By Shawn Muller–
CHICAGO (CBS) Derrick Rose is the most valuable player on the Chicago Bulls, and the entire NBA, this season.
The Bulls fans know this.
The entire league knows this.
The entire world knows this.
Yes, Derrick Rose is a special kind of talent…one that we here in Chicago have had the good fortune of witnessing on a nightly basis.
But for all the magic and splendor that he has blessed us with this season, one thing is for sure:
He doesn’t need to be the MVP of Game 5 against the Pacers Tuesday night at the United Center.
In fact, he doesn’t need to play.
Rose needs to be as close to 100% as he can possibly be down the stretch, so I see no reason why he needs to push it by playing in a non-elimination game against a sub .500 Indiana Pacers club.
But, as Bulls fans have witnessed all season, wanting Derrick to rest up is going to be much easier said than done.
That much is for certain.
You see, it is difficult for a special talent like Derrick Rose to take a day off–especially in the playoffs–because his competitive nature…that fire that has made him morph into the player that he is today…won’t allow injury to get in the way of his ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship.
But the Bulls coaching staff needs to help their young superstar understand that a championship will not be won Tuesday night.
So don’t push it.
We all know that if it wasn’t for the play of Rose in this series, the Bulls could easily (and probably should) be trailing the pesky-Pacers in this series. He has almost single-handedly “willed” the Bulls to their three games to one advantage.
But even though Chicago has a chance to finally close this series out on Tuesday night, and begin their preparation for the winner of the Atlanta-Orlando series, it is important that Derrick and the coaches don’t lose track of the ultimate goal: the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
It is time for Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and the rest of the crew to step up for Rose, just like he has done for them, and his teammates need for Derrick to know that they can win without him on the floor.
Rose has been the security blanket for his teammates all season long. When the Bulls needed someone to show them that everything was going to be OK, from the Boozer injury to the Noah injury, Derrick delivered.
So now it’s time for his teammates do the same thing for Mr. MVP.
I understand that it’s the playoffs. I understand that if Chicago loses tomorrow night, panic will really begin to set in for Bulls Nation. I understand that a 50% healthy Derrick Rose is better than many 100% healthy point guards around the league.
I understand all of that.
But this isn’t Game 7 of the first round and this isn’t the NBA Finals.
If the Bulls lose, they still live to play another day…and another day after that if need be.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.