Derrick Rose may be able to quietly slink to the bench prior to a Friday night game against the Charlotte Bobcats without much notice, but ducking out of the lineup due to injury before a nationally televised Sunday matinee against the kind-of-rival Boston Celtics? That’s another matter entirely.
Chicago’s recent blowouts of the Nets and Hornets seemed to buy Rose plenty of time to rest, but the ailing back of the Chicago Bulls’ superstar is apparently being less than cooperative. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Rose will meet with medical specialists in Chicago on Monday to presumably structure some kind of productive treatment plan, and in the meantime, he’s been ruled out entirely for Sunday’s game against Boston.
The Celtics may not be the powerhouse they once were, but this was still a game of import for both the C’s and the Chicago Bulls. It still is, in a sense, though without Rose in the mix, the dynamic and strategy of both teams changes significantly.
In the bigger picture, it’s imperative that the Bulls get Rose’s back issues resolved in short order; the uncompromising nature of this season’s schedule provides an added complication for relatively minor, nagging injuries, effectively penalizing players who attempt to play through the pain. Rose deserves plenty of credit for trying to stay on the court, but at this point, taking a few games off — even ones on national TV — should do both him and his team good. That would be true for any rotation player in the league, but it’s particularly so for a player of Rose’s caliber — and one who routinely finds his coach leaving him on the floor for 40 minutes a night.