Jeff Van Gundy Thinks Derrick Rose’s Minutes Restrictions Are B.S.
"This obsession with minutes," Jeff Van Gundy told Colin Cowherd Thursday morning. "This has happened in the last five years, and to me it's almost comical how much coddling the media wants to do with players' minutes."
He's got a point. Limiting playing time is probably a drop in the bucket when it comes to protecting players. Whether Derrick Rose plays 24 minutes or 28 minutes -- he still has fragile legs, plays with reckless abandon and defenses will always be destroying him at the rim. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't-type scenario. He's currently averaging 26 minutes per game. That's the fewest in his career.
JVG thinks you might as well play him while you pay him. His logic:
"Let's say a guy plays 32 minutes or 35 minutes a game. He averages those over the 82 games. So you're saying, if a guy plays 80 games and three extra minutes -- that's 240 minutes spread over six months -- you really think it has a difference on health? This is all unscientific. This minutes restriction, it's random. It's unscientific. Even the doctors tell you 'We don't know. We're just guessing.'"
Richard Hamilton recently commented on Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau's reputation for pushing his players, which many have cited as a contributing reason for Derrick Rose's string of recurring injuries.
"It's well-documented that practices are a little too long, they're a little too hard," Hamilton told The Arlington Daily Herald.
"So if you want Derrick [Rose] (healthy) for the whole year, you've got to protect him. You've got to protect his body. When you know it's game time, 'You know what? We're not going to play him 35, 40 minutes a game. It might be 20 minutes a game.'”
Rose is certainly a unique situation, but Van Gundy thinks guys making big money shouldn't get preferential treatment. He sees injuries as inevitable -- or at least unpredictable -- so it's not really on a coach to try and avoid them.
"If you play in the NBA, by the end of the year you are going to be hurting. You are going to be banged up because that's what competition does. They don't count the snaps in the NFL. They don't say a guy played 80 snaps, 'Oh, he should have played 72 snaps.'"
"It is a coach's job to pace his team correctly. But to me, there is so much more focus on how many minutes played in the game. We never ask how many minutes are guys practicing? How much physical contact is taking place in those practices? That has much more impact on the wearing down of a player than a couple extra minutes in a game...This idea that [coach Thibodeau is] overplaying Rose is a joke."
Gauging by Richard Hamilton's assessment of Thibs' grueling practice habits, Rose's game time minutes are probably a red herring. It's the practices that could be killing his career.
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