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Schuster: Why, Oh Why, Was Rose In The Game?

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Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jesse D. Garrabrant)

David Schuster David Schuster
I have been covering the local sports scene for the last 30 years and...
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By David Schuster-

BERTO CENTER (CBS) As I sit here at the Bulls practice facility, I can’t help but think back to the aftermath of yesterday’s playoff game against Philadelphia.

And I can’t for the world understand why Derrick Rose was in the game when his season ending injury occurred.  Twenty four hours later I have heard and read all the arguments pro and con as to Tom Thibodeau having Rose in the game so late and I think he made a major mistake.

Let’s look at the situation. The Bulls were in complete control of the contest and Thibodeau opted to bring Rose back into the game with a 17-point lead when there was 7:53 left on the clock. The lead then expanded to 21 before it slowly started to dwindle down. But at that point the game was over and everybody in the building knew it except apparently the Bulls’ head coach. He even brought in three other starters with just under three minutes to go and this was after Doug Collins had waived the white flag by lifting most of his starters.

Other factors of obvious consideration: Rose was coming off five different injuries during the season and was still damaged goods. And,  if they opted to rest him in the final regular season game as a precaution then why would you take a major gamble of having him on the floor at the end of a game that was already decided.

Thibodeau argued that the game wasn’t over and that Rose needed practice to close out games. What a crock!

Did he not learn from the example earlier this season when Rose had back spasms? Instead of playing it safe, Thibodeau opted to play Rose down in New Orleans against an awful team and that set Rose back an additional two weeks.

Upon coming back from that road trip Thibodeau had a long meeting with management and received the word that more caution needed to be taken with Rose. And he pretty much heeded that advice but apparently old habits die hard.

Even though he was coach of the year last year the criticism levied against Thibodeau has been that he keeps his most valuable players in the game way too long. So when yesterday Rose was on the court when the game was no longer in doubt the first guessers were already striking. Unfortunately the worst thing possible happened and now Rose is out for the better part of the year.

Derrick will miss the playoffs and also this summer’s Olympics and who knows if he’ll be the same explosive player when he comes back. That’s an absolute shame.

In small defense of Thibodeau, Rose’s injury could have happened at any time. But that’s not the point. It DID happen at the end of a game that had already been decided.

Thibodeay might very well be coach of the year again. But, in game one…he wasn’t even coach of the day.

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