Derrick Rose, thrust into the starting point guard role in Cleveland with Isaiah Thomas out injured, has averaged 28.6 minutes per game. Without another good option at the backup point guard spot (sorry Jose Calderon), the Cavaliers have to use LeBron James or go without a traditional point guard when Rose rests (usually the Dwyane Wade, J.R. Smith backcourt).
That doesn’t mean Rose’s minutes are going to increase.
He is on a minutes limit to keep him healthy and fresh for the playoffs, and that is not changing, reports Dave McMenamin at ESPN.
No matter how well Derrick Rose plays this season, he will remain on a strict 28-to-31-minute restriction, multiple sources told ESPN…
Let me say, for one, I’m just happy to be a part of this team, part of something that I think is special,” Rose, 29, told ESPN. “A minute restriction, there’s nothing I can do about that. But with me having all these injuries in my past, I’m kind of used to it. But whatever the team sees and the staff sees and they want me to do, that’s what I’m going to cooperate with and just go about it the right way.”
The Cavs arrived at the 28-to-31-minute range for Rose after Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, athletic trainer Steve Spiro and Rose’s agent, B.J. Armstrong, came up with a long-term plan that they hope will keep Rose’s body fresh for Cleveland’s playoff run.
This makes sense, Rose also should get plenty of rest days down the stretch as well. He’s already had an ankle injury that sidelined him a few games this season, and considering his lengthy injury history the Cavaliers will want to protect him a little from the grind.
Rose has been solid offensively for the Cavs this season, averaging 16 points and 1.8 assists per game, with a true shooting percentage of 53. He still does most of his damage as the pick-and-roll ball handler, long his strength. Rose can still finish at the rim (he’s shooting 73.9 percent there this season) but is not great from the midrange, doesn’t take many threes, and doesn’t get to the line much. Defensively he struggles.
Rose has been what the Cavaliers expected this season, he’s just been thrust into a larger role than was first envisioned.