Rose out against Washington; Bulls sign Mike James


Jan 11

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It’s John Lucas III at point guard Wednesday for the Bulls with Derrick Rose missing just the seventh game of his career with a sprained toe from Tuesday’s game in Minnesota.

So, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was asked before Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards, who’ll back up Lucas with C.J, Watson still out injured along with Richard Hamilton.

“Lucas,” Thibodeau deadanned.

So the Bulls weren’t exactly in mourning—at least not yet or perhaps until morning—with their MVP missing his first game of the season.

The Bulls also announced they had signed journeyman shooting guard Mike James, who was playing in the D-league and was to join the team Wednesday night. The Bulls are his 10th NBA team.

Though the big news was Rose being out after suffering what Rose said was a turf toe injury early in Tuesday’s win in Minnesota. Rose came back to lead the Bulls to victory with 31 points, and said he intended to play the Bulls third game in three nights Wednesday.

But Thibodeau said there was swelling and increased pain and the Bulls decided it was best to be cautious and keep Rose out. Thibodeau said X-rays were negative and the injury is not believed serious. Thibodeau left open the possibility of Rose playing Friday in Boston.

“Derrick’s a tough guy,” Thibodeau said. “He knows how to handle things. We just felt in this situation the best thing was not to play. We’ll address it tomorrow and see how he’s feeling. But we’re not going to take a chance on him having further injury.

Those things happen,” said Thibodeau. “It’s a sprain and hopefully he’ll be back in a day. It’s (different) than a turf toe. It’s a sprained toe, a pain tolerance thing. He’s gotten a lot of treatment. Usually it responds well to treatment. It’s a lot different than what Carlos (Boozer) had (in last season’s playoffs).

“This is wat you are faced with in the NBA,” said Thibodeau. “Injuries are part of it. The next guy has to step in. We’ve had a lot of guys step in and do a great job for us. It’s a great asset to have a strong bench. We’ve got more than enough to win with. Guys have to be ready and we go from there.”

Thibodeau said James played there when he was an assistant in Houston. “He’s tough, a hard nosed can who shoot the ball, run a pick and roll. I think he’ll fit in well.”

James, 36, played in China and Turkey last season.

Thibodeau said he is confident in Lucas, who said: “Just come in and step up, lead the team, do exactly what we’ve been doing all year. We shouldn’t miss a beat. Just come in and hold the court down until he comes back.”

Thibodeau said Ronnie Brewer also will play some point guard with Rose out.

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