The Bulls’ four-overtime Friday night loss to the Pistons on Friday night couldn’t have been timed worse: they had to fly to New York immediately afterwards to play the Knicks the next night. Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler both exceeded 50 minutes in the game, and Pau Gasol played 48. You knew some rest was coming, and the Bulls are leaving the 35-year-old Gasol at home to give him the night off.
This is smart, given Gasol’s age. They shouldn’t have a problem filling his minutes: Joakim Noah only played 26 minutes in the game, so he should be fresh. And this might finally be an opportunity to give rookie Bobby Portis some meaningful minutes.