The team has built great chemistry without him, so certain steps need to be taken to not disrupt that chemistry. Even though Rose is the Bulls' best scorer, his involvement in the offense needs to start at a smaller scale.
Giving him a big role from the start could hurt the flow of the offense, so it's best if the Bulls make Rose take a back seat offensively at first.
Let's take a look at how the Bulls should reintegrate their superstar guard into the offense.
Limit His Minutes Upon Returning
Playing Rose extended minutes when he returns would hurt the chemistry the team has built so far. Limiting his minutes will be key not only as he tests his knee, but also as he gets used to playing with the team.
The team has adapted to playing without him and have now been able to rely on good ball movement and scoring in the flow of the offense. This is something Rose has to adapt to himself.
Every game he will learn something new, including how the team likes to run certain plays and what each of his teammates' tendencies are.
As he continues to get accustomed, his decision-making will improve, making his transition into the lineup smoother for the rest of the team. Once he is settled into the offense, his minutes can be increased, as well as his role in the offense.
Until Rose is comfortable running the offense, it would be smart to play him on a limited basis.
Make Him a Secondary Option
Taking the pressure off of Rose once he returns is important as the team tries to maintain its chemistry. If the Bulls keep Boozer—or even Luol Deng—as the featured option offensively, it not only relieves Rose of the pressure of being the primary scorer, but it also allows the team to keep playing without major changes to the offense.
This can also solve the problem the Bulls have often run into: standing idly by and watching as Rose tries to make a play.
How should the Bulls integrate D-Rose back into the lineup?
The team can start focusing on making Rose a featured piece of the offense once he has shown that he can run the offense without any major issues.
There's no doubt that Rose is a great scorer, though, and his return could turn the Bulls into a championship-contending team. However, his return to the starting lineup needs to be taken slowly.
There's no need to put the scoring pressure on him, especially when the team has fared considerably well without him. It's more important to have him ready and fully integrated during the playoffs than when he plays his first few games.
Before Rose can become the go-to guy again, he first needs to play at the same pace and style the team has been playing at all season.