With less than an hour before tip off yesterday, news broke that the Chicago Bulls would not play Derrick Rose during their exhibition match against the Washington Wizards. Rose, who missed the entire 2012-13 season after having surgery on his torn ACL, had played in Chicago’s previous two preseason games. Rose looked sharp, quick and agile in each of the two games, and reported that his knee felt fine after each game. Thus, it came as a surprise to many that Rose was scratched from the lineup due to knee soreness.
However, the Bulls reported that it is not a serious issue and that they were just taking extra caution. There are no plans of Rose undergoing an MRI, and nobody out of the Bulls organization seems too concerned about the health of the former MVP. John Paxson, the Bulls’ Executive Vice President, told the Chicago Tribune that they are just being very careful with Rose during the preseason. “He had a little soreness and we are being ultraconservative because it’s the third game of preseason.” Paxson also went on to say that the Bulls would have rested any other player who was experiencing any type of soreness.
Rose was not the only member of the Bulls’ starting lineup who was inactive on Saturday, as center Joakim Noah missed his third straight game with a minor groan injury; Noah has yet to play in a preseason game this season. Just as the Bulls were being overly cautious with Rose, they are taking the same approach with Noah.
Rose and Noah are arguably the two most important players on the Bulls’ roster this season. If they want any chance to contend for a championship this season, they will need both of these players healthy come playoff time. Therefore, I have no problem with the Bulls taking a conservative route and resting them during the preseason.
The Bulls have seen their team derailed by injuries during the playoffs each of the past two seasons, which is a trend that must change in Chicago this season. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is notorious for playing his starters for a lot of minutes during the regular season, which may play a role in the injuries they sustain late in the season. It is good to see that the Bulls making some changes and taking caution of their players’ health during the early portion of the season. Chicago is focusing on the bigger picture here, and resting Noah and Rose will likely benefit them in the long run.
Jon Keller is a writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jkell2005.