Derrick Rose's Potential Playoff Return Would Stop Questions About His Toughness

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 8, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 28:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls goes up for a shot while working out before the Bulls take on the Phildelphia 76ers at the United Center on February 28, 2013 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

Derrick Rose has not ruled out a postseason return for the Chicago Bulls. That news, which comes from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, has to be music to the ears of both the team and its fans.

If he does come back for the Bulls' playoff run, he would quiet the critics that have questioned his toughness, per David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.

Rose has worked to return from the torn ACL he suffered in last season's first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The knee injury occurred on the same day New York Knicks' guard Iman Shumpert tore his ACL. Shumpert returned on Jan. 17, but Rose's recovery has obviously taken much longer.

If Rose were to return during the postseason, it would appear to me that this may have been the plan all along. That would likely take some of the heat off the Bulls star.

Despite the fact that every person heals and recovers at a different pace, Rose and Shumpert are in two different situations.

While Shumpert is a promising young player, Rose is the cornerstone of the Bulls franchise. There is a difference.

The team's handling of Rose and his own mental approach must be more calculated to preserve the commodity that is his exceptional athleticism.

Some fans may feel a bit let down that Rose hasn't played all season—especially amidst reports that the doctors have cleared him to play—per Melissa Isaacson of ESPN.

Rose's comments about only God knowing when he'd return could have frustrated some as well, as Peggy Kusinski and Lisa Balde of NBC Chicago reported.

But if he returns for the Bulls' first-round series, or better yet for the last two games of the regular season, all will be forgotten.

If the Bulls maintain their spot in the Eastern Conference standings, they will likely face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round.

They handled the Nets well during the regular season. They have taken three-of-four against them without Rose, and though that means nothing in the postseason, I'd like their chances with Rose on the floor.

I think it is safe to assume the Miami Heat will blast through the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, so we could be looking at a second-round clash with LeBron and Co.

In the end, all Bulls fans care about is beating the Heat and hopefully playing in the NBA Finals. There is no doubt that having Rose on the floor in the playoffs gives them their best chance.


Follow me, because I watch more basketball than anyone should admit.