Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau needs to figure out how best to use Derrick Rose and the rest of the roster
The good news for the Chicago Bulls is Derrick Rose is back. The bad news is the Bulls still have chemistry problems that have held them back all season.
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Rose has played most of the year seemingly trying to prove to himself that he is back to “MVP Derrick”, or at the very least headed in that direction. He is not going to get there this year, not coming off a third knee surgery with only four games left in the regular season. It’s important that both he and Tom Thibodeau acknowledge that the future can still be bright for Rose, but right now the focus has to be on how he can best help the team.
It is hard to ask a player of Rose’s caliber to “fit-in”, but that is what needs to happen. Rose is on a significant minutes restriction and still will be when the playoffs begin. The best way to manage his playing time is to bring him off the bench. Let Rose be a spark and come in looking for his offense. That is how he wants to play most of the time anyway.
Joakim Noah should join Rose on the bench because he still doesn’t seem fully healthy either, is on minutes restriction and has the positive, anything-for-the-team like attitude to make the adjustment. The starting lineup would be Brooks-Butler-Dunleavy-Gibson-Gasol. Rose, Noah and Mirotic would anchor the second unit.
From there, it is up to Thibodeau to figure out what is working best that night. Having a strict rotation has not worked for this team, they have been up and down all year. If the starters begin the game strong, save Rose and company for when they actually need a rest. If not, bring them in to give the team a boost.
This would not be a radical change. Rose has missed so much time, the team is just as used to playing with him as they are without him. Noah’s minutes have been jumbled all year and in most games he does not play the final minutes. Mirotic would benefit from Rose getting him open shots and the two could play off each other initiating the second team offense.
Right now, the Bulls look like they are headed for a first or at best second round exit. The talent is still there to make a deeper run. Thibodeau just needs to shuffle the deck.
For more on what we learned in Derrick Rose’s return, watch this video below. Let us know what you learned in the comments below, we want to hear from you.
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