Both Rose and Tom Thibodeau said that the former MVP’s second half absence was merely a precaution due to lingering hamstring tightness from a minor injury he sustained last week. After Rose approached his coach about soreness just before halftime, both deemed it prudent to shut him down for the game’s remainder.
Via Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:
“It wasn’t nothing like I’m limping or I pulled it or anything, it wasn’t any of that,” Rose said. “It was just that I wasn’t moving the way I wanted to while I was on the floor. So why push through it when I wasn’t able to affect the game the way I wanted to? I came in here and talked to (Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau) and we both agreed on just sitting out…”
“They’ll re-examine him but there was really nothing that happened other than I didn’t want to take any chances with him,” Thibodeau said. “The way the game was going, the way we were going, I just felt at that point I wanted to go a different way. He didn’t re-injure himself or anything like that.”
We’ve been adamant that patience should rule the day when it comes to Rose’s playing schedule. The Bulls are good enough to win without him during the regular season, but can’t reach their championship peak if he’s not playing consistently well come spring. Chicago, obviously, believes the surest means to making that hope a reality is preemptively sidelining its superstar upon any discomfort whatsoever. We don’t at all disagree with that strategy.
But the timing of Rose’s latest non-rotational in-game absence makes it all the more interesting. Both he and Thibodeau said after Monday’s win against the Utah Jazz that “it’s time” for the Bulls’ point guard to stay on the court. Neither specified at what extent of minimal cost, of course, but their tone led you to believe that Rose would labor through the minor irritation that made him leave the game early.
Again, we believe that Rose and Thibodeau made the right decision. It’s just worth remembering that both emphasized need for the three-time All-Star to play full games just a day before he did otherwise – and seemingly could have.
Thibodeau says that he’s hopeful Rose will play Friday against the Boston Celtics. At this point, though, any words concerning Rose’s availability obviously deserve a grain of salt.
What do you think?
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