Against Phillie Saturday, the Bulls may have won a battle but lost the war. It's called a 'Pyrrhic victory' after a king of Egypt who crushed the Romans in two battles, but at such a great cost that he wound up losing in the end. It should never have turned out this way. Only the rosiest-colored glasses could have envisioned Derrick Rose playing at full tilt without risking another serious injury. After all, in less than five months, he had sustained five separate injuries. It doesn't take a medical Einstein to know that his injury-riddled body would have to be prudently conserved if he were to be played at all.
This the Bulls brain trust failed to comprehend and, much worse, failed to do. Unfortunately, the consequence is yet another--- far more devastating--- injury: a torn ACL.
In the Tribune this morning, several sports writers try desperately to take the Bulls' coach, Tom Thibodeau, off the hook, absolving him of all blame. This is ridiculous. Thibodeau had no business putting Rose on the court for the last few minutes of a game which the Bulls had in hand. Even if they had squandered a 12-point lead---a very improbable event---keeping Rose on the bench would have been the astute decision. A professional basketball coach should be expected to know when to use caution, especially if it means protecting the franchise marquee player.
It is no defense to say that unforeseen things happen. Or Rose wanted to be on the court. The point is that Thibodeau had control of the situation. The buck stops with him.