Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls’ lineup for Monday’s win over the Jazz, and scored 18 points while dishing out five assists in 25 minutes of action.
It was only the eighth time in 14 games that Rose has been able to suit up for Chicago this season, and that’s led to plenty of questions about his health that have come on a daily basis, followed by an extreme level of scrutiny after the games in which he’s been able to participate.
Tom Thibodeau has historically been more than patient in dealing with this part of his job, but it appears as though the constant questions surrounding Rose are finally beginning to become a source of consternation.
Asked whether Rose looked fatigued in the second half of Monday’s game, something the 26-year-old discussed before Monday’s shootaround in regard to his muscle recovery after missing more than a week, Thibodeau chafed.
“Oh I don’t know. Jesus. He’s got to get out there and play,” Thibodeau said. “I thought he did a lot of good things. You could see he’s not real comfortable with the ball yet, but that will come. When Derrick strings some games together, he’s going to take off. He’s got to go. That’s the bottom line. He’s got to go.”
The “he’s got to play” refrain isn’t new from Thibodeau, and it isn’t a slam on Rose for taking his time returning from injury.
It means that Rose needs to play to regain his form, and do so consistently to once again become the dynamic performer he once proved to be — which explains why after playing for the first time since missing four straight, Thibodeau was less than interested in critiquing the results.