Derrick Rose taking contact; are the Bulls getting “too healthy”?


At the beginning of the week, Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose began taking full contact in practice five weeks after his second meniscus surgery. With Rose most likely returning to action before the postseason, are the Bulls getting “too healthy”?

Stop me when you’ve heard this before: The Chicago Bulls have gone through another season filled with injuries throughout their roster.

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From Jimmy Butler‘s elbow and thumb issues, to Taj Gibson‘s nagging ankle injuries, and to Joakim Noah trying to get strength back into his knee following an off-season knee surgery, the Bulls have been bitten by the injury bug throughout the entire season.

Throw in Mike Dunleavy‘s ankle issue that held him out of action for over a month and the Bulls seemingly could not catch a break.

The moment where Bulls fans seemingly were prepared to throw in the towel on the potential title run was when Derrick Rose partially tore his right meniscus and had to have surgery on Feb. 27 in Chicago.

But, a little over four weeks later, the Bulls are sitting in a comfortable position in the Eastern Conference with eight games left and their star point guard is fairly close to returning to action before the playoffs begin.

"Behind the closed doors of the Advocate Center, where Rose participated in the contact portions of practice Monday for the first time since his Feb. 27 arthroscopic right knee surgery, a simple truth resonates.“We know when Derrick’s back right, he takes our team to a whole other level,” Joakim Noah said.–Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson on the Bulls, 3/30/15"

Rose participated in a four-on-four scrimmage on Monday at practice, followed by a full five-on-five scrimmage at Tuesday’s practice.

Tom Thibodeau mentioned a few minor concerns with Rose returning to action (at practice) and that was his timing and his overall conditioning:

"“When you miss the amount of time that he has missed, the big thing is the conditioning and the timing,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The only way he can get that is by being out there playing. He has done all the rehab work and all the strength work he needs to do.”-Tom Thibodeau on Derrick Rose,"

(Don’t panic, folks. Timing and conditioning are a part of returning to action in any sport. There have been no reports of soreness for Rose in the right knee since his surgery and his return to taking contact in practice.)

Are the Bulls getting too healthy?

In Rose’s absence, an emerging star — and a potential NBA Rookie of the Year candidate — has entered the spotlight (and the rotation).

Nikola Mirotic since the Rose surgery on Feb. 27: 20.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game. The 24-year-old rookie has put an immense amount of pressure on Thibodeau to play him a bulk of minutes in his rotation.

If you throw in Mirotic to a deep front-court rotation of Noah, Gibson and Pau Gasol, somebody’s minutes are going to get cut in the postseason. That’s just the reality of the situation.

So, the question remains: Are the Bulls getting too healthy?

First off, there’s no such thing at getting “too healthy” in any sport. The healthier a team is, the more they win. Once again, that’s the reality of the situation — and that’s just common sense.

When Rose returns, the starting lineup will consist of Rose, Butler, Dunleavy, Gasol and Noah. A better question would be, who will be the first off the bench for the Bulls come playoff time?

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Next: Nikola Mirotic becoming the Bulls' 'Closer'