Thibodeau: Rose taking 'predictable contact' in practice

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Thibodeau: Rose taking 'predictable contact' in practice

DEERFIELD, ILL. As his rehabilitation from ACL surgery progresses, sidelined Bulls point guard Derrick Rose continues to take more steps in the recovery progress. The former league MVP is now taking predictable contact in practice, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau revealed Tuesday.

Obviously its knowing whats coming and so, hes handled that part great. Hes done a little one-on-one, and thats coming around. But everyone has to be patient, the coach explained after Tuesdays afternoon session at the Berto Center. The next step will be a regular practice and he hasnt done that yet, so once he does that, youll know hes getting closer.

While Rose is making progress and demonstrates to the assembled media, in the waning moments of practices, that hes retained his outside shooting touch, it doesnt mean that his return is imminent.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Chicago native will participate in three-on-three drills in the near future before being cleared to play in full-court five-on-five activities, hopefully by the end of the month, at which point, hell practice extensively before a likely return sometime after the All-Star break.

Weve got to feel good about this and the most important thing is hes got to feel really good about it. But its the type of injury where you have to be patient and hes handling his part great. Hes upbeat, hes doing his rehab daily and thats his entire focus, and the team, theyve just got to lock into our improvement and our next opponent, and then, at some point, hell rejoin us, Thibodeau said.

Ive talked to him every day. Im glad that hes approached things the way that he has. Hes been patient, hes been upbeat, hes doing his part. You couldnt ask for anything more. He puts everything he has into the rehab and then, hes fully engaged with his teammates. Even from the time he got injured, we were pretty much in daily contact. Hes doing great and coming along. Hes right where he should be.

Roses teammate, Joakim Noah, added: Were not really looking over our shoulders because hes with us every day, so we get to see the progress, but I think its good. Right now, were just trying to play the best basketball possible, knowing that he is going to come back. Thats a good feeling, but now weve got to keep grinding it out and keep getting these wins. The truth is, he has to be patient and we need to give him as much time as he needs, so he can come back when hes 100 percent.

Hes into it and its good to have Derrick on the road. Hes definitely watching the games and passionate about the games. He obviously wants to be out there, but he needs to be patient, he continued. Its exciting stuff, whats going on over here. Were working hard, were playing pretty good, weve got some big games coming up and you know weve got our MVP hes going to come back so yeah, its pretty cool.

Meanwhile, the teams current starting point guard, veteran Kirk Hinrich, missed Tuesdays practice, after suffering an elbow injury in Monday nights home win over Cleveland. His status is day-to-day, according to Thibodeau.

Hinrich is a little dinged-up on his elbow, I guess, Thibodeau explained, noting that Hinrich was injured on a play when he was hustling for a loose ball against the Cavaliers. I dont think he had stitches. Just bandaged up right now.

Bulls can't answer Wesley Matthews' game-winner in loss to Mavericks

Bulls can't answer Wesley Matthews' game-winner in loss to Mavericks

It was believed the Bulls needed no extra motivation going against a Dallas Mavericks team that's a half-game away from being worst in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks gave them a 25-point shellacking in Texas last month, giving the Bulls enough film to make a horror show. Usually these instances even out over 82 games.

But this is no ordinary season for the Bulls, and the Mavericks again emerged victorious when Wesley Matthews got free for a triple on one end and locked up his college teammate Jimmy Butler on the other end, leading to a 99-98 Mavericks win.

It looked like another Butler special when Butler nailed a step-up, contested jumper over Matthews to give the Bulls a 98-96 lead, completing his 24-point night.

But Matthews was undeterred, breaking free on the wing for a triple when Dwyane Wade had to help Nikola Mirotic on a Deron Williams drive with 11.7 seconds left.

And on the final possession, the Bulls' spacing looked gummed up when Butler couldn’t shake free of Matthews, forcing him to pitch it to Wade, who put up a heavily contested 21-foot jumper from the baseline

It caromed off the rim, and the Mavericks danced happily off the floor for their first three-game winning streak of the year, this win completing a season sweep of the Bulls.

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Butler scored 24 with 12 assists and nine rebounds but was 5-for-12 from the field as Matthews was in his chest all night. Wade had a strong fourth quarter on his 35th birthday but missed 13 of his 21 shots to score 17.

Six Mavericks scored in double figures, led by Harrison Barnes' 20 and Seth Curry's 18 as the Mavericks made 11 triples and had 27 assists, frustrating the Bulls.

With scoring at a premium, Robin Lopez had a season-high 20 points being guarded by Dirk Nowitzki — and they were necessary considering the Bulls were without Taj Gibson (ankle injury) and Doug McDermott couldn't repeat his 30-point showing from Sunday in Memphis.

Rick Carlisle has long been regarded as one of the top strategic coaches, and though he doesn’t have the usual personnel from the Mavericks' salad days, he had enough tricks up his sleeve to throw the Bulls off.

The Mavericks started Nowitzki at center, going to an almost all-small lineup. And though Lopez scored 14 in the first half, trying to feed him seemed to take the Bulls out of it in the second half.

The Mavericks played tougher and smarter with their personnel, and the Bulls got to see what happens when Wade or Butler can't save the day.

Bulls' Rajon Rondo oddly runs behind back of former coach Rick Carlisle

Bulls' Rajon Rondo oddly runs behind back of former coach Rick Carlisle

Is Rajon Rondo avoiding his former coach?

During Tuesday night's Bulls-Mavericks game, Rondo awkwardly ran behind Mavs coach Rick Carlisle as the third quarter was winding down.

Take a look at the play in the video above.

Rondo, who played with the Mavericks in the 2014-15 season, had a weird relationship with Carlisle. Most notably, he and Carlisle had a heated exchange during a game on Feb. 24, 2015 against the Toronto Raptors. It eventually led to Carlisle saying that Rondo was a bad fit for the Mavericks and that the team should have never traded for him.

On Tuesday, Rondo apparently shook Carlisle's hand before he checked in the game for the first time in the first quarter. 

All is well, it seems, but that was still weird.