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Derrick Rose missed Saturday’s game — and was missed by the Bulls

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose watches as his teammates warm up before NBA preseasbasketball game against WashingtWizards Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose watches as his teammates warm up before a NBA preseason basketball game against Washington Wizards in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Derrick Rose missed the first NBA game played in South America on Saturday, sitting out the Chicago Bulls' 83-81 victory over the Washington Wizards with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

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Updated: October 14, 2013 11:01AM



RIO DE JANEIRO — The Bulls’ preseason game Saturday against the Washington Wizards in Brazil was just another reminder of what life without Derrick Rose looks like.

All 48 mostly ugly minutes of it.

With Rose a late scratch with what the Bulls termed ‘‘general soreness’’ in his surgically repaired left knee, Kirk Hinrich got the start. It was a drop-off, but it was one the Bulls endured without Rose all last season. The problem came when Hinrich needed a breather, and Nate Robinson was no longer there to lean on.

‘‘I thought our second unit came in and did not play well,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said of the Bulls’ 83-81 victory. ‘‘We’ve got to get them up to speed. They’ve got to do a lot better than they did.’’

Thibodeau didn’t name names, but he didn’t have to. It was obvious he was talking about second-year point guard Marquis Teague.

In 25 minutes, Teague shot 2-for-5 from the field and committed four turnovers. But it wasn’t his individual numbers that stood out. It was the way the Bulls looked out of sync at both ends of the court and was reflected by Teague’s minus-18 rating. That’s a stat Thibodeau reads heavily into.

‘‘They’re pros,’’ Thibodeau said of his reserves. ‘‘You get in there, you’ve got to get the job done. You have to know what your job is, then you have to go out and do it. You can’t do it individually in this league; you have to do it collectively.

‘‘I thought we had some misguided one-on-one situations where the ball should have been moving. Defensively, it’s five guys tied together. You don’t want to beat yourself.’’

With Rose sidelined, Teague had a chance to show what he could do in crunch time. But with just more than five minutes left and the Wizards getting back into the game, he was replaced by Hinrich, who helped the Bulls finish off the victory and improve to 3-0 in preseason.

The good news for the Bulls is that Rose’s knee problem seems minor.

‘‘Anytime you’re dealing with any type of injury or soreness, you’re concerned,’’ general manager Gar Forman said. ‘‘But there is not a major level of concern with this. [Rose] was working out [Friday], and he developed some soreness. We sat down with Derrick and made the decision. You know, it’s the beginning of preseason.’’

Actually, it’s past the midpoint of camp. And with just more than two weeks left before the Bulls tip off the regular season in Miami, the conditioning of players such as Rose and center Joakim Noah, who hasn’t played in a preseason game because of a strained groin, is a concern.

‘‘You’re always concerned about that,’’ Thibodeau said.

That’s why this is an important week for the Bulls. Noah practiced every day in Rio and expects to start Wednesday against the
Detroit Pistons in the Bulls’ first preseason game at the United Center. And Rose is all but guaranteeing he’ll return for that game.

‘‘I could’ve played [Saturday], but the front office made the decision to sit me out,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I know I’m going to be ready.’’



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