Rose day-to-day with back spasms

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Rose day-to-day with back spasms

NEWARK, N.J. After being seen doing extra stretching with the Bulls training staff during the teams win in Milwaukee Saturday -- something also witnessed earlier in the road trip, during the Bulls in Washington last Monday -- Derrick Roses status was a topic of conversation entering Mondays game against the Nets.

However, both Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and Rose downplayed the significance of his back pain before the game and Rose started the contest.

While he committed two fouls early in the game and had to take a seat, all seemed fine. That is, until the 2:54 mark of the second quarter, when Rose left the game, never to return after being diagnosed with lower back spasms.

Right now, I feel all right. Just back spasms, nothing to worry about. Tuesday we have a day off, get treatment, get a massage and hopefully Ill be playing next game, Rose said afterwards. It was tight the whole game. Its just something where Ive got to get a massage and stretched the right way, and hopefully itll be gone.

I cant remember when it happened. I was tight a couple of games ago, but tonight was pretty tough and intense, he continued. For right now, Ill be playing next game. Its nothing like Im going to be sitting out. I always want to think positive, just try to keep things going our way.

Thibodeau was also cautiously optimistic.

Just some back stiffness, day-to-day, so well see how he is Tuesday, said the coach. Bulls trainer Fred Tedeschi thought he landed on one of his layups, but hes had some stiffness now.

Youre always concerned, certainly with him, but no more than every other player, too. Health is a big concern. Hes done a great job of taking care of himself this year, doing a lot of extra conditioning, lifting, rehab, massage, rest, so were hopeful that this is a very short-term thing.

Rose believes the symptoms started probably even before the Wizards game, but while he cant pinpoint when they occurred, he explained what he thinks the cause is.

Its pretty tight. Im a guy thats not flexible, so if one thing fails on meespecially when it has something to do with my legs; tendonitis or whateverit tends to use the other parts of your body a little bit more and these last couple of days, its been my back, he said.

I think Thibs has been doing a great job of managing us, making sure were getting rest. We havent been practicing that much and when we do practice, we dont move around as much. He tells us its more like a mental practice, where he challenges us mentally in knowing what we have to do when we go into every game we play.

New teammates, new changes put Jimmy Butler at ease

New teammates, new changes put Jimmy Butler at ease

The earrings were gleaming from Jimmy Butler’s ears, as he was his usual-disarming self with a playful smile and wink during his question-and-answer session with the Chicago media.

At a point, he took a deep breath as he looked around the Advocate Center with some of his new teammates walking around, some of whom had to carry nameplates because they weren’t recognizable faces in this new setting.

And because new faces are in town, it means two things: some faces left town and for Butler’s sake, the new ones will only know him as “Jimmy Butler, All-Star”, not the guy who was a late first-round pick, not the player who couldn’t get off the bench.

Butler didn’t bring up his comfort level, but when asked, he didn’t deny things appear to be a bit easier this time around.

“Does it make me feel more comfortable? I mean, to an extent, yeah, because then you can never say how you may have think that I’ve changed,” Butler said.

Butler’s ascension rubbed some the wrong way last season, and it’s been spoken about ad nauseam, whether it was true or not. But the moment of honesty wasn’t so much a shot at Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah, who departed for the Knicks in various forms; however it was an admission to his level of security, one that perhaps can lead to a more peaceful existence with all the core pieces.

The one way he’s always lead and will always speak to, is by example and work ethic. It’s one that turned him into an All-Star and Olympian.

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“I think everybody that’s on this roster now just knows how hard that I’ve worked to get to this spot that I’m at,” Butler said. “They’ve seen it. They’ve witnessed it. All they’ve been around for me is this point of my career. I don’t know if it sounds bad. But I think that all these guys look at, ‘If Jimmy works like that and if I work like that, I’ll be in the same position that he’s in.’ I’ll be more than happy to let you have that position because I think hard work can get you anywhere that you want to get to.”

So with that, Butler volunteered himself to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, to be the sacrificial lamb of wrath if need be. Easy to say if he doesn’t actually believe Hoiberg is capable of going from nice guy to madman at a moment’s notice but Butler laid it out for the record.

“I told Fred, ‘As much as you can, use me as an example. I want you to really get on my tail about every little thing.’,” Butler said. “Because if Doug or Tony or whoever it may be is watching coach talk to me like that, it’s going to be like, ‘If he can talk to Jimmy like that, I know he’s going to come at me a certain way.’ That’s what I try to remind him every day. I think he’s ready for that. I’m a player. I’m coachable like everybody else. I want that. I need that.”

The additions of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo add championship receipts to a locker room that needs it, considering the Bulls want to play their young pieces. Wade and Rondo, the Bulls privately believe, will help Butler deal with everything that comes with a new role of leadership — and by proxy, Butler’s relationship and expectations of Hoiberg.

“He was put in a position last year he wasn't familiar with and I think we'll see growth from it,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. “The great thing about Jimmy is you know he comes in each and every day and gives 100 percent. He gets better every year and I think we'll continue to see that growth in his game and him as a person. I think that experience with USA basketball was real positive for him.”

Whether the trio lives up to the “Three Alphas” nickname remains to be seen, but after having a locker room with too many low-pitched voices, perhaps the change in pace — any change in pace — will be a welcome one for Butler.

“The Alpha thing, I think we’ll be just fine. Everybody is going to have something to say,” he said. “As long as everybody is listening and is willing to take some criticism if you’re doing something wrong, just like if you’re doing something right I’m going to tell you, there’s good and bad in everything you do. At the end of the day, as long as we win games, it won’t matter.”

Bulls' Jimmy Butler wants tough coaching from Fred Hoiberg this season

Bulls' Jimmy Butler wants tough coaching from Fred Hoiberg this season

 

Much was made of the Jimmy Butler-Fred Hoiberg dynamic last year.

As the duo head into Year 2 together with a very different Bulls roster, Jimmy Butler was very clear about one thing he wants out of his coach this season.

“I told Fred, ‘As much as you can, use me as an example,’” Butler said during the team’s media day on Monday. “I want you to really get on my tail about every little thing because if Doug (McDermott) or Tony (Snell) or whoever it may be, if watching coach talk to me like that he’s going to be like ‘If he can talk to Jimmy like that I know he’s going to come at me a certain way.’ So that’s what I try to remind him everyday. I think he’s ready for that. I’m a player. I’m coachable like everybody else, but I want that. I need that.”

Butler’s show of confidence in his coach didn’t stop at his belief that Hoiberg could follow through on Butler’s desire to be coached hard. The All-Star believes Hoiberg has improved as a coach heading into his second year on the job.

“It was his first year last year and I think he studied himself and us and the way we were up and down in so many areas of the game last year,” Butler said. “He’s trying to correct it. That’s just like anybody going into the offseason. He didn’t just not work. He studied and got better at what he needed to get better at. I think he’s ready moving forward.”