Bulls guard Derrick Rose might be in attendance for Clippers game
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org November 16, 2012 10:18PM
Coach Tom Thibodeau said it’s possible Derrick Rose might be on hand Saturday night for the game against the Clippers. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
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Updated: December 19, 2012 1:30PM
LOS ANGELES — Things that make Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau uncomfortable: Derrick Rose talk, bad defense, short practices and more Derrick Rose talk. In that order.
So when Thibodeau was asked about contact with Rose since the Bulls have been in Los Angeles the last two days, he reluctantly offered up a yes.
“We just talked to him, nothing different than what we normally do,’’ Thibodeau said Friday just before the Bulls’ afternoon practice.
The difference is Rose could join the team Saturday night at Staples Center when the Bulls take on the Clippers.
Rose has spent the last few summers working out in the Santa Monica area and had informed the team that he was comfortable with his rehab staff in Los Angeles. While nothing has changed in his rehab from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament — he just started cutting on the court last week — Rose has stayed away from the team throughout most of training camp and into the regular season on purpose.
“He may [be visiting his teammates],’’ Thibodeau said. “The main focus for [Rose] is his rehab. We felt it was best for him to be here in one place doing his rehab. As I mentioned the other day, he’s started cutting, so he’s doing fine. Everything is going according to plan. He just has to keep doing what he’s doing.
“All I want him to focus on is his rehab. I don’t want him concerned with where we are with the team or anything like that. He’s doing fine, and I want our guys here to be focused on improvement and our next opponent.’’
They can’t help but focus on the next opponent; it’ll be their biggest test of the young season.
The Clippers have been the “it’’ team in the Western Conference at 6-2 with wins over the Spurs, Lakers and Heat. Their biggest strength happens to be at point guard with star Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe off the bench.
It’s one of those games that would’ve been a marquee matchup for Rose.
Instead, it will be Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson and maybe even rookie Marquis Teague asked to slow down Paul and Bledsoe.
“We’re going to use everybody; that’s why you have a team,’’ Thibodeau said. “We’ll see how the game unfolds. You’re on the road, so you just have to be ready to play, set a tone. We know how good they are; we know how explosive they are.
“You can’t let your guard down against them at all, otherwise they can get a 10-0 spurt on you in a minute. You’ve got to make sure you’re tied together in every aspect of your defense.’’
Hinrich said after the victory Wednesday over the Suns that he wasn’t 100 percent because of a strained right hip, but Thibodeau said that he has had treatment the last few days and was a full-go at practice Friday.
That will have to be good enough, especially with Rose still in street clothes — and maybe finally in attendance.