Mar 04, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton (32) during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Bulls defeated the Sixers 96-91. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Bulls To Be Cautious With Rose, But Not Too Cautious

Hey, did you know Richard ‘Rip’ Hamilton plays for the Bulls? Well barely, he’s missed 33 of the Bulls 49 games but we still got him!

Chicago won yet again without Derrick Rose or Rip Hamilton on the court last night north of the boarder in Canada. But it’s the fifth straight game without the MVP and there really isn’t a timetable for when he’s going to return to the lineup.

This causes a few issues.

On the one hand, it’s great the Bulls are resting Rose. He’s now had three different ailments keep him out of the lineup in as many months and this groin injury seems to have come out of nowhere and kept him out.

But on the other hand, you don’t want Rose to sit too much. Rip Hamilton has missed 33 of the Bulls 49 games and was quickly injured upon his return. There can’t be a paranoid fear regarding Rose and his status.

“Somehow this notion that you can miss the entire season and come back in the playoffs and play well, I haven’t seen that.” said Tom Thibodeau. “So I don’t know what people are talking about. You have to build the right habits so you can perform well when it matters most.”

That’s the hope for Rose, but although we want Rose to sit as long as he can, we can’t forget what Thibodeau points out. Sure Rose could be healthy for the playoffs but that doesn’t mean he’s 100 percent.

Let’s take Chicagoians back to when Kyle Orton led the Bears to playoffs because Rex  Grossman was injured. But when the second round game came around, the Bears started Grossman and got destroyed.

Now that’s about the only time in human history Derrick Rose will be compared to Rex Grossman and vice versa, but it’s hard not to feel that same gloom.

Rose can be 100 percent, and yes he’s the pulse of the team, but even those band aids they claim don’t hurt when you rip them off, still hurt. The Bulls are gelling without Rose and although throwing off team chemistry isn’t that high of a concern, it’s not to be counted out.

Rose hasn’t shown a history of being slow to return but there is a first time for everything and the playoffs couldn’t be the worse spot for it.

Rip Hamilton is even more so the case here. Rose is sort of absolved from assuming a slow return back because he’s — well he’s the MVP. But Hamilton doesn’t have that track history and he’s more of a liability int his situation.

The problem with that is, Hamilton was signed to be a producer in the postseason. The regular season was largely viewed as bonus time and time to blend in with the Bulls. But now time is running out on that and there is concern Hamilton may not even be ready for the portion of the season he was signed to play in.

Even if Hamilton is ready for the playoffs, the fear then becomes how long will he take to get into the flow of things and/or how long will he last before tweaking an injury.

Hamilton’s last stint back he lasted a total of 84 seconds before getting hurt and missing all this time.

We have to be careful not to fall into a paranoid frenzy with all this injury talk. It’s all a possibility but so is Rose and Hamilton coming back and putting together the finest playoff performance by a duo in the history of the NBA.

But the Bulls are headed to the playoffs, there is no doubt about that. Now that we have that all wrapped up, the discussion moves onto how well they’ll perform and without Rose, the question is still a scary one.

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