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Thomas back among starting five; Rose not ready yet
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Oct 23
By Adam Fluck
Though it may have been difficult to focus with an impending visit from supermodel Marisa Miller, Derrick Rose finally returned to practice on Thursday for the first time since suffering a right ankle injury in the team’s exhibition opener Oct. 2.
Rose, however, won’t play in the team’s final preseason contest when the Bulls host the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. | CSN-Chicago | ESPN 1000) on Friday.
After practicing approximately 40 minutes on Thursday and participating in the team’s shootaround this morning, Head Coach Vinny Del Negro and the Bulls continue to take the cautious approach with Rose, monitoring the situation one day at a time and remaining hopeful he will be healthy for the regular season opener one week from tonight.
“He hasn’t really gone through a full practice,” said Del Negro. “We have a little time right now and want to be smart about it. As he gets some practice under his belt next week, we’ll see how he feels.”
The Bulls will also be without Kirk Hinrich (left elbow) and Jannero Pargo (low back) tonight.
In other news, Tyrus Thomas will return to the starting lineup on Friday. Rookie Taj Gibson had filled in for Thomas, who missed four games with a right hip pointer earlier in the preseason. Starting with tonight’s contest against the Wizards, the Bulls will work towards establishing a consistent rotation, something that has not been easy given an injury-filled four weeks.
With veteran guard Lindsey Hunter starting in Rose’s place, the rest of the starters will likely resemble the Bulls’ lineup if healthy when the regular season gets underway Oct. 29 against the Spurs: John Salmons at the two, Luol Deng at the three, Thomas at the four, and Joakim Noah at the five.
Listen to Del Negro’s pregame comments, in which he discussed Rose’s desire to return, the team’s injuries during the preseason and Joakim Noah’s improved consistency:
Radio broadcast change for opening night:
Due to a scheduling conflict, the Bulls regular season opener vs. the San Antonio Spurs (7:00 p.m. on TNT) will now air on WLS 890 AM radio with pre-game at 6:30 p.m. All other games this season will be broadcast on the Bulls flagship station, ESPN Radio 1000.
CSN to air Bulls Season Preview special:
Comcast SportsNet will provide viewers with a preview of the upcoming season with a half-hour special entitled, SportsNite: Bulls Season Preview, airing Tuesday, October 27 at 10:30 p.m.
The season preview special, featuring a detailed look at the upcoming season and off-season developments, will be hosted by CSN’s Bulls Pre/Post Game Live studio tandem featuring Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill. Among the topics of discussion include team/player expectations for this season, the loss of Ben Gordon, and Kendall’s keys to a repeat playoff appearance, along with the experience and leadership from Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro going into his second season.
Among the featured one-on-one interviews includes a conversation with Derrick Rose, Del Negro and new General Manager Gar Forman.
Honoring the Bulls legends:
With the arrival of the season came the revival of the Madhouse on Madison in the arena’s 300 Level. The changes include the addition of two open air bars with great views of the court, trendy concourse food stations with increased seating and new dining and viewing areas at the top of many sections. But that isn’t the only area work was done in the 15-year old arena.
The area outside the Bulls’ and Blackhawks’ locker rooms received an upgrade as well, with larger than life action portraits of the team legends installed over the summer months. Featured for the Bulls are Chet Walker, Norm Van Lier, Artis Gilmore, Bob Love and Jerry Sloan to the left of the locker room entrance, and Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc and John Paxson to the right.