The Cleveland Cavaliers have not had the start to the 2017-18 season they would have desired but at the same time, the reason why they haven't been playing great could be down to them not having their best squad available.
The Cavaliers have started off the season 4-5 and will be looking to get that record to .500 when they play against the Atlanta Hawks at the Quicken Loans Arena later today. In that game, Derrick Rose will likely continue to be Cleveland's starting point guard with Isaiah Thomas is sidelined.
Riddled with injury history himself though, the Cavaliers are taking an extra precaution, according to reports, to make sure they don't lose Rose at point guard and restrict themselves further in terms of quality on the court.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Derrick Rose will have a strict 28-to-31-minute restriction all season no matter how well he plays on the court for the Cavaliers.
Over the past six years, Rose has missed 168 of a possible 403 games due to injuries, so as you would expect in a season where he is looking to prove a point to the rest of the league that he can still play, he is on board with the Cavs' cautious approach.
The 29-year-old said: "Let me say, for one, I'm just happy to be a part of this team, part of something that I think is special. A minute restriction, there's nothing I can do about that. But with me having all these injuries in my past, I'm kind of used to it. But whatever the team sees and the staff sees and they want me to do, that's what I'm going to cooperate with and just go about it the right way."
Rose has already sat out four games this year due to an ankle injury, and he says the ankle "still isn't there yet." With that in mind, he and the team are taking action to make sure he doesn't miss anytime when it matters the most for the Cavaliers, the playoffs.
"Knowing that I never played in June, just trying to be cautious with everything around the board," Rose said.
When Thomas is able to return to the court, Rose will likely be relegated to the bench so that the former Boston Celtics star gets the starting role. If all goes to plan though, Rose will be available for the Cavaliers when they need him, rather than being on the injury table like he has been in previous seasons.