Rose stays positive with postseason approaching


Rose stays positive with postseason approaching

CHARLOTTE "Story of my life," lamented Derrick Rose. "Just getting treatment, waking up at 9 every day. Turned myself into a morning person."

Notorious for being a late riser, Rose has had to suck it up this season in order to get therapy on his litany of injuries. The 23-year-old has missed five games each due to turf toe and lower back spasms, another 12 because of a strained right groin, one because of a sprained right ankle and will miss his second consecutive contest with a sore right foot, his 25th of the condensed campaign, Wednesday night.

From speculation that his body is breaking down early in his young career to whispers that hes soft not from anyone whos around him on a regular basis, but observers still convinced the Bulls failure to get past Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals last spring meant the All-Star point guard was undeserving of regular-season MVP honors no one seems to chalk up his ailments to, as his coach, Tom Thibodeau would say, misfortune.

Whatever the negative reasoning for his injury-plagued season, Rose doesnt want to hear any of it and instead of buying into the sky-is-falling theories most observers have with the postseason approaching and his body still not 100 percent healthy, he remains defiant that things will sort themselves out.

Im not thinking that way. I think if you put things into the universe, they come true. Im just trying to stay focused, staying happy, staying positive, keeping my spirits up and hopefully Ill be healthy in the playoffs. I rested almost a whole year with injuries. Definitely hurting me, not being able to play right now, but my health is a concern right now, said Rose, who attributes his injuries to the condensed schedule, something thats afflicted numerous role players and his superstar peers alike, such as Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Think about it: Thats the only that changed. The way I work out is usually the same, even though I ran more than I did in the past. I really dont know what to blame it on. Its just like a freak accident, freak injuries. It just happened.

Its been hard a little bit. I cant lie. Missing all these games, just playing against great competition. Just playing the game, period. Being out there with my teammates, practicing with my teammates. Trying not to distance myself from them by me not playing. Just staying around. Trying to stay positive, talking to them. Its definitely been hard, but theyve been doing a great job of making me feel like Im part of the team. Talking to me, calling me, eating with one another. Just making me feel good and I think thats raising my spirits up a little bit, too, continued the reigning league MVP, who acknowledged that hes been more short-tempered than usual this campaign he bristled at the flagrant foul delivered by Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, which caused a cut over the bridge of his nose, in the Bulls overtime win Sunday at Detroit and didnt dissuade the notion that frustration from his long absences have fueled his increasingly short fuse. Probably so. Its hard, man. For someone to not miss more than what, seven, 10 games in a year, to miss 20-something, 30-something games. It hurts, man. Especially when something that you love the most and one of the things that you love most, playing this game, is taken away from you because of health-wise and it hurts a little bit, but I started thinking about the things that Im grateful for and Im still blessed.

But Rose, as disappointed as hes been to not be battling alongside his close-knit squad, doesnt feel any resentment from his supporting cast and reiterated that hell make a return to the court sooner than later, which would put the Bulls with their league-best record and relative success without the superstar, not to mention another season to mature, further jell and the addition of an experienced backcourt scorer in Rip Hamilton, whos finally healthy and showing flashes of why his acquisition was so well-regarded back in December in position to be favorites to come out of the East.

I wouldnt say that. They know we have a couple games to close out the season. Of course I would want to come back as soon as possible just to get my rhythm going, but playoffs are the playoffs and my biggest thing is my health right now, and just getting me healthy, I should be able to iron out the rest, he stated. I would want to play as soon as possible. I would say tonight, tomorrow. It really doesnt matter. I just want to get out there, man. I miss the game and hopefully youll see me out there soon.

Bulls exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter

Bulls exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter

According to CSN Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill, the Bulls are exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter.

The Bulls currently have one open roster spot.

Hunter, a first-round pick of the Celtics in 2015, appeared in 38 games as a rookie. He struggled from the field, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from deep. He ultimately lost out on a roster spot this preseason in a crowded Celtics backcourt.

Hunter was the darling of the 2015 NCAA Tournament playing for his father at Georgia State. Hunter hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Baylor to propel the 14th-seeded Panthers to an opening-round win.

Hunter was a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year, averaging 19.7 points per game as a junior.

The Bulls open their 2016-17 season tomorrow night against the Celtics.

Stay with for more updates on this story.

Rookie Denzel Valentine believes he'll play in Bulls' season opener

Rookie Denzel Valentine believes he'll play in Bulls' season opener

Showing no hesitation, Denzel Valentine stood some eight feet behind the 3-point line and launched a triple in Jimmy Butler’s face, then on the next possession, hit a corner triple that ended a contested 3-on-3 game following Bulls practice Wednesday.

He looks ready, sounds ready and most importantly, feels ready for the season opener Thursday night against the Boston Celtics after missing so much time with a right ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason opener well over two weeks ago.

“I think I’m going to suit up,” Valentine said. “Still have to talk to coach about it, but I think I’m going to suit up. I feel great.”

Assuming the Bulls play nine or 10 guys tomorrow night, Valentine should get some run against the Celtics considering how easily he adapts to the game—and the Bulls are in no position to discriminate if a guy can contribute, thus making Valentine’s recovery that much more important.

“It feels great right now. The staff, give them credit. They’ve done a great job of getting me back into great shape, getting my ankle stronger, so it feels great right now, and ready.”

It seemed the injury took longer than the initial prognosis, and even Valentine felt that, as the Bulls’ first-round draft pick was anxious to get back on the floor and learn the new system and teammates.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“Yeah, that was my first ever actual ankle sprain. I’ve twisted my ankle a couple times in college, and I’m back in a couple days, practicing the next day,” he said. “But this one took a while. It was kind of frustrating because I thought it was going to be just like college, twist my ankle and be right back, but it was kind of an unfortunate accident. It took longer to heal. It actually took longer to heal than me actually being out there. It took time, but I’m ready now.”

Heck, he even has a new teammate in Michael Carter-Williams and that affects him being a primary ballhandler on the floor. Fred Hoiberg envisioned Valentine being able to play some point behind Rajon Rondo but with the recent trade, Valentine will likely play more on the wings behind Butler and Dwyane Wade.

It’s another change in the early stages of his career—one where he hasn’t been able to establish much continuity. Hopefully for Valentine, the worst of this is behind him.

“It’s very difficult, and being in Chicago, we’ve played all of our preseason games here, so there wasn’t no traveling like mid-season, so everybody is here pretty much every day practicing, and I’ve got to sit out at it,” Valentine said. “They kind of lose a little chemistry towards me, and the guys getting to play with me and me getting to know them on the court, so kind of lose a little bit of rhythm. But the good thing about me is I don’t need a whole lot of time with the team. I can kind of just sneak my way in and adapt.”