chicago Bulls do?
Kirk Hinrich was brought in to fill the point guard role left absent by the ailing Rose. Hinrich is no Derrick Rose, but a player of that caliber is hard to replace in any organization.
Will the Bulls push Rose to recover faster so he will be able to make it back in time for some of the season?
It's a question that will be answered in the coming months but it must be answered responsibly, and while thinking about the long-term future of the franchise.
These are the five reasons why the Bulls should take it slow with Derrick Rose.
The 2012-2013 Bulls' season has yet to begin and the team is already questionable in their return to the playoffs.
The loss of Rose will put more pressure on Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton to contribute night in and night out. One of these guys will have to be the primary scorers for the Bulls as the season progresses.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau said that he would like to have at least one primary scorer, a go-to guy for all situations in the game (via Nick Friedell of ESPN):
It's always been the case. It's been the case when Derrick was here. When you look at the game, it's your ability to try to make it hard on your opponent's three primary scorers and they're going to try to make it hard on your three primary scorers. And then the responsibility of a primary scorer is when he's one on one, we want him to score.
If the primary scorer for this team fails to deliver, there might be more pressure on Rose to rush his recovery, only making things worse.
The fact of the matter is that the Bulls will have rough patches this season, this team will have to find a way without jeopardizing Rose's future.
By allowing Rose to rest and recover from his ACL injury, the Bulls are hopeful that he will come back 100 percent.
Rushing any of his recovery will jeopardize all of the work he has been putting in thus far, and will add unnecessary stress and strain on a fragile ACL.
No need to rush when he is making good progress and is expected to return sometime around February or March if all goes well.
But the road to recovery is just beginning when he comes back to the NBA.
By allowing him to come back 100 percent he will be able to start the long recovery of getting back into NBA rhythm. Fact is, Rose won't come back onto the court like his old self, beating opponents with his speed and rushing the basket.
It will take time to get a groove back and discipline to follow certain plays and develop chemistry with new teammates.
The Bulls won't be able to reclaim their No. 1 spot in the NBA standings without star point guard Derrick Rose.
That being said, they can still make the playoffs as a sixth or seventh seed if all of the key guys play to their potential.
Carlos Boozer will have to play better coming off a lackluster season. Replacement point guard Kirk Hinrich is capable of playing solid defense and creating plays on the rush; consistency will be key with him.
Luol Deng will likely be the primary scorer that coach Thibodeau was talking about, but the Bulls have to play a team game. Not one player on this team will shine like a Derrick Rose, team play is crucial to getting back into the playoffs.
When the Bulls make the playoffs, Rose may be coming back from his injury and who knows, they may get hot and make a deep playoff run.
It's more than likely that the ACL injury sustained by Rose will take a little of his speed away.
There is the slight possibility that a slower recovery will help him regain that speed, through hard work and dedication.
But ACL injuries are tricky and can sometimes result in a loss of speed regardless of work ethic off the court.
Some NBA players are optimistic about Rose's return and have offered support.
I know he's going to get back stronger and better. I've been praying for him, of course. And I've been watching the (workout) videos online, so I'm sure he's going to have a really, really nice comeback here for the Bulls and be at full strength.
Even if Rose won't be able to make it in time for the upcoming season, he can still be a locker room presence for the Bulls.
Physically, Rose can't help the Bulls win games or make last-minute jump shots. But verbally, Rose can speak of his passion for the game and translate that into how his teammates should play every night.
Coming into the locker room before games to charge up the players and tell the team that he is still very much with them.
Sometimes leadership off the court is just as important as leadership on the court.
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