Derrick Rose has missed 11 straight games with a groin injury. Luckily, the Chicago Bulls have persevered quite well without the reigning MVP, going 7-4 with Rose on the sidelines. Add in Rose's previous absences, and the Bulls are 14-7 sans Rose, which is pretty damn good when you consider how much of the offense runs through him when he's healthy.
But the Bulls have lost two straight games for the first time in more than year, and the Miami Heat are nipping at their behinds, just two-and-a-half games back in the standings. Which is why this is such good news to Bulls fans:
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose participated fully in practice on Wednesday and took contact for the first time since suffering a groin injury on March 12, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.
Rose has a chance to face the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
"Yeah, he does," Thibodeau said. "But again, it's been great. He's been patient, he's done a great job with his rehab. Each day he's done more and more. He's feeling better and better, and so we'll see how he feels (Thursday). He did quite a bit (Tuesday), and he did more today, so it's very encouraging, but we'll see where he is (Thursday).
That's great for the Bulls, but there's a little issue of a certain point guard for said Celtics. Is Rajon Rondo REALLY the first guy you want to throw at Derrick Rose in his first game back from a groin injury? When asked about how he felt, Rose didn't exactly inspire the greatest confidence.
“I’m running, able to move a little bit more. So I’m getting healthy...
"Taking three weeks off or two weeks off, however [long] I took off, my conditioning is definitely a worry. But in basketball, you should be able to fight through it."
Chicago has gone this long without Rose, and despite my entire set up about the Heat and the losses, I still don't see much wrong with sitting Rose out one more game and avoiding Rondo. If the groin is any concern at all, do you want Rose to chase one of the fastest guards in the NBA around, making quick lateral movements that test the groin? Or do you want to have him run through some more drills for three more days, get his body a little more ready, and then ease him back in with two games against Baron Davis and the New York Knicks on Sunday and Tuesday, and then the Heat on Tuesday?
If he's healthy, then he's healthy and it won't matter who he's playing. But if there's any concern at all, I'd expect the Bulls to wait a few more days and go the easier route.
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