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Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau differed on All-Star playing time

Updated: March 29, 2012 8:15AM

Coach Tom Thibodeau said that keeping Derrick Rose on the bench Sunday in the fourth quarter of the All-Star Game was something the two had “predetermined” before the game, which may well have been the case, although nobody told Rose.

“At times I wanted to get in there, but Thibs just didn’t put me out there,” Rose said. “I think he was worried about my back. I didn’t know, and I didn’t ask him.”

It’s obvious Rose wants to quit being asked questions about the back spasms that sidelined him five games. He insists he has recovered and said he didn’t receive treatment during All-Star Weekend.

“I don’t have any pain — nowhere,” Rose said. “I feel good.”

When asked if he was concerned about cameras capturing him smiling at the All-Star Game, Thibodeau said: “I am concerned about that. It kills the image.”

Luol Deng said he didn’t know if he’d be fined by the league for wearing a T-shirt with an image of Africa during the game. Deng is from South Sudan and said he did it to inspire children there.

Rip, C.J. practice

With Rip Hamilton expected to return from a thigh bruise for the home game Tuesday night against the Hornets, the Bulls are as healthy as they’ve been all season.

“He’s encouraged by how he’s feeling, but we’re not going to rush,” Thibodeau said. “We’re going to make sure he can get through some practices and not have any problems. The intensity of a practice is still not what a game is. We want to be sure he can handle the contact and be good the next day and do it over a period of time, also.”

Thibodeau said Hamilton would be a game-time decision. C.J. Watson also practiced Monday after being medically cleared after suffering post-concussion symptoms.

“It gives you another thing you can go to,” Thibodeau said of Hamilton’s return. “Of course, we have the pick-and-roll game and transition with [Rose]. He gives us a strong catch-and-shoot game. Most teams put two on him. He’s an excellent playmaker. You need to have that balance.”

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