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: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:19 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

While not defending either Deng or Rose, the manager MUST have indications of players who are fully and not fully fit.

If Thibodeau is knowingly overplaying players who are playing with injuries, then he is not only threatening long term serious injuries to players, he is threatening the chances of his team to not only reach the playoffs but win the NBA Championships.

Whether they have unassailable leads or being blown out of the water, Thibodeau needs to rotate his players more, and watch the health of his players, protecting their long term careers and in turn protecting the teams future success.

Since: Feb 14, 2012
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:51 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

So which side does the author take? The second-to-last paragraph contradicts itself.

There are also spelling and grammatical errors in the middle of the article.

DRose did not have an ankle sprain this year that held him out - he had turf toe.

What editor is letting this get published?

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:35 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Back spasms can be a chronic problem.  It is not that hard to believe he has suffered from them off and on.

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:54 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

So I thought they said he had this problem all the way back starting in High school? It would come and go. Don't know what to believe anymore. Pretty sure Tibbs said something like that.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:23 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Coach Thib, do yourself, your team, your management, your fans, the NBA a favor and shut him down for a while.  Back spasms only get better with rest, ice and compression on the muscles.  Rose's game in particular is completely unfavorable to such a back condition.  He relies on speed, quick movements and twists and turns.  Shut him down for a few weeks.  It is a long short season.

Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:27 am

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

No Panamino, the Bulls should be telling him what to do. Players at his level will play through everything. The regular season is really just an exhibition season now. The teams that can win a championship are going to win a title. The Bulls need to step up and say "you're out until this is better" so they have a healthy player to go against the Heat in the playoffs. The Bulls can't beat Miami without a 100 percent Rose.

Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:16 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: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2012 6:38 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

Whatever you might say about Rose, the fact is not only is he a great player but also has tons of class.All the talk about free agents coming to Chicago or not coming, he has stood by his team and says he loves the cast he has. That said, if Rose is hurt he will tell the Bulls and if he can play he will tell the Bulls. The Bulls shouldn't be telling him what to do. Rose is "all in" in Chicago and he knows his body better than the management.

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 4:05 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

what the bulls SHOULD do is trade for a kevin love or josh smith, kevin love is a great scorer who can rebound(key to the bulls success) and josh smith is a player who can create his own shot and is a great defender(also key to the bulls), either one will be great and would probably make dwight come here to complete a big three....and since we could probably amnesty boozer, deng(is a good player but makes more than lebron james....) and joakim noah would have to be traded, we would have more than enough money to get them all, and has anyone thought about deng(26) gibson(26) and a 1/2 rounder for carmelo (27)?????

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 3:42 pm

Derrick Rose and the Bulls' big picture

"Thibobdeau is a college coach." 

Yeah, that's why he took a .500 team and made it into a 62-20 team the following year without any additions.  That's why he has the best head coaching record the past two seasons.  What a joke.  

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