Derrick Rose is back in the Chicago Bulls lineup. He made his official return on April 8 when the Bulls faced the Orlando Magic and also played again the following day in the contest versus the Miami Heat.
It was the first time that Derrick Rose played back-to-back games since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on a small meniscus tear that sidelined him for 20 games in March and early April, notes the Chicago Tribune.
The Bulls lost to the Magic 105-103 but came from behind to pull the rug from under the Miami Heat for an 89-78 victory.
In both games, the Chicago Bulls All-Star point guard played only 20 minutes and none of it in the fourth quarter.
Preparing him for the playoff
With three games remaining in its regular season, it is expected that Tom Thibodeau would just maintain the minutes of Derrick Rose until he gets into the groove.
While Rose would want more minutes for himself and also play in the fourth quarter just like he was so used to in most parts of his career, he says that the decision is not in his hands at the moment since he knows what his coach wanted him to do for the time being.
But it is obvious that Rose would get his minutes back come the playoffs. When Joakim Noah returned from injury last month, Thibodeau also gave him a maximum of 32 minutes of playing time and so far, the Bulls center is making the most out of it and is doing good at it.
It turns out that Rose playing time has already been planned by Jen Swanson, the team’s director of sports performance. Swanson has apparently worked with the management as well as the medical and training staffs to come up with the ideal playing minutes for Rose.
Rose said that he does not question the plan because he trusts Swanson a lot. It’s actually the call of Coach Thibodeau on how to distribute his minutes during the game.
The point guard says that he believes he can play longer than 20 minutes but just does not want to rush things yet. The good thing is he is back in the lineup and all indications point to the fact that he will get more minutes once the playoff begins.
It is likely that the Bulls will end up as the 3rd seed in the East and will face sixth seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, where it will encounter less hassle in getting through, unless a major debacle comes along the way.
The Bulls will likely face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the Eastern Conference and this will be the defining moment for Rose and the Chicago Bulls this season.
It will be their make or break round and if they can get past the Cavs and James, that would only be the time that people can really say that Derrick Rose is finally back.