Derrick Rose Return: Bulls Should Plan On Life Without Rose in Playoffs

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IApril 4, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 05:  Joakim Noah #13 (L) and Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls enjoy watching teammates take on the Indiana Pacers at the United Center on March 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 92-72. 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

Derrick Rose is in no hurry to return to the starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls, and the team should be ready to enter the postseason without its star point guard.

Rose has been medically cleared to return, per Nick Friedell of, who writes: doctor, Brian Cole, said after the surgery that the final stage in the recovery process is playing in games. Rose has admitted that he is struggling with the mental aspect of the process and still isn't comfortable with different parts of his game. 

Many fans have been critical of Rose's decision to continue sitting out of games, but at least one of his peers understands why he hasn't pulled the trigger on his comeback this season. 

Washington Wizards guard John Wall recently spoke up on behalf of Rose, saying he thought Rose would be smart to sit the rest of the season out, according to Friedell:

I feel like [if] I were in the situation I wouldn't really [come back this year] because you don't have enough time to get into a rhythm. Then you get to the playoffs, D-Rose wouldn't be good for that team just playing 20 minutes a game. They're already a good team and good defensively, but to be even better he would have to play more minutes.

Recovering from a knee injury isn't easy.

Rose isn't ready to play, and the Bulls must be prepared for a playoff run without him.

That isn't to say he absolutely won't play, but judging by his recent aversion to making a return to the starting lineup, it seems he's inclined to take the safe route and wait until next season. 

Chicago has done well without him, earning a record of 40-33 to this point in the season. It is currently the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and is set up for a first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers

The Bulls have gotten excellent production from Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich in Rose's absence. The two of them have combined for 19.8 points, 9.7 assists and 2.09 steals per game.

Chicago isn't likely to make a deep playoff run with or without Rose this season. The team has as good a chance as any to win the Eastern Conference title when Rose is playing at his best, but that's not going to happen this season. 

Fans are clamoring for his return, but in the long run, it might be better for the Bulls and their fans for Rose to make his debut in the starting lineup when the 2013-2014 season begins.


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