All Tom Thibodeau wants for his birthday is a win.
If that happens, it will have to come without the benefit of having Derrick Rose, as the point guard will sit out Tuesdays game against the Suns at the United Center, the second consecutive contest hes been sidelined.
Hes not playing tonight, Thibodeau said before the game. It was a collective decision. We gathered the information, we looked at where we are in the schedule and we all decided its in the best interest of everyone to sit this one out.
Where he is with the injury, all that played into it.
Roses injury suffered last Tuesday in Minnesota, has been alternately described as a sprained left big toe and turf toe.
I was looking on some clarity on that myself. You can say its a sprain or turf toe. I guess theres some similarities between the two, but its sore and thats the bottom line, so we just want to make sure we take care of that. So, we just felt its best to have him sit this one out, explained Thibodeau. This ones more on the top of the toe, so thats what makes a difference. Hes got some swelling, so weve got to get that out.
Fortunately for Rose, after an off day Sunday following Saturdays home win over the Raptors, then missing Mondays loss in Memphis, hell have plenty of rest, as the Bulls dont play again until Friday at Cleveland.
Hes usually a pretty quick healer, so hell get his treatment, then we have a couple days off, so well see where he is after that, said Thibodeau, who will start C.J. Watson Watson himself just returned to the lineup Monday after spraining his left elbow in the New Years Day home opener in place of Rose. He usually responds pretty well to treatment.
You base your decisions on the information that you have at that particular time. He felt that he was feeling better. Weve played a number of games in a short amount of time, so we just want to be smart. A lot of guys are hurting right now. We dont want to take any chances, continued Thibodeau, who indicated that he had no regrets about playing Rose in back-to-back wins over Boston and Toronto. Hes fine. Hes going to do whats in the best interest of the team and thats where it is. He certainly has a lot of input in it, but we all have to weigh in. We talked to our doctors and to Bulls team trainer Fred Tedeschi.
I think that once hes healthy and thats something we talked to the medical staff first is what can he handle. Hes been through different injuries. Once the swellings out of there and the pain goes down, hell be fine.
While the Bulls will be missing the reigning league MVP, the other half of their starting backcourt will be back in the lineup Tuesday, as veteran shooting guard Rip Hamilton will start after missing eight consecutive games with a nagging groin injury.
Were going to see how he feels, Thibodeau said, prior to the decision. If he goes through his warmup and he feels OK, well give it a shot.
Thibodeau was pleased with the play of Watson in his return Monday, as the backup point guard logged 28 minutes, scored 17 points, sparked an aborted Bulls comeback and perhaps most importantly, played aggressively, with no hesitation
He said he felt pretty good. theres some soreness there, but thats normal and again, we were watching him during the game and the way he was driving the ball, and he went after some loose balls and stuff, so he got hit quite a bit. He said he felt pretty good today, so that was encouraging, said the coach about Watson. He did really well and its a tribute to his professionalism. He did a lot of conditioning when he was out and he was able to handle those minutes.