Rose a game-time decision vs. Celtics

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Rose a game-time decision vs. Celtics

Though he was a partial participant in Thursday mornings Bulls shootaround, its unlikely that Derrick Rose, still suffering from lower back spasms, plays in the evenings game against Boston. Rose shot free throws and watched his teammates prepare for the visiting Celtics, who beat the Bulls, without Rose, Sunday.

Im getting better every day, taking it day by day. Just trying to stay positive, like I always say, said Rose. His back specialist said that its just getting better. Its the same thing. Hopefully get this behind me, so I wont have to talk about it anymore.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said the organization would continue with its cautious approach to Roses recovery.

Well, hes got to be cleared by the medical staff first and then hes got to be comfortable that he feels good enough to go, he said. Its a compilation of things. Each day hes gotten better, so we just want to be patient.

Rose admitted that hes growing weary of answering questions about the injury, repeating the word tired three times in one response. The reigning league MVP, who acknowledged that he didnt do any running during shootaround, also stated some criteria for his eventual return to the court, as far as his pain threshold.

I dont know yet, game-time decision, he said about his status for Thursdays game. Rose will receive treatment again right now, treatment again when I get to the gym tonight and go out there, and warm up.

Rose will return when he doesnt feel any pain. I know that its going to be sore a little bit, but I know that I dont want to deal with it during the game, where it gets tight and it gets irritating. I think Im going to come back when Im ready, Rose went on to explain. The back is totally different. An ankle, you can kind of play through that. as a guard, youre used to twisting your ankle, but with your back -- this is my second time dealing with this -- its quite different.

Its killing me right now. Definitely missing these games, especially big games, going against Boston and all the other teams I didnt get a chance to play against this year. Its definitely hurting, but just trying to stay focused, keep my head right and try to get better.

Rose also humorously revealed the details of his visit to the chiropractor.

I cant explain all the things that hes doing, but I know that its a lot of stretching. I know that its a weird table I lay on and I know I stay there for about an hour, he said. When I was at Simeon, I think before we went downstate, we had a week off, so I didnt do anything for about a week. I didnt go to a doctor or anything and I came back healthy.

While Rose said its too far away to decide whether or not hell play in the Feb. 26 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, for which he was voted an Eastern Conference starter and would join teammate Luol Deng and the Bulls coaching staff, he put a positive spin on his situation.

I take it as a blessing, where I guess God wanted me to get some rest, he said. Thats how Im looking at it.

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.”