If the Chicago Bulls are likely to be a real long-term threat in the NBA playoffs, they are likely to need Derrick Rose to be healthy and ready to go. In his 2015 playoff debut Saturday, he looked like he was both playing great.
Rose racked up 23 points, 3 3s, 7 dimes and 2 steals in 27 minutes. He also became the catalyst for the Bulls offense. Per ESPN Stats & Information, Rose scored or assisted on 42 of the Bulls’66 points when he was on the court Saturday.
He also looked to be comfortable taking the ball to the rack, getting to the basket 13 times, just missing a double his season average (7.2). Furthermore, he was in charge of 14 points on those drives, five significantly more than his regular season average.
While Rose looked comfortable and confident Saturday, the Bulls still managed to help keep him under 30 minutes once more, as they dominated the Milwaukee Bucks for all the game. Those minutes likely will increase because the playoffs roll along, but the truth that the Bulls have myriad other available choices (e.g., Jimmy Butler chipped in 25 points Saturday, and Pau Gasol and others can handle handling the scoring load at times) means which they likely won’t need certainly to risk overworking Rose until later in the postseason.