Derrick Rose has been arguably the Detroit Pistons’ best player this season, but it’s not as simple as just playing him more minutes.
Speaking with reporters this week, Pistons coach Dwane Casey addressed questions over Rose’s somewhat limited playing time.
“We had a meeting this summer with the medical people and his agent and everybody to come up with a plan to help Derrick,” he said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “Believe me, nobody loved Derrick Rose more and I wish he could play 80 minutes out of 40. But he can’t, so we have to protect him from himself. It’s up to the medical people; it’s their decision and it’s their plan.
“I promise you, I would love to play him more and Derrick would love to play, but he can’t, I mean physically,” Casey continued. “We don’t want to put him in that situation, his body in that situation. So according to the game, we have to be creative.”
Rose is averaging a stout 16.8 points and 5.9 assists per game this season but has been held to just 24.4 minutes a night. As part of his maintenance plan, he only plays about six to seven minutes a quarter and has started just one game all year. The former MVP himself believes that he can handle more though.
“I feel good, but it’s not up to me with the minutes; it’s up to the coaching staff and the [training] staff to come up with it,” Rose was quoted as saying. “Of course, I want to be out there, but I guess they see something I don’t, and they’re worried about it — just being cautious with me.”
Granted, Rose is 31 years old and obviously has one of the most extensive injury histories in basketball. While his resurgence has been one of the best comeback stories in sports lately, the Pistons need to do everything that they can to safeguard his health.