Look, I don't think Rose needs to be absolutely 100% in order to play. As the season progresses, there will be fewer and fewer times when a player is 100%. You accumulate nagging injuries as a season wears on.
However, Derrick Rose didn't belong on the court last night. He was maybe 70%. He looked gimpy, never pushed the ball, appeared to aggravate the injury at one point, and generally was less effective than if he'd been sitting out.
Derrick needs to play enough games to build continuity with this team. He needs to play enough to prepare himself mentally and physically for the playoffs. Maybe at some point in March, we're looking at Rose and wondering if he's played enough to do that.
However, we're in November. It's game five of the regular season. Fans and writers may have been questioning whether Rose was sitting out unnecessarily, but the Bulls training staff and Derick Rose should know the answer to that and stick with it regardless of the public voice.
Whether Rose simply needs to be back on the court after sitting for two years for himself or whether he felt he needed to quiet the doubters, Derrick decided to give it a go.
There was no explosion. No push of the ball. No one man fast break. Half of his shots were threes. He didn't penetrate the lane a whole lot. He looked like FIBA world cup Rose.
Prior to the ankle injury, Rose looked like a bad ass. He looked fully healthy for the first time since injuring the ACL. He looked like MVP Derrick Rose. The Bulls need that guy back and playing on bum ankles isn't going to get him back faster.
They have the depth to keep going without him and need to be a lot smarter about what's going on.
Thibs shortens rotation
The Bulls bench struggled mightily in the game. Aaron Brooks was just 1-5 from the field. Nikola Mirotic was 1-6, and Doug McDermott failed to get a shot up. The three (along with Tony Snell's 22 seconds) combined to play about 37 minutes.
The Bulls starting five + Hinrich played the rest of the minutes. The strategy worked to get the win, but quite honestly, I'd rather see the Bulls continue to go back to some of those guys and keep them in the rotation.
What the hell is wrong with LeBron?
The Cavaliers are 1-3 on the season. Their single win coming against the Bulls in OT with Butler out and Rose out for the second half.
However, the bigger question than the record is what's the deal with LeBron. This is likely the worst four game stretch since LeBron's first or second year in the NBA.
His offensive efficiency is way down. He's shooting 41.3% from the field. Watching him defensively, you see other guys like Gordon Hayward doing an acceptable job staying in front of him in isolation.
He's averaging nearly one turnover per assist (4.8 to 4.5). In short, his assists, rebounds, points, and efficiency are all well down from what he was doing last season.
Is it a lack of cohesion with his knew team? Sure. However, something seems up with LeBron beyond that. He dropped all of this weight, and guys no longer seem scared of him rumbling through the paint anymore.
A 270 lb guy with his athleticism was a freight train that could go through anything. LeBron looks like he's now working so much harder for his shots. He doesn't seem like he gets all those easy looks.
He doesn't look like he demands double/triple teams as much. He looks like a guy who made a real bad decision to drop 25-30lbs of muscle. He doesn't appear to have gained a whole lot of quickness, and looks far less dangerous.
In 2010, LeBron started off slowly, as did the Heat, when he deferred too much to Wade/Bosh trying to make sure everyone got involved. It might be the same deal with the Cavs now, but in those early games with the Heat LeBron was racking up assists like crazy even if he limited his shot attempts.
That's not the case with these Cavs. LeBron just looks less dangerous, less involved, and the Cavs look like they have a long way to go to be a true contender.
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