Derrick Rose officially game time decision (bet he plays)

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Derrick Rose still has back issues — remember he left a game earlier in the week with back spasms — and he is officially a game-time decision Friday when the Bulls face the Bobcats.

But he expects to play, reports Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com.

This is exactly what Rose said Wednesday and he went out and played 22 minutes in a win over the Hornets. I’d bet he plays. Frankly, the Hornets are better than the Bobcats so he could play and still have reduced minutes. The Bulls have the Celtics on national television Sunday.

This all comes back to a bigger issue with the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau — does he need to lighten up the minutes and give guys the night off sometimes? He has an old-school “you’re healthy enough to play a full game or you’re not” mentality, but that doesn’t fit well with this year’s condensed NBA schedule. There’s a reason long time successful coaches like Gregg Popovich sit guys and get them breaks during the season, because what matters is being healthy and rested come the playoffs.

Whether Rose plays tonight against the Bobcats is not going to decide the playoff fate of the Bulls by any stretch, but the bigger picture issue could be huge for Chicago.