Posted May 08, 2013

Give and Go: Derrick Rose’s return

Ben Golliver, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Give-and-Go, Miami Heat, Rob Mahoney

Derrick Rose said his status for the Bulls-Heat series is "still up in the air."

Derrick Rose said his status for the Bulls-Heat series is “still up in the air.” (John Biever/SI)

Give And Go is a recurring feature in which The Point Forward’s Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney bat an NBA topic du jour back and forth.

This week: assessing Derrick Rose’s refusal to officially rule out the possibility of a return for the Bulls during the playoffs.

1. Should Derrick Rose return this postseason?

Ben Golliver: The answer to this question hasn’t changed since he returned to practice in a limited capacity months ago: If Rose wants to play and feels comfortable playing, he should play. If not, he shouldn’t return. The increasing spotlight and criticism that comes with life during the playoffs shouldn’t affect the logic behind this decision. It’s either the right time to make a return or it’s not. The day-to-day circumstances of the last week — Chicago’s outlasting Brooklyn in the first round and taking Game 1 from Miami in the second round — shouldn’t cut in front of the following key questions. Does Rose feel physically ready to perform under the massive pressure and against a very talented, tested and athletic opponent? Does he feel mentally ready to trust his knee in full-speed game conditions?

One thing I’ve wondered over the last few weeks: Does Chicago’s success — and the fearless, gutsy way that it’s found that success — make life easier or more difficult for Rose? His competitive juices are surely flowing more and more as the stakes raise. But it’s easy to imagine Rose’s feeling like he desperately wants to be a part of the Bulls’ run while also having second thoughts about whether parachuting in and transforming the team with his presence is necessarily the right thing to do.

The ideal situation for a return would have been a soft launch at the end of the regular season so that Rose could get up to speed, get into game shape, get comfortable with his new teammates and get acclimated to life in the pressure cooker. With that opportunity now gone and the very real possibility that Chicago’s season is over in less than two weeks, there’s every reason to continue erring on the side of caution. In other words, if Rose is waffling or even mostly ready for a return, I would be against it. Only if he was fully healthy, cleared in every possible way and insisting upon playing would I let him on the court.

Rob Mahoney: That Rose has been reportedly cleared to play from a physical standpoint since March seems to indicate that he’s just not mentally ready to trust his surgically repaired knee at full speed just yet, which is a call that Rose — and only Rose — can make. The Bulls have no right to compel him and fans have no reason to shame him.

With that understood, these playoffs would make for the worst possible time for an unsure athlete to begin relying on a shaky knee. Rose dominates the ball and the defense’s attention whenever he’s on the court, and that’s unlikely to change whenever he does return. The underlying expectation would be for Rose to drive hard and fall into rhythm quickly, all while operating against one of the best defensive teams in the league. It’s one thing to work into game shape against weary or limited end-of-season competition, but another entirely to return against a Heat defense designed to make life hell for ball handlers. Rose would be trapped on every pick-and-roll but still expected to somehow thrive despite that coverage and his limited range of off-ball skills. All of that makes for rather brutal comeback conditions.

2. Would a healthy Rose make the Bulls legitimate title contenders?

Ben Golliver: Without Rose, here’s how I rank the championship chances of the remaining eight teams, in order: Miami, San Antonio, Memphis, New York, Oklahoma City, Indiana, Chicago and Golden State. With a fully healthy Rose, I would bump the Bulls up to No. 4, ahead of the Knicks, Thunder and Pacers but still trailing the Heat, Spurs and Grizzlies. Would that make them legit? Yes, or at least fringe-legit.

The more important and more pertinent question is whether a “healthy Rose” is possible at this point in the season. It’s unrealistic to expect him to be capable of achieving max production out of the gate after a year away. I know we as a basketball world have an attention span measured in seconds rather than months, but 2011 Rose was out of this world. That player isn’t going to just drop out of the sky to face LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company. It’s definitely possible that we could see that player as soon as opening night next season —  after a summer of work and a full training camp to recalibrate — but it’s an unreasonable and unhelpful hypothetical in the short term.

Rob Mahoney: I agree that a “healthy Rose” makes for an incredible suspension of logic at this point, as that option is not even remotely in play. If Rose were to come back, it would be in diminished form. His conditioning would be gone, his timing would be off and his ability to impact the game would be lacking compared with his full-speed self. The Bulls’ odds might improve marginally, but not to a degree that would make them any more serious challengers to the Heat, much less those opponents beyond.

Plus, let’s not forget that, as recounted by Tom Ziller of SB Nation, Chicago hasn’t had the best track record of declaring its players physically fit to play. There’s certainly enough of a precedent for all involved — including Rose — to approach the opinions of the team’s medical officials with a bit of skepticism, particularly when Rose is the most qualified to assess his own level of comfort and pain.

3. Is there an argument to be made that the Bulls are better off without Rose right now?

Ben Golliver: I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are “better off” without Rose. But they’re doing just fine (to say the least) without him, to the point where they’ve officially reached the “We’re playing with house money” stage of the postseason. Listening to Joakim Noah’s prideful postgame address to Bulls fans after the Game 7 win over the Nets was a crowning achievement for the team and city. Their follow-up performance on Monday in Miami was something special, and it came together perfectly thanks to outstanding nights from Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson and some subpar performance from the Heat’s stars and role players.

Game 1 was so good that I think this series is already guaranteed to be a success for the Bulls, even if they were to go on and lose in five games. Coach Tom Thibodeau’s sterling reputation has gone up a few notches. Noah has vaulted himself to new heights in the national consciousness. Appreciating Butler has caught on like a fad. And the Bulls reminded everyone, for the umpteenth time, exactly what can be accomplished through intelligent, selfless defense and take-no-prisoners effort.

A Rose return — even if just in a “Willis Reed” symbolic way or in a very limited role — would bring with it a lot of variables. It would require on-the-fly adjustments and sacrifices — minutes, touches, shots — from his teammates. It would require patience from players, coaches, media and fans at a time when expecting patience is practically impossible. All that said, it’s hard to imagine Rose’s stepping onto the United Center court for the first time would be anything except an electric moment that brings the Bulls together.

Putting those two thoughts together, I think the Bulls have improbably arrived at a win/win here. If Rose doesn’t return, a winning season has already been secured. If he does, a magical moment is guaranteed and everything else would be gravy. One thing is for sure: The thought of Rose’s “disrupting” the Bulls shouldn’t enter the equation at all.

Rob Mahoney: Let me be abundantly clear: Though Rose would be a boon for the Bulls at most any other time, his return to this series would make them immediately less competitive. The energy surrounding Rose’s comeback would be awesome, but this series will be won on the basis of Chicago’s collective ability to execute, and I’m not sure that Rose would be confident enough in his knee to make a significant difference in the way the Bulls are playing.

Ben also alluded to this above, but we should keep in mind that Rose is hardly familiar with this current Bulls team. Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson are all familiar faces, but Bulls mainstay Luol Deng is unlikely to play for a spell and the rest of the roster has been turned over. Gone is most of the bench mob, replaced by three players — Robinson, Marco Belinelli and Nazr Mohammed — who are all new to the team. Butler was a Bull a season ago, but he shared the court with Rose for only 75 minutes, according to NBA.com. Even Kirk Hinrich (who is also injured at the moment) hasn’t played with Rose since 2010, leaving a team for which chemistry and trust are prime assets to operate with precious few points of reference should Rose return.

Chicago is winning playoff games because of a finely tuned role awareness, by which every player is able to contribute something offensively and step into a high-functioning system defensively. With Rose, all of that would be cast in doubt; he could help the Bulls create, but in a series against such a formidable opponent I suspect he might be enough of a defensive liability to cause considerable problems for Chicago. Robinson and Belinelli may present their own problems on that end, but at least both of those players have been operating in Thibodeau’s system all season long, with Noah and Gibson in a position to better anticipate their errors and gambles. Team defense relies on an understanding of when and how to help, and at this point a limited Rose would introduce an unpredictable variable to a system that relies on preemption and order.

4. What’s been the best development during Rose’s absence?

Ben Golliver: There have been a bunch and I mentioned a few of them — Thibodeau’s growing legend, Robinson’s emergence, Butler’s literal rags-to-riches story — above. As tempted as I am to pick Butler, I’ll go with Noah’s taking his game to the next level.  Center Omer Asik’s departure in free agency opened up the minutes, but Rose’s absence opened up the attention. The nagging foot problems took a little bit of the luster off of an incredible all-around season for Noah, stunting his ability to compete for end-of-season recognition, but his play against the Nets, especially as the series reached its conclusion, was breathtaking. This guy would be a basketball aficionado’s dream player — if we were creative and ambitious enough to dream up the insane combination of skills he brings to the table.

Rob Mahoney: You might pass, Ben, but I’ll take the easy option here and choose Butler’s development. The Rose-shaped void in Chicago’s offense has allowed many different Bulls to try their hand in an expanded role, but Butler has impressed most by making huge strides as a shooter and driver this season.

He’s rightly praised for his fantastic defense, and that area of his game should continue to improve. But Butler represents the sound, two-way shooting guard option that Chicago has never really had in the Rose era, capable of spotting up (Butler didn’t attempt all that many three-pointers this season, but he converted 38.5 percent of his spot-up threes, per Synergy, and is becoming a more potent long-range threat by the day), cutting opposite Rose’s penetration and even creating for himself in a pinch. He’s stretched out his skill set in a way that should make him incredibly useful when Rose returns the offense to order.

Derrick Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists in 2011-12.

Derrick Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists in 2011-12. (Damian Strohmeyer/SI)

5. Snap take: Where do you see the Bulls finishing with Rose healthy next season?

Ben Golliver: At this point I don’t see any way the Bulls are worse than second in the East next season. Give me the Rose/Noah/Deng/Boozer/Butler/Gibson group over the projected lineups for the Knicks, Pacers, Nets and whoever else next season, no question. The fact that the Bulls hung on to finish No. 5 in the East this season made it easy to forget that the only reason that Miami was so far out in front of New York and Indiana was because Chicago with a healthy Rose would have been somewhere in that gap between No. 1 and everybody else.

Not to get overly conservative, but that landscape is a powerful influence on Rose’s current predicament. If I were a member of Bulls management, I’d look at my books, see that all of my key players were locked in for next season, survey the East competition to see Miami as the one clear threat and then live to fight another day in 2013-14. As noted above, this should still be Rose’s decision to make — in consultation with doctors, of course — but glancing ahead to next season might help alleviate the urgency some are expressing in demanding his return. There is a big picture — a favorable one at that — for Chicago and Rose to consider.

Rob Mahoney: The offseason leaves plenty of room for upheaval in these kinds of predictions, but I’m in agreement that the Bulls as currently constructed should theoretically be the Easts’s second-best team and could make a realistic run at the best record in the conference in 2013-14. This is an outstanding overall team when Rose is able to prop up the offense, and the front office has done an outstanding job over the last few seasons of finding great value to round out the roster.

Robinson and Belinelli may well be gone next year, but I have little doubt that Bulls GM Gar Forman and his staff already have a bead on their potential successors. Once those rotation positions are secured and the roster is confirmed to be in good health, Chicago can safely be penciled in as the East’s definitive No. 2.

48 comments
6marK6
6marK6

This series is over! There is no reason to play anybody that has any kind of injury.

jivepar1
jivepar1

David Lee played with torn flexor..Curry and Bogut with bad ankle. Rose is not playing why? He does not "feel" 100 percent? And this is a "superstar" player? 

jsteppling
jsteppling

for christ sake. He is paid millions to PLAY BASKETBALL....oh poor baby isnt sure is he 100%.,  Well play anyway. I think greg doyle has this right over at cbs. Either the doctors are wrong, or rose is a head case. But if there is a medical risk then he shouldnt be practicing before games. And if there is no risk he should play. WHY are these so called journalists bending over backwards to apologize for this primma donna. ?  I dont get to take time off from work and say, oh, golly, im not quite ready. So he sits...eating candy, watching his also injured teammates playing competitively against the heat, as big underdogs.

Backlash
Backlash

Chicago Fans should demand a refund from Derrick Rose for defective merchandise


larry_david
larry_david

too many 'experts' leaving ridiculous comments. get off of rose's D. when he feels like playing he'll let us know.

chris_5
chris_5

Bulls' management also has some explaining to do. They should have just shut him down for the reason to relieve pressure on their star. But they didn't because it would be bad for business. They didn't want to deal with the drop in season ticket sales that would come without Rose playing the whole year. They lied to the fans and owe them a public apology Rose was never going to play this season he even said so himself after the surgery.

NateRosas
NateRosas

These guys clearly forget our previous rankings the past few seasons, weren't we the 1 seed in '11? And the team rankings of those left standing is grossly off. These guys play into the same garbage everyone else in the media does, Lebron is always on top for you guys, period. Insane. One title. One. Golden state is gonna dispatch the spurs, get over it. Knicks and pacers is a toss up but I foresee pacers coming out on top especially the way melo looked last game, pain not performance. And I love how they compare rose and the new faces to strangers. Do they know what goes on in between games? Rose has been practicing since the beginning of the year with the team. He didn't look at the new guys and say "oh you're not starting, get away from me." Who let these idiots write in a public column?

markmarkmark
markmarkmark

chicago bulls wont let him play until next year.  they don't want him to re-injure himself again. , a torn acl takes long time to rehab plus he is under max contract so they want to protect their investment so to say.

Aliya
Aliya

Guys it is not Derrick rose problem he is right he is going through a rough time but trust me a soon as he return he is going to do a outstanding performance and I know that for sure

knickfan
knickfan

If the Bulls hope for any chance of winning this series, they better get Rose playing again. Quick.

duncan.foster
duncan.foster

Come on D Rose. Just lace them up, get Chicago to go crazy play limited minutes. You will be fine. And Chicago Will embrace you forever. Win or lose, you will be a hero to millions of kids. Your commercial would come to fruition, The return complete. Even us die hard Bulls fans know we cant beat the Heat in this series until we get another scorer. But for you to come back for limited playing time and show the NBA world what your made of.. The story itself is worth it. Man I would love to see you announced tomorrow night. I don't even care if you score. But that first basket the crowd would be louder than any stadium in the history of sports.

duncan.foster
duncan.foster

At guard from Chicago number 1 Deeeeeeerek Rooooooose... The place goes nuts for 30 min. Heat run off the court scared to death. Fans win the game for the Bulls. Would be epic, Epic.


duncan.foster
duncan.foster

Rose should be in the starting line up Friday night. If anything just to get our Crowd on their feet loud and crazy... Can you imagine how nuts the United Center would be.. Even if he plays 2 min and comes out. The place would errupt like never before.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

CAN WE PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT ROSE PLAYING? It's about as big a waste of time as I can imagine. PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!

Jkazmer19
Jkazmer19

He can play and should be playing now. He is too proud of himself to get back out there though. Hope they cut him loose in the off-season. They should trade him to bobcats where he can slowly ride off into the sunset with his millions and no one will remember much of the former MVP.

johnny
johnny

rose isn't afraid he's going to hurt the knee... he's afraid the he's not going to look good.... and i'll admit i've never been a rose fan... his fav move is to run full speed into the defensive player and look to the ref... it had gotten so bad that defensive players knew what he was going to do and would try to get out of his way... he would change direction in order to run into them... i've seen him get the benefit of a foul call while running up the back of a guy trying his best to get out of his way....

SephirothDZX
SephirothDZX

If he's healthy and can contribute even a couple beneficial minutes, he should be playing. At the absolute least, Rose would take some of the heat (pun intended) off of the other Bulls - who are pretty banged up at this point and could use all of the help he can get.

I'd give Rose the benefit of the doubt on trusting his knee if he took a few extra weeks to get back after being medically declared ready to go, but it's been two months since he was cleared to play - at this point I seriously question if there's another voice in his ear telling him to stay on the bench.

TicaGalipo
TicaGalipo

Faut le laisser tranquille !!!!!

OK
OK

Let Derrick Rose and his brother keep whining on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, expect The Queen and Her Court to shoot 50 free throws in game two of the series.

No way in hell Commish Stern will allow The Queen, The Little Bosh Woman, and Show Me Da Green Or I Ain't Playin' For Da Red, White, and Blue to drop two games at home.

You'll see Noah on the bench with two personal fouls in the first three minutes. Boozer and Gibson will get their third personals by halftime. Noah will foul out by the end of the third quarter.

The Queen and Her Court will be given the Dubya. Commish Stern's not going to upset the suits in Bristol.

daveprice74
daveprice74

A lot of people seem to forget Rose practices with these guys every day.  Yeah, he's probably a little game-rusty, but not many players are 100% right now anyway.

mucima
mucima

The Bulls move the ball better when Rose is out of the game. He should stay out so he doesn't ruin the current team chemistry.

marino.eccher
marino.eccher

If he's not going to hurt himself and can give you even a handful of productive minutes -- big ifs -- there has to be some value in bringing him off the bench against Miami's second unit. At worst, it's a huge boost to the crowd (especially at home) and forces the Heat to make countermoves. At best, he can give you some scoring and a change of pace. If it doesn't work or he's ineffective, make a quick hook and move on.

I do get a sneaky feeling they're planning a late activation for Game 3 or Game 4 to fire up the crowd, and I thought Thibs dropped a hint the other day with a "we'll see" that came out kind of coy, but we'll see.

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

The Bulls should trade Rose in the off-season. At this point the choices are 1) Rose is a malingerer and will continue to nurse any injury or 2) He is not fully recovered and never will be. 

Find a desperate bad team and trade him for their first round picks in 2014 and 2015. (Skip this year's draft - it is historically weak) Use the money saved on Rose to sign a top level free agent.

TomTuohy
TomTuohy

@chris_5 Drop in season ticket sales? The Bulls have been sold out for years with a long waiting list. The only error they made, and it was a big one, was in PR. It was simple, yet somehow missed - Rose is out for season. Then if he came back for even a game it would be all positive. Now he gets all this uniformed criticism from a boat load of people who will be cheering him again after his second great game. 

jsteppling
jsteppling

@markmarkmark no, most if not all big time athletes who have had ACL tears were back long before Rose. LONG BEFORE. Check your facts.

markmarkmark
markmarkmark

and yeah, addidas signed him also for 260 million 14 year deal.

ady.harvey
ady.harvey

@Aliya - what a load of rubbish. Rose is scared, pure and simple, you can see that in his interviews. He won't be the player he was for months, if ever. And of course it's his problem, he was cleared to play in February yet hasn't set foot on the court competitively - he has mental problems with playing again. Schumpert did his injury at the same time as Rose and had the guts to get back on court as soon as he could, Rose is plain scared.

ady.harvey
ady.harvey

@duncan.foster - Exactly! He doesn't need many minutes, just being active would be a huge boost, but he won't do it.

Jduncan
Jduncan

@Jkazmer19 Yeah.. Lets trade one of the best Point guards in the league :S Makes a lot of sense.. Just because he sat out a year he must be a cancer to the team? I don't think so. If anything this has proved how much of a team and family the Bulls core is. Deng, Noah, and Rose have played together since Rose came into the league, and they always have each others back. Jimmy Butler is joining that core, and with them, that's a great core to build around. Rose will be the best point guard in the league sooner rather than later, so why cut him loose because he was injured? That is probably the worst comment ever.. Lets cut Kobe, Westbrook, and Kevin Love loose from their respective teams because they were injured when their teams needed them most..

Jduncan
Jduncan

@SephirothDZX I don't think it's really an issue. I'm a huge Bulls fan and have been for as long as I can remember, and way before Rose and Noah were on the team and I've said since he was hurt that he should sit out the entire year no matter what. People comparing his injury to Shumpert, or Adrian Peterson make no sense because no injury is the same, and no person is the same.. Shumpert isn't half the player Rose is (Yet, he has a lot of potential), but Rose heavily relies on his athleticism and explosiveness, and even if his knee is 100%, if he comes back and is thinking about what he should do, instead of reacting to the situation like he normally does, he could be caught in a bad decision or position and injure himself some other way because he is doing things he normally wouldn't do. Also after last nights game, this series is going to be very physical the rest of the way, and even if he has a minutes restriction, he is going to be pressured and doubled when he has the ball because any coach/player would attack a guy that has been off for so long because it's good strategy.. He will be out of sync, and probably not have the endurance to make an impact. Also, I think if he comes back and gets bumped or receives a hard foul you are going to see Noah go after whoever it was because he will have Rose's back but will probably get suspended.. No point of coming back this off season but if he does, I hope he is alright.

SephirothDZX
SephirothDZX

@OK They don't play for the Knicks or Lakers, so I think we'll see more shady tactics from the Pacers/Knicks series than from Heat/Bulls.

Jakach23
Jakach23

@daveprice74 However, there is no such thing as scrimmage in thibideau's show. And he's out there practicing and running drills with the likes of nazr and D.Cook. WHat good is that gonna do him? 

SAN31
SAN31

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius  This might be the dumbest thing I heard all day.  I'm sure the Vikings were thinking about trading Adrian Peterson...yeah right

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius Trading Rose would likely be smart for the reasons you mentioned:  if he isn't healthy, this is going to be a lingering problem, and if he is healthy, then he's a head case and a liability if he ever gets hurt again.  But trading him for two first round picks?  With how stupid the setup is for the NBA draft, the only way I'd trade Rose for a draft pick is if the team he's being traded to is 100% likely to get the first pick both years (which is unlikely since Rose, if healthy, will likely get his team to the playoffs...which is not that hard of a feat to accomplish, meaning one of those two first round picks is worthless).

 If you're going to trade him, trade him for a superstar.  Probably a superstar and a first round pick or two.  But Rose for two first round picks is not a great idea.

ArthurGould
ArthurGould

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius I assume you are simply demonstrating what it would be like to be out of your freaking mind!  Or, come to think of it, to be in the Guiness Book of World Records for "most clueless".  Do you have any idea of the workouts DRose is doing or the extent of damage to his knee?

newshamg
newshamg

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius You do not trade Rose because in the NBA you do not sell for at best quarters on the dollar. You only trade like for like in terms of superstar players - it never works otherwise. And there is no player likely available of Rose's level.

If you could get Chris Paul then yeah that would be defensible as a trade - but that isn't going to happen.


Trading him for draft picks and some lesser players would be a huge mistake. The draft is a crap shoot and there are no top level free agents that could really help the Bulls.


chris_5
chris_5

@ady.harvey @Aliya  Completely agree. I think it is disgusting the way he teases fans and teammates by warming up before the games for everyone to see how completely healthy he is to then refuse to play. All of this while almost everyone on the Bulls team is beat up and showing great courage by fighting through and playing. The fans have a right to boo him, his teammates have a right to be mad at him and management should have the right not to pay him because technically he is just flat out refusing to play. If your not comfortable dont come out and warm up at full speed in front of fans that wasted money on a season ticket in the expectation you would play this season. Stay out of the spot light until you are ready to play competitively.

larry_david
larry_david

@johnny you say that so confidently as if you know rose so well. say hi to him for me next time u speak to him

OK
OK

@SephirothDZX

Commissioner Stern knows his obligation to ESPN and its public relations czar, "The Decision's" Jim Gray. As such, Commissioner Stern has told the refs to provide The Queen and Her Court with as many free throws as necessary to secure victory and continued ratings for the NBA's television pals.

You'll see 50 free throws for The Queen, The Little Bosh Woman, Show Me Da Green Or I Ain't Playin' For Da Red, White, and Blue and the rest of The Queen's Court.

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@SAN31 Seeing as how Adrian Peterson played when he was able to fully practice, I doubt that.

johnny
johnny

@larry_david @johnny bite me dude.... u say hello to him yourself next time you pull your head out of his butt...

Jduncan
Jduncan

@BosephHeyden @SAN31 Doesn't matter. Even if Peterson didn't play right away the Vikings wouldn't be that dumb to even question trading him, and neither will the Bulls. There is no reason to trade Rose.. Yeah he is hurt, and may have been fully cleared to play but it's a mental issue too.. Right now there is no sense to come back, it's been 12 months which is the timeline he was given 8-12 months of recovery time, but it also so happens to be in the playoffs against the defending champs and this series is getting super physical.. what's the point in coming back? There isn't one.. He will be double teamed when he touches the ball, and if he drives he will be hammered. I'm sure his knee will hold up, however if he is playing cautious and thinking about every move he makes, he might put himself in an uncomfortable position to ensure he doesn't land on his knee wrong, and injure something else. Just leave him alone, if he wants to play so be it, if he doesn't, Bulls fans will welcome him back next year with open arms.