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Bulls’ Derrick Rose To Have Minutes Restriction Lifted During Playoffs

It has been a rough few years for Derrick Rose with the one-time NBA MVP dealing with seemingly endless knee injuries that have jeopardized his basketball career. Rose recently underwent knee surgery once again and many believed it may have signaled the end of the star point guard’s time as an elite player, but after missing 20 games, he’s back on the floor for the Chicago Bulls.

As expected, Rose was given a minute restriction after returning from knee surgery. Rose has played two games since returning with a restriction of 20 minutes per game. Although the Bulls are treading lightly with Rose, and for good reason considering his injury problems over the last few seasons, Chicago will lift the restriction come playoff time.

According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Rose, and teammate Joakim Noah, will see a boost in minutes:

Not only can Rose play in fourth quarters, he also will play more than 20 minutes, likely as early as Saturday. And that 32-minute limit Joakim Noah has been on all season? That will be lifted for the postseason.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau also spoke about Rose’s first two games back and the minute restriction moving forward, via ESPN:

“We’re going to add another segment to it, so we’ll see how it unfolds,” Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after Saturday’s shootaround. “He handled the first two (games), which was good. So we’re going to go from there.”

Entering the 2014-15 NBA season, the Bulls were considered to be legitimate title contenders with Rose back healthy and the addition of two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol. Jimmy Butler also took his game to the next level earning his first All-Star selection making the Bulls squad stacked and ready to contend with the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference.

With Rose and Noah dealing with injuries once again this season, Chicago has struggled to reclaim their form as one of the elite teams in the league. Although the Bulls aren’t the dominant force they were earlier in the season, Rose and company will still be a tough team to beat in a seven-game series.

As of right now, the Bulls have 8/1 odds to come out on top in the East, according to Sportsbook.ag. The Cavaliers (1/3) are considered the favorites followed by the Hawks (17/5) and Bulls.

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