Chicago will take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs, and while Rose's presence on the court would immensely improve the Bulls' chances to win the series and advance to the conference semifinals, the risk associated with him playing significant minutes on a knee he doesn't totally trust is too great.
According to ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla, "the last hurdle for Rose's return to the court has reportedly been a lack of confidence in going full speed during games on his surgically repaired left ACL."
Who can blame Rose for a reported "lack of confidence?"
It's been less than a year since he injured the left knee in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs and plus, his playing style is one built on explosion, quick cuts and speed. A style that requires not only a healthy knee, but 100 percent confidence in that knee.
Rose is hardly a scrub at half speed, but if he's not going all out and playing his "there's no tomorrow" type of game, how useful can he really be?
Still, it's not even a matter of whether Rose is or isn't ready to play, but instead a matter of risk vs. reward. An ACL tear is no dislocated finger or even a twisted ankle. It must be noted that Rose is attempting to return from a severe, career-hampering injury, and therefore the Bulls and their fans must practice patience.
Perhaps Adrian Peterson's remarkable comeback from a devastating knee injury has blinded sports fans to the fact that not every athlete or individual recovers at the same rate, at least psychologically.
Never mind the Bulls' challenging path to the title, or the rust Rose would have to shake off this spring. The decision to persuade or even let Rose suit up this postseason is a matter of weighing risk and reward. And considering that Derrick Rose, a former No 1. overall pick in 2008, is both the now and future of the Bulls' franchise, the long-term risk trumps the short-term reward.
Even if Chicago wins the 2013 NBA title behind a superhuman effort from Rose, is it really worth the risk of losing him to re-injury and not being able to contend for the crown over the next decade?
In the scenario of Rose making his long-awaited return this postseason, there are simply too many ifs and not enough guarantees.
Chicago can at least avoid the potential of a long period of regret by shutting Rose down for the year and allowing him an entire offseason of preparation, to get his confidence up to speed with his body.
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