Does Derrick Rose need a rest?

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Just when he’s up and running and looking like his old self, Derrick Rose is in need of a rest. He’s not saying this, the media is.

The numbers are well documented and have been shown ad nauseam during coverage of the Bulls-Cavaliers series.

After proving the numbers right again in Game 2 on Wednesday, Rose (6-for-20 in 36 minutes) wasn’t buying it.

Numbers can lie. Are these? Is it a big enough sample to go on?

So, is it the rest or is it what happens prior to the rest?

First, let’s note that in Rose’s MVP season, his best splits came on no days rest. In 2010-11 Rose played 22 times in back-to-backs and averaged 27.1 points on .464 shooting in 38.2 minutes.

Since the knee injury in the playoffs in April of 2012, Rose has exceeded 38.2 minutes just eight times, five during these playoffs.

Back in January, Rose played a regular season-high 42.5 minutes in a victory over the Warriors, scoring 30 points to go along with 11 turnovers. After a day’s rest, Rose played 42 minutes and shot 7-of-26 in a loss to the Lakers. The next night, Rose played a little better but shot 8-for-23 in a loss to the Suns.

The playoffs have been the same formula—heavy minutes coupled with short rest equals bad game.

In a day’s rest after a Game 3 victory over the Bucks in which he played a three-season-high 48 minutes, Rose shot 5-for-13 with eight turnovers in a loss to the Bucks. And coming off that 39-minute stinker on a day’s rest, Rose got even worse, shooting 5-for-20 with six turnovers in another loss.

After a five-day layoff, Rose performed well (11-of-26 and 3-of-6 from three) in the Game 1 victory over the Cavs, where he logged just over 38 minutes.

Again, that magic number of minutes (38+) plus one day rest didn’t bode well for him in the Game 2, as he shot 6-for-20 in the loss. More troubling, it was the third consecutive game Rose didn’t even attempt a free throw. The good news: Rose played 36.5 minutes.

So, what does this all mean for the Bulls who have to play the next four games on one day rest? Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had better pick his spots with Rose or bank on the two days rest before a possible Game 7 … if they get there.

As we have seen, the numbers don’t lie.

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