Johnson: Thibodeau Plays It Safe With Rose, Deng
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(WSCR) Often criticized for playing his stars too much, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau pulled a 180 in Sunday night’s All Star game.
As head coach of the Eastern Conference team, Thibodeau elected to play Derrick Rose for just over 18 minutes, roughly 12 minutes less than any other starter for the East. Luol Deng played just under six minutes off the bench, less than half the time of any other bench player.
“That, to me, is the story you take from yesterday,” K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune told The Mully and Hanley Show. “It’s hard to kind of gauge what you take from an All Star game, because it’s kind of a unique situation. When you combine Derrick playing the least (minutes) of the starters by far, and then Luol not playing after the first quarter, it’s clear that Tom talked to his guys and made the decision to not further jeopardize them for possible harm.”
LISTEN: K.C. Johnson on The Mully and Hanley Show
During Sunday’s pregame introduction, LeBron James decided to dance during his introduction, which prompted a less-than-thrilled look from Rose. Johnson said that’s just the type of player Rose is.
“This is who Derrick is,” Johnson said. “We all knew it was coming. It just almost gets more pronounced every year when the All Star game is trying to walk a pretty precarious line between being relevant and being silly. We all knew it was coming, but when it actually happens, it looks even more hilarious.”