Bulls top Lakers; Derrick Rose may have full-contact practice this week
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com January 21, 2013 8:34PM
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 16: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls laughs while warming up prior to the game against the Boston Celtics on January 16, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Updated: January 22, 2013 3:32PM
With the Bulls leading by six points with four minutes left against the Los Angeles Lakers in a nationally televised game Monday, it was the perfect Derrick Rose moment — the moment that No. 1 would make sure to put the finishing touches on a victory.
He still might this season — and maybe sooner than later with the news from coach Tom Thibodeau that Rose might start taking part in full-contact practices this week. But with Rose still rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee and Luol Deng missing a second consecutive game with a strained right hamstring, the spotlight was waiting for someone else to jump into it.
Who could have guessed there would be multiple volunteers?
Jimmy Butler, Marco Belinelli, Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich all stepped up as the Bulls closed with a 12-6 run to earn a 95-83 victory. Hinrich was especially valuable, scoring a season-high 22 points, handing out eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds.
‘‘Just hit a couple [of shots] early, played a lot of pick-and-roll in the second half and was able to get some good looks,’’ Hinrich said. ‘‘It’s been awhile, I guess. It’s more like about time.’’
Thibodeau didn’t care who scored, again embracing the team concept he has been reiterating all season long.
‘‘We had a lot of guys do good things,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘We
needed everybody. When you’re down a guy like Derrick, you have to do it collectively. It’s not just guys stepping in but stepping in and
And while the victory against the Lakers was huge, especially with how shaky the Bulls (24-16) have been at home, the update on Rose only added to the excitement.
With the Bulls playing only two road games in the next 10 days, Thibodeau acknowledged it was time for Rose to take the final step in his rehab and go all out in practices, full contact and all.
‘‘Very close, very close,’’ Thibo-
deau said. ‘‘That’s the next step.’’
When asked if ‘‘very close’’ might mean this week, he responded, ‘‘Yeah, it could.’’ When pressed further, he again said, ‘‘It could.’’
That’s as far as Thibodeau would go with it. But considering the heavy road schedule the Bulls will have to endure in the first two weeks of February, it only makes sense to let Rose go all out in the comforts of the Berto Center, with the organization able to have as many eyes as possible on him.
‘‘He has to go through [full contact practices] for an extended amount of time,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘It’s not going to be one or two
days of contact and he’s going to be out there. That’s not going to happen. Be patient. Everyone has to be patient.’’
That’s easier to do when the Bulls have nights like they did against the Lakers, with six players scoring in double figures.
‘‘I like our team,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘I guess you guys [the media] don’t believe me, but I believe we have more than enough. If we do the right things, I think we’re capable of beating anybody anywhere.’’