With Derrick Rose only playing ten games in two seasons, the Chicago Bulls had to pick up the workload as a team. However, with the added workload came extra minutes for the starters. The rotation worsened even more when Luol Deng was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January.
What proceeded was an avalanche of minutes for Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. And at times, Mike Dunleavy and D.J. Augustin were forced to play heavy minutes down the stretch of the season.
By the time the playoffs rolled around against the Washington Wizards, the Bulls looked slow, sluggish and tired. The end result was a first-round loss to the Wizards in five games. If the Bulls want any chance to succeed next season, head coach Tom Thibodeau will open up his rotation so the veterans have fresher legs come the postseason.
Although the Bulls’ bench wasn’t deep, players such as Tony Snell, Jimmer Fredette and Nazr Mohammed were often times neglected completely. While they might not have the same skill level as the players in the seven-man rotation, they were still more than serviceable enough to play 15-20 minutes per game.
Thibodeau needs to use the 2014-15 season as a learning tool and adjust his rotations accordingly. Nobody wants to see a player such as Rose play extended minutes coming off of two consecutive season-ending injuries. If that happens, Thibodeau would definitely have a mutiny on his hands.