Previous ArticlesBulls, like much of America, frustrated by Washington
Rose and Deng unlikely to play against Bobcats
by Sam Smith
Posted on Apr 18
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Derrick Rose is the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player, a famous sports star and fabulously wealthy. So it’s easy to forget he’s still really a kid, just over 23 years old.
We know he likes his Skittles candy and carries his things in a backpack. And he just wants to play with the other kids.
“It’s hard for someone to not miss more than maybe seven games (in a year) to miss 20 something, 30 games. It hurts,” Rose said before Wednesday’s shootaround practice in Charlotte where he once again wasn’t participating and wasn’t likely to play in Wednesday’s night’s game. “Especially when it’s something you love the most. One of the things you love the most is playing this game (and) it’s taken away from you health wise. It hurts.”
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said neither Rose nor Luol Deng would participate in the shootaround, meaning both likely wouldn’t play Wednesday. It also raises the question whether either would play Thursday in Miami, as Deng continued to nurse sore ribs and Rose another injury around his ankle that he described as fluid buildup.
Rose, though, was quick to add that, “I still think about the things I’m grateful for. I’m blessed.”
It’s not turning into such a blessed season for the Bulls even with the league’s best record. Deng’s ribs should heal soon, and Rose said he plans to play before the end of the regular season and as soon as he is able to. But there’s also the lack of playing time together for the starters, which now seems at best a game or two at the end of the regular season next week. And then the playoffs start two days afterward. And last season the Bulls steamed in with nine straight wins and good health. Not this year.
“We have a couple of games (left) to close out the season,” Rose noted. “Of course I would want to come back as soon as possible to get my rhythm going. My biggest thing is my heath now. Just getting me healthy I should be able to iron out the wrinkles.
“I would want to play as soon as possible,” Rose said. “Tonight, tomorrow. I want to get out there. I miss the game.”
Rose seems recovered from his groin injury and ankle sprain from the last month or so. But this latest injury, which Thibodeau said is different, is in his right ankle. Rose said it is not plantar fasciitis, and when asked if it was tendinitis he said that it wasn’t, that he had that in his knees.
Uh oh. OK, most everyone in the NBA has that.
So the prognosis for Rose is uncertain. There wasn’t a specific occurrence this time. After the Sunday game with Detroit in which Rose played 41 minutes and seemed recovered, he said he felt uncomfortable and had difficulty walking.
“Soreness from just playing,” Rose said as he sat in front of his locker and occasionally exchanged some laughs with teammates waiting for the practice. “I didn’t feel anything until right after the game. I remember walking back to the locker room, taking my shoe off and just felt throbbing. Walking was kind of tough. (But) I should be all right
“Its the tendons around the ankle, they have fluid on them,” Rose explained. “The fluid causes pain.
Right now, I’m just waiting for the fluid to move around and get it out as soon as possible and I should be all right
“I’m not thinking that way (that I won’t be good for the playoffs),” Rose said. “I think if you put things into the universe (they) come true. I’m just trying to stay focused and happy, staying positive, keep my spirits up and hopefully I’ll be healthy in the playoffs. I rested almost the whole year with injuries.
“It definitely hurts me not being able to play, but my health is my concern right now,” said Rose. “I really don’t know what to blame it on. (It’s) like a freak accident, freak injuries just happen.
“It’s been hard missing all these games, playing against this great competition, just playing the game period, just being out there with my teammates, practicing with my teammate. I’m trying not to distance myself from them (because of) not playing,” said Rose. “I’m talking to them. It’s definitely been hard, but they’ve been doing a great job making me feel like I’m a part of the team, talking to me, calling me to eat with them. That’s making me feel good and that’s raising my spirits, too. Hopefully, you’ll see me out there soon.”
If not only for Rose.
Although the Bulls don’t emphasize it much since Thibodeau only counts the current day as reality, the Bulls are in the race for the No. 1 seeding in the Eastern Conference and thus home court advantage in the playoffs.
The crucial game in Thursday in Miami, especially because of this season. The Heat has the league’s best home record. But they are just 18-13 on the road. So you’d think you’d want them on the road more often because of the way they’ve played this season.
“It’s a compilation of things,” Thibodeau said about playing down the stretch. “Your health is critical and then you want to be playing well. It will be a unique this season. We end on the 26th and we begin (the payoffs) on the 28th, so basically it’s a continuation of the regular season. So you’re trying to tie all those things together. Health is a priority, playing well is a priority, you’d like to have a set rotation.
“Ideally,” Thibodeau continued, “you try to put as many things in your favor as possible. Is it a must (the No. 1 seed)? I always think if you can get it, you get it. If not, whatever your circumstances are you make the best of those circumstances. I thought last year home court helped us a lot. But if you don’t have home court you don’t. Then you have to win more on the road. That’s all.”
As for Rose, he just needs to feel a bit better. It would help the mood of everyone around the team as well.