Bulls coach on Derrick Rose: ‘He’s still not anywhere close to playing’
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com December 30, 2012 7:59PM
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before an NBA basketball game between the Bulls and the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in Chicago. Rose is recovering from torn ligaments in his left knee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The facts: 2 p.m., Ch. 9,
Updated: December 31, 2012 10:14PM
At least Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau finally is using “practice’’ and “Derrick Rose’’ in the same sentence.
Even though Rose has been working with the team at the Berto Center for almost two weeks, Thibodeau had shied away from saying he was an active participant.
He offered up a bit more detail Sunday but still wasn’t optimistic about an imminent return.
“He’s right where he’s always been,’’ Thibodeau said. “Each week he’ll do a little bit more. He’s doing more basketball stuff, but he’s still not anywhere close to playing. He’s got a long way to go for that.
“He’s doing all the non-contact stuff in practice. None of the contact stuff, but he’s doing well overall.’’
Rose obviously is doing enough to get his teammates excited.
Last week, rookie point guard Marquis Teague said he was taking notes on how Rose runs the pick-and-roll as well as the way he works his way into the lane for that patented teardrop floater.
Shooting guard Richard Hamilton was the latest to talk about Rose and what he has been showcasing on the court.
“Well, it’s too early,’’ Hamilton said when asked if there were flashes of greatness. “Derrick is an unbelievable talent. To see him do stuff as a guy coming back from that injury is incredible. He’s able to move up and down the floor, things like that, but no contact. Our job is to just hold the fort down, and hopefully he’ll get healthy soon.’’
Hamilton thinks, if not for injuries last season, the Bulls would’ve been battling the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference title.
“That’s what I say if our team is all healthy,’’ Hamilton said. “It’s been that way the last two years. To win a championship, you have to be skillful, you have to be playing great basketball at the right time and you’ve got to be healthy and lucky. There’s a lot that goes into it.
“For us, it’s just been our health, last year and this year. We’ve got to find a way to try to stay healthy.’’
It starts with Rose being able to return, but he’s not alone in that department.
Hamilton (torn plantar fascia in left foot) played his first game in almost a month Saturday. He played 15 minutes, went 4-for-9 from the field for nine points and had no setbacks.
“I told Coach not to worry about the endurance part,’’ Hamilton said. “I’ve been able to control that and do all the right things my whole career, always staying in shape. I still feel that I’m the most conditioned athlete in the NBA at my age. It’s just one of those things I pride myself on, always taking care of my body.’’
Hamilton went through the full Sunday practice and had normal next-day soreness.
Point guard Kirk Hinrich, however, was absent from the off-day workout. Thibodeau said he was nicked up, but a player said the left knee Hinrich injured several weeks ago was still a problem.
“With some rest, maybe [Hinrich will] be fine [Monday],’’ Thibodeau said.