The Chicago Bulls played a wild quadruple-overtime affair on Friday night, and big man Pau Gasol played 48 minutes in the 147-144 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Gasol tallied 30 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and five blocks, but he was naturally winded by the end of the game, and he won’t play in Saturday night’s game in New York against the Knicks in order to rest. In fact, he didn’t even make the trip.
This is a smart move by the Bulls, as there’s no reason to push the 35-year-old this early in the season. Former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was criticized for riding Gasol too hard last year, and Fred Hoiberg doesn’t want to make that same mistake.
Also, this should give Bobby Portis a chance to prove himself in real minutes. The promising rookie has played sparingly this season, which has started a #FreeBobbyPortis movement because he played so well in the preseason. The Bulls’ deep frontcourt rotation has made that difficult, but now he should get that chance.