Blog Entry

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:56 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 9:56 am
Derrick Rose is out with back spasms, but it turns out it's been a recurring issue. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The fact that Derrick Rose (back) missed Sunday's game against the Celtics normally wouldn't raise red flags -- until it was reported that he will see a back specialist Monday and has been experiencing pain in his back for some time. That raises the following questions:

--Why are we just finding out Derrick Rose has been dealing with back spasms for a week?

--Why are the Bulls, who are quite secretive about injuries, burning Rose and Luol Deng at both ends through injuries?

--What happens if coach Tom Thibodeau, notorious for too many minutes on key personnel, pushes them too far -- particularly in a condensed season?

We start with this from the Chicago Tribune in regards to when exactly this back issue popped up for Rose: 
"It's been hurting the whole trip," Rose said. "I just played through it. It tended to get worse after every game. I was really worried about it. But I'm trying to stay positive. I don't know what the diagnosis is. I just know my back is not right."

Rose said he doesn't know what prompted the pain or exactly when it started. He was seen getting stretched on the sideline during stoppages of play as far back as the second game of the trip, on Jan. 30 in Washington.

Rose played spectacularly at New York and Milwaukee, skipped the second half of the Feb. 6 game in New Jersey, struggled through 22 minutes on Wednesday in New Orleans and sat on Friday in Charlotte.

"It just came from out of nowhere," Rose said. "That's the scary thing about it. ... I could barely walk (after New Orleans). It's killing me not being able to play, especially this game, or when I do play my minutes are definitely down. Hopefully, I'll get treatments and it calms down. If not, I'll take my time."
via Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose will see back specialist Monday -

Wait, so Rose has had this issue for a few weeks and has been playing on it?

OK, so not so surprising. NBA players are always dealing with a variety of ailments. Players play through pain on a regular basis and if they were held out because of every bit of tightness or discomfort they would never play. This season measn it's worse than usual.

But if Rose is different. He's already dealt with multiple issues this year, most recently an ankle sprain that held him out multiple games. The account given by Rose indicates that he had a problem, played through it, it got worse, played through it, it got worse, and he played through it.

Bulls' head coach Tom Thibodeau is notorious for playing his guys too many minutes, with Luol Deng the most extreme example, logging 35-plus minutes even in blowouts. There have been questions about whether Thibodeau is risking damaging his players and running them down with a long and grueling playoff run still yet to go. You would think that with Rose being the MVP, making up the vast majority of the offense, its best and most important player, and the key to any championship run the Bulls may have, that there would be an emphasis on resting him to keep him fresh as to avoid running him down. Instead, the Bulls played him against three lottery/borderline lottery teams when they already have a multiple-game lead on the Heat for the top spot in the East and even if they were to hold Rose out a month, could very well still be in the top three. Rose could sit the rest of the season and still be a top-five seed.

The Bulls are pretty secretive about injuries. Nearly everything is "day-to-day, gametime decision." Luol Deng tore a ligament in his wrist. Day-to-day, gametime decision. Derrick Rose can't move or breathe. Day-to-day, gametime decision. And much like the Patriots in football, it works. It keeps things hidden from the opponent. But versus the NFL, with limited media availability, the NBA plays nightly, which means these situations seem to pop up constantly. 

To be clear, it's not that the Bulls are forcing him out there, nor are they being irresponsible. Rose and Deng have both played well on their injuries.  They know how they feel. They know if they can play. But there's also a heightened sense of responsibility to one another the Bulls possess and it seems to border on the pathological. Guys play through pain all the time, but this season has to be about thinking long-term. You can't survive in this schedule with an injury, and the results are piling up on the Bulls. 

Hopefully the specialist discovers nothing of note, and Rose is able to return to the floor. But questions about what cost the Bulls are putting into their regular season record at the cost of their long-term durability will persist.

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

I have been a fan of the Bulls since 66-67.  I have lots of memories dating back to watching Sloan, Van Lier, Love, Walker and others play in person.  Pretty awesome to see West, Baylor, Chamberlain, Goodrich, etc. play the Bulls at the old stadium back when the Lakers were in the midst of their 30 plus winning streak.  I live far away from Chicago now, but thanks to the internet, TV and satellite, I can stay abreast of their acitity.  Bottom line is such that I have faith in the Bulls and their management.  They get paid to win and put dollars in their pockets.  They have been an ulta successful organization in the past and will continue to be such nowand into the future.  They know what they are doing.  I am not sure about how many Championships are in store for the Bulls, but I am thrilled they are in the real hunt.  Nothing less than winning it all is the goal.  I will be disappointed with anything less this year.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:40 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

I agree with you Mr. Blue. The Bulls ownership needs to step in and not let the two best players play in the All-Star. As a huge Bulls fan, I only want one that thing is, of course, a championship. And you heard it from me first 9 titles for Derrick Rose

Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

"--Why are we just finding out Derrick Rose has been dealing with back spasms for a week?"

That's where this story completely LOST me. The obvious answer to that question is because Matt Moore (the author) wasn't paying attention. This has been the story in Chicago ALL week... it didn't just pop up out of nowhere.

The guy played 11 minutes in New Jersey last Monday night and didn't return after the first quarter because of ... BACK SPASMS

He played just 22 minutes Wednesday at New Orleans because of ... BACK SPASMS

He missed Friday night's game at Charlotte because of ... BACK SPASMS

I think the real question for Matt Moore is: "How the hell did you not notice that Derrick Rose was barely playing all week? "

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:54 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Seems to me the Bulls have rested their players this season moreso than ever.  Rose, Deng, Gibson, Noah, Hamilton, CJ and others have sat out full games and/or for lenghty minutes. I wonder how many fans are in favor of resting Rose during the All-Star game?  Bull's management should step in and demand both Rose and Deng not play.  Both have injury issues and need be protected.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:13 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Players are bound to be more hurt/banged up this season.  A condensed season does that to all athletes.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:09 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

All Chicago needs to worry about is securing the number eight spot in the playoffs.....who really cares where they are seeded...if they were smart they would rest their starters as much as possible.   The regular season means absolutely nothing.  Just make it to the playoffs and have the starters rested and healthy that is all any team needs to worry about.  So, Chicago fans....don't fret...the Bulls will be fine and we are all hoping that they can knock the Heat off come playoff time.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:02 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

I agree that the Chicago Bulls need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture here in regards to their goal at hand which is winning the NBA Championship. They won't get it done without guys like Derrick Rose being healthy for a playoff run. It does seem a little troubling that Rose must now see a specialist about his back injury, but I'm hoping that its nothing serious and a little rest is all thats needed. 

Since: Jun 1, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:34 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Doc has no choice he has to rest those old guys. The difference is Thibs is trying to win every game and one thing Thibs allows his players to make the decision. I am not worried about the unjury issue something comes back about Rose's back needs an operation that would worry me. If he needs rest than I am sure management won't have to tell Thibs anything Rose will. It's better to have these injuries now get better to go after the All star game.

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:29 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Tom Thibodeau is a college coach not suitable for the NBA game but that aside no matter what the Bulls do they ever get past the Heat in the playoffs.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:14 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

You got to be smart and do not over spend Rose other you won't get to there [Final] again

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