CLEVELANDGiven his competitive nature, to rule him out right now would be premature. But it seems unlikely that Derrick Rose will return to the Bulls lineup Friday to face the Cavaliers.
The swelling went down. The pain is there a little bit, but its a game-time decision. I definitely want to be out there to play, especially today, Rose said at the teams morning shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena. But Ive got to make the smartest decision, not only for me, but for my teammates.
Knowing that right when it starts feeling good, it could go right back to zero, he continued. Ill go out there, see how it goes and if its not working, Ive got to sit out.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was cautious in his appraisal of his point guards health status.
Well see. He was feeling better yesterday. Hes feeling a little better today. Thatll be a game-time decision. Well see when he warms up tonight how hes feeling, said Thibodeau, who noted that Rose has had five days of rest and treatment. I dont think anyone can say how he feels. He has to say how he feels. So, if hes feeling good, then he plays. If hes not, then he wont.
I dont want him to go through the shootaround, he added. Just to be locked in mentally. Maybe do some stretching, but thatll be about it.
Rose admitted that his turf-toe injury is causing him pain and revealed its similar to the ailment he suffered in his second season.
Its exactly what it is. I wasnt able to be on my toe in three years, so when that happened, it bent it and it aggravated it, and I played on it sooner than when I was supposed to play on it and it was real bad, he said. This is kind of worse than my second season. My second season, I just played through it, but it wasnt that bad and not being able to be on my toe in three years, and someone put all their weight on my toe, it definitely hurt it.
The leagues reigning MVP, who said hell attempt to warm up prior to Friday evenings contest against the Central Division rival Cavaliers, acknowledged that playing after the initial injury may have been a rash decision.
A little regret, but it just comes with basketball, he said. Injuries are going to happen. Thats why I always get treatment and I always see my trainer.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick expressed disappointment that he might not be able to match up with Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, the top selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Somebody that Id love to play tonight. Hes a great player, even at a young age. You can tell that he knows a lot about the game. A skilled player. Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott is letting him do a great job of playing through his mistakes and I know he wont do anything but get better, Rose gushed. Hes kind of got like a smooth game. Smooth game, good passer, basketball I.Q. is very high. Im a fan of him, especially when he was at Duke.
Thibodeau shared similar sentiments about Irving, who along with fellow first-round pick Tristan Thompson, an athletic power forward out of Texas, have led Cleveland to a surprisingly competitive early-season start.
The thing thats probably stood out more than anything is the way hes been shooting the ball and the poise in which hes playing. Hes stopping behind the screen, shooting the ball, pulling up for the three. Shooting 38 percent from three is very impressive. He plays very, very hard and hes showing poise for a rookie, said Thibodeau. Well, a player that talented, youre never surprised, but what hes done thus far, hes playing almost like a veteran. You can tell hes fearless and I love his demeanor on the floor. You watch and you just see its a guy that has a lot of confidence. Hes doing a great job with their team.
Thompson has been phenomenal. High energy and you cant make mistakes with him. Body-position mistakes, hell make you pay, so hes been very impressive, as well, as has their team, he went on to say. Theyve had a tough early schedule with a lot of road games. I think theyve played very well in those games, but theyre hard-playing, theyre playing unselfish. I think Byrons done a great job with them.
Regardless of whether Rose plays or not, Thibodeau is more concerned about the challenge the Cavs present in the Bulls 11th road game of the young, condensed NBA campaign. In his typical fashion, the coach flipped the pretense of his squads travel-heavy slate into a positive.
Well, the thing that I did like was to be on the road early like we have been has given us an opportunity to spend some time together, which I think is good and I think it gets you ready because you have to be ready to play, so from that standpoint its been good, he said. I would have liked to have had more practice time, but thats the way it is and even in a normal NBA season, thats the way it is. Theres always a point every season where you may have an extended road trip or a lot of back-to-back games, so your practice time is limited and you have to make the most of your film session, you walkthroughs in the ballroom, things like that.
I like the way our team has responded, but you have to be ready tonight. You cant look behind, you cant look ahead. Just concentrate on whats in front of you.